10" Lathe Cut Record
Edition of 25 copies
Edition of 25 copies
Sold Out / Buy Digital
Shelley Burgon is a harpist and sound artist based in New York. Her musical work centers around the sound of the harp, both as a traditional acoustic instrument in a chamber setting and as the primary source for her electronic music. Her sound art focuses on handmade electronic sculptures that combine scientific theories and mysticism. For ICM001, Shelley recorded prepared harp in conjunction with computer processing. The resulting 11 minute piece titled LOVEHER is one live take with no editing or mixing.
Shelley received her MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College and studied with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran and Maryanne Amacher. She has performed and recorded the music of artists including Bjork, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Christian Marclay, Joan LaBarbara, Elliott Sharp and Maria Chavez in addition to performing with bands such as Stars Like Fleas, Elysian Fields and Blondes.
Her first sound and light installation was shown this year at The New Museum’s Ideas City Festival and Frieze Art Week.
Thousands of little vulnerable crystal fronds swing, imperiled by inchoate doom, from the lid of a jewelry box, and at my count only two dozen of you are fortunate enough to hear it. Focused in presentation but diffuse and chilling in actual sound, this new work finds NYC harpist/improviser Shelley Burgon running her instrument through electronic processing to create a cold, frostbitten stream of high-register, textural notes gliding past slowly in a continuous cluster, as tones fall out with regular drip-drop intervals and passing clicks turn into reverberated percussives.
Electro-acoustic music can verge on the cold/clinical, but LOVEHER couldn’t be any less so. Its slow ascent from a fragment of an idea to a fully bloomed bud is reminiscent of a sun rising or a planet orbiting, slow and reassuring, as inevitable as the tides. A few of the sequences are eerily redolent of soundtrack work you’ll barely realize you’re hearing as you watch films, but Burgon inhabits a space all her own. She is to her harp what Julie Barwick is to her own voice, so pure and elegant you wonder why other crowd their compositions.