Some two weeks on from the event, I still find analysis of J. Soliday's complex and challenging performance on my show a bit like chasing smoke. The sounds defy ready analysis and/or categorization. I feel compelled to return to my admittedly oft-used ready comparison of the INA-GRM composers, the correlation in this being perhaps most valid, more so than in the case of any other previous MCoQ guest performer. But instead of coming armed with a through-composed score, magnetic tape and a few razor blades, Soliday instead covered one of our tables with an array of gear with which he is clearly intimate, and "composed" instead in real time, with some of the most-focused, and at-ease, improviser's sensitivity that I have ever witnessed.
These two sets are like a free-flowing dance of sound, with the clompity-clomp of horse hooves sliding easily into electronic bleats, sewage-tunnel drones, air-vent clatter, chirping-bird dialogue, short-wave distortion—hell, be ready for anything and everything is about all I can say—a seemingly effortless collage of a somehow very organic brand of circuit-bent electronics, rendered by a true master.
Set one is the clamor of jarring, busy-but-smooth juxtapositions, while set two leads us down the path with Francois Bayle-like layered drones, a glorious dissonance of about seven minutes, until the sonic horde returns, having learned a few tricks on their sojourn. This music certainly has the ring of Soviet or Eastern-European science-fiction film as well, and Artemeyev is another comparison that comes readily to mind. One listener noted "epic soundtrack" in the playlist comments, and I wholeheartedly agree,
I certainly cannot thank Jason enough for completing the circle, from Castle listener and fan, to live performer / guest, as his craft is mighty, and was a more-than-welcome fit to our weekly proceedings at The Castle. Bob Bellerue, stalwart Castle engineer and clearly a Soliday fan, brought great sensitivity to his engineering of the session, making for a seemingly effortless performer / engineer collaboration, and Tracy Widdess colorfully stomped my paltry iPhone captures of the artist.
To hear the full 3-hour program archive, including artist interview, see here for multiple streaming options. 256 kbps mp3s are downloadable immdediately below.