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Free-thinking Nova Scotia composer, musician and visual artist Jay Crocker (aka JOYFULTALK) channels Minimalism, Japanese environmental music, Maghrebian rhythmic modes and other numinous folkways to create his most focused, vibrant work to date. Based on a monumental, kaleidoscopic graphic score, A Separation Of Being is translated from two-dimensional page to trans-dimensional aural life using an array of homemade instruments, crowned with a majestic string arrangement written by Crocker and performed by Polaris and Juno winner Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Destroyer).
Visual scores often provoke ideas of openness, interpretation, improv and fluidity. JOYFULTALK’s third album, and second for Constellation, is an altogether different beast. This three-part suite is airtight; interlocking arcs of polyrhythmic deep groove and new minimalism roll out in spellbinding propulsion, the music gathering its warmth from the strings and its peculiarities from Crocker’s bespoke instrumentation and analog clockworks. The separation of being here is not division or rupture, but buoyant freedom through conduction of circulatory energies, marked by flowing melodic rondos of gyrating strings and sonic pointillism. A Separation Of Being is a systems music feast for the heart and mind.
And lest we forget the eyes: Crocker began developing ‘The Planetary Music System’, his particular methodology for visualized composition, in 2012. The score for A Separation Of Being is the pinnacle of his system to date. Impressive in scale and scope, this stunning 5’x10’ mural (acquired by Nova Scotia’s provincial Art Bank in 2019) features geometric multi-directional cycles of brightly-coloured, finely-detailed sound notation. Album packaging on CD and audiophile 180g LP features details on the outer jacket cover art, and a reproduction of the full score on the inside gatefold, and as an exquisite 12” x 24”pull-out art print, respectively.
Both the intricate graphic score and the superterrestrial music distinguish and elevate Crocker/JOYFULTALK as a creator/producer/performer who’s been integrating sonic, artistic and sculptural practices into unique installation, environmental and recorded works for the past 15 years. A Separation Of Being is a career-defining conceptual and compositional endeavour that finds one of Canada’s most iconoclastic experimental music minds sublimated into a work of entrancing rigour and dynamism. Thanks for listening.
released March 13, 2020
Written, arranged and performed by Jay Crocker
Recorded and mixed by Jay Crocker at the Prism Ship in Crousetown Nova Scotia
Strings performed and recorded by Jesse Zubot at The Deep Bay Bunker
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market
Artwork by Jay Crocker
supported by 200 fans who also own “A Separation Of Being”
Haunting, contemplative, and sonorous, there is a langour to the layers of violin that is both calming and other-worldly, although sometimes full of foreboding. A very thoughtful and deeply hypnotic experience. Spaceman Si