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Julia Holter x gorilla vs. bear takeover: COREY FOGEL

photo: dicky bahto
photo: dicky bahto

Corey and I have been playing together ever since I started touring in 2012. He has an approach to his work (which includes improvisation and composition as well as videos and installations) that is integrative and captivating—he’ll throw a rebar or a glockenspiel on the ground in his performance somehow both impulsively and mindfully, in the same way that he peels a dragonfruit or spurts out an elaborate word pun in less than a second. His mind and ears are always open and immediately responding, rhythmically or synaesthetically. Kind of like with Dicky, Corey’s thoughtful play and holistic approach resonates with me a lot. In both the first and last tracks of Aviary (“Turn the Light On” and “Why Sad Song”) the cymbal is one of the first things heard. In the former it’s splashing and ebbing and flowing, providing a noise foundation for the ensemble to rest on, and on the latter, the cymbal is so sparse and delicate and its entry and exit unpredictable, so that every moment it appears is special and underlines the moment, and by the end as the song builds, it becomes more sustained and supportive but still restrained, lifting the song up. I don’t think of it as cymbal lol—I mean each time I hear it, it sounds like a different instrument, because to me sometimes the objects he plays (snare, kick, timpani, whatever) become something else, isolated from their normal contexts, new things. And listening to his beautiful performance in “Underneath the Moon” which also carries the entire song through all of its changes, you can really have a sense of a variegated timbral and rhythmic sensibility—every moment with each of the objects he’s making noise with cuts through the wash and orients one—whether sharp hits or bending timpani or rattling sleigh bells—and to me it almost establishes a sense of place or something wild like that. — Julia Holter

Here is a video of a performance Corey did with dancer Abigail Levine at
Human Resources in LA this year.

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