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“Persistence is All.” – COIL



On 15 January 2017, I will be celebrating my thirtieth birthday, something I was certain I would never live to see because of my struggles with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation that seemed to only grow stronger with age. I almost ended my life on 30 December 2014, with the freezing waters of Lake Michigan tempting me with a means to an end. I resisted the relief her waters offered, and finally sought professional care to keep myself alive. Through a combination of psychiatric medication, talk therapy, and the love and support of family and friends, I celebrated my first anniversary of continued life on 30 December 2015, marking the date with my first eponymous solo recording, I Am Still Alive. Taking inspiration from On Kawara’s bodies of work, I created a date painting of my own for the album cover, and repeated the titular phrase under heavy, modulated distortion for the recording’s nearly thirty minute runtime. Throughout 2016, I worked on versions of recordings using the leftover voice stems from the I Am Still Alive sessions, eventually arriving at the four-track, forty-four minute companion album, More Life, released digitally on 11 November 2016. More Life was designed as an album that could be played in sequence but as function modularly with the tracks being played in any variety of combinations. Two live mixes of the More Life material were played on 18 November 2016 as accompanying audio during Tones Of Belonging, a set of performances by Chicago’s own BodyCompass Dance Project as part of the final exhibition of The Cairn Project, a therapeutic arts organization founded by Dr. Corinne D. Peterson.

To mark my thirtieth year of life, I’m announcing PERSISTENCE, a new project from Editions Black & Blue. PERSISTENCE will exist in two forms: a drawing subscription and an audio subscription. Each month, I will create a new edition of drawings which will be limited based on the number of subscribers, and a new sound recording that will be exclusive to subscribers until the end of the year, with physical editions of the recordings made available throughout the year on a limited cassette format. Each subscriber will receive twelve drawings, twelve audio (downloads in lossy and lossless formats) and a set of professionally-duplicated cassette tapes (details TBA), or both depending on which subscriptions are purchased.

The Persistence Drawings will be inspired by the minimalist abstraction of Agnes Martin, the serial repetition of On Kawara, and the visionary scrawling of David Tibet. Recent drawings have been created by repeatedly writing a word or phrase until it becomes obscured through the mark-making process. For this new approach to my drawing practice, I will be using a crow quill pen and inks because of their association with so-called “traditional” and “old-fashioned” drawing tools and techniques, but also because of their epistolary use and the decline of cursive script and letter-writing in our increasingly electronic world. The twelve drawings will be unique hand-drawn copies of one another, each bearing their own subtle differences while still adhering to the compositional rules of the original.

The Persistence Recordings will be a bit more open-ended than the drawing subscription, with each recording functioning as a stand-alone experiment with a new piece of gear, a new approach to composing, or a new technique to be explored. For these recordings, I will make use of my voice, analog synthesizers, soft-synth emulation, audio plugins, and other methods of capturing and manipulating audio. The aforementioned influence of Coil’s diverse catalogue will be apparent here, as will the loop-based melancholia of William Basinski, the conceptual distortions of Tim Hecker’s music, and the slow minimalist bliss of Éliane Radigue's œuvre Each of the twelve recordings in this series will help to expand my overall sonic palette, enrich my knowledge and experience in the audio production and sound art, and inform future recordings in and outside of this series.

The Persistence Drawings subscription will be available in twelve automatic monthly payments processed through Paypal. Each drawing will be $30 plus shipping within the United States. The Persistence Recordings subscription will be available in monthly installments of $10 plus shipping for the physical and digital editions, or $5 a month for a digital-only subscription. All recording subscriptions will be processed by Bandcamp.

PERSISTENCE subscriptions will be available from 15 December 2016 until 15 January 2017. A small number of complete Persistence Drawings editions will be made available at the end of 2017 once the series has ended. The complete digital-only edition of the Persistence Recordings will be publicly available at the end of 2017 as well, and a very limited set of the collected physical editions may be made available to non-subscribers in 2018.

All proceeds from these subscriptions will go toward funding the purchases of new art supplies, new music equipment, cassette duplication and packaging, future Editions Black & Blue projects, and working toward a more sustainable life of self-employment supported by creative endeavors rather than reliance on full-time wage labor.

PERSISTENCE: caelmore.com/persistence

What you get:

Join:

  • For $5/month, you get everything above.
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  • For $10/month, you get everything above, plus:
    The physical edition of The Persistence Recordings. A number of cassette releases will be professionally duplicated throughout the year. Details are to be determined, but cassettes will likely either be one track per cassette, or two tracks per cassette with one month's composition on each side.
    You’re a supporterThank you!
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Christopher Elmore
Chicago, Illinois

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