Viscera

by Brian Krock

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about

“Viscera”- the second full-length recording from saxophonist and composer Brian Krock's working band, liddle- was recorded live at the venerated venue/recording studio Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut. Following the critical success of their first album, 2019’s liddle, Krock wanted to capture the telepathic, fiery interplay of the band in a live setting for their sophomore effort. “Those sets at Firehouse 12 were absolutely wild in terms of the energy in the room,” remembers Krock. “This album captures the sixteenth show of our first tour as a band, and we were equal parts exhausted and inspired.” Knowing that the band would have the all-but-unheard-of luxury of three weeks of warm-up gigs before the recording sessions, Krock felt comfortable writing his most challenging book of music to date. As complex and abstract as the music may be, it also reveals the emotive cohesion of a band on the road together- sleeping, eating, and breathing nothing but music for weeks on end.

The title track, “Viscera,” was inspired by the internal organs of the human body. While many theoreticians talk of the natural symmetry of the human body, Krock was interested in conveying the organic, uneven mess of intestines, pancreas, lungs, heart, and the like that live inside each of us. Drawing on the limitless talents of his longtime cohort Olli Hirvonen, Krock wrote an arpeggiated guitar part which stretches and contracts in surprising ways.

“Eyes beseeching, hands gagged” features a frenetic duo between Krock and the newest member of liddle, drummer Steven Crammer. Their fast 13/8 groove slowly dissolves into a chaotic mess, with sinewy shapes mirrored between guitar and alto saxophone.

Bassist Marty Kenney- also a member of Krock’s big band, Big Heart Machine- has no trouble navigating the constantly shifting irrational meters within “Nurturing a vulture (in my body).” This piece is an exploration of various gradations of swing at a sluggish tempo, with Kenney articulating extremely precise subdivisions of 5, 7, and 9 within the bands lilting triplet feel.

As the new compositions began to solidify on tour, the “old” tunes from Krock’s last record began to change in interesting ways. “This was due in large part to the new personnel and instrumental configuration,” says Krock, “but also because our night-to-night experimentations led to unforeseen musical territory.” So, Krock felt it was necessary to include live versions of two previously-recorded songs: “Saturnine” and Anthony Braxton’s “Composition no. 23b.” “Night after night, we tried tweaking elements of these pieces both large and small, and taking big chances, so that by the end of the tour, these pieces felt fresh and new.”

credits

released July 3, 2020

Brian Krock- alto saxophone, clarinet
Olli Hirvonen- guitar
Marty Kenney- bass
Steven Crammer- drum set

Tracks 1-6 composed by Brian Krock (BMI)
Track 7 composed by Anthony Braxton, Synthesis Music (BMI)
Recorded live at Firehouse 12 by Greg DiCrosta
Mixed and mastered by Joe Branciforte at Greyfade Studio
Artwork by Brian Krock

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Big Heart Machine New York

Big Heart Machine is 18 Brooklyn-based musicians dedicated to performing Brian Krock’s idiosyncratic, unclassifiable compositions. Their eponymous debut album- produced by multi-Grammy nominated composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue- features a vast range of music that explores the intersection of jazz improvisation, contemporary composition, and heavy metal aesthetics. ... more

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