Ghost Ensemble: We Who Walk Again
Ghost Ensemble began in 2012, dedicated to new perspectives that explore the experience of listening. The music we create and perform realizes a wide spectrum of sonic spaces and engages performance practices between and beyond improvisation and fully measured notation; the common thread is an aim to shift our attention, perception, or experience of time.
We traverse these waters because there seems something magic in them. Many of these works share a meditative practice or an inclination toward altered consciousness or metaphysical exploration. Intuitive processes, fragile and liminal sounds, and fluctuating or non-predictable pitch relationships combine to distort our time perception and foster rapt, engrossed attention in the present moment. By expanding our horizons and perceptions and encouraging immersive experience, by renewing our spirits, this music demonstrates its potential as a real healing force.
The works and Deep Listening practice of Pauline Oliveros have been central to the ensemble’s identity since its conception. In 2013, Ghost Ensemble, Oliveros, and the Deep Listening Institute celebrated the 2013 release of her Anthology of Text Scores together at Eyebeam. Her warm, generous, fearless, and mischievous spirit helped instill in many of us a boundlessly liberating outlook – as she asks in Imaginary Meditations, “Can you imagine listening beyond the edge of your imagination?”
The selection of works on We Who Walk Again introduces the core of Ghost Ensemble’s repertoire and the diverse practices our approach hopes to unite. The title invokes the Icelandic legend of the draugr, or aptrgangr, a ghostly being with the power to morph into many shapes, gaze into the future, and enter dreams to bestow gifts on the living – something like a collection of the magical properties, perhaps, of music.
Ben Richter, 2018
“wonderful work … serene, rippling waves … stirring, ominous surges of sound … both exhilarating and a bit scary … thrums, throbs, and glides with surging and ebbing density.” (Margasak, Bandcamp Daily) • “Very fine ensemble playing — excellent listening to one another … cloudy, mysterious and dark … Beckettian in its slow spread … a group to keep an eye on.” (Olewnick, Just Outside) • “Beautifully performed and recorded … keeping you in the present … a body-felt sound mass … a multifaceted texture that evokes the primeval.” (Wilhoite) • “prodigious … considerable dramatic heft … a thrilling listen … well-crafted and eloquent work.” (Carey, Sequenza21)
Alice Jones: flute
Sky Macklay: oboe
Ben Richter: accordion
Chris Nappi: percussion
Damon Loren Baker: percussion
Lucia Helen Stavros: harp
Hannah Levinson: viola
Maria Hadge: violoncello
James Ilgenfritz: contrabass
Rebekah Griffin Green: contrabass
Carl Bettendorf: conductor
Produced by Andrew C. Smith with Ben Richter and Sky Macklay
Engineered by Joseph Branciforte at The Bunker
Mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio
Design by Mustafa Walker and Sam Amico
Printing by Niche of Light Letterpress
Special thanks to the Pauline Oliveros Trust, Carole Ione, Martha Cargo