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Lee Ranaldo

in virus times


limited "first press" transparent turquoise 12" w/ etched b-side + ***poster signed & numbered by lee ranaldo*** + download - 1 per customer

Released: 12th Nov 2021


recorded in his living room, this proper lockdown album conveys a bristling sense of place, as its minimalist melodic elements resonate within.

This recording began on an evening in September 2020, stuck at home in lower Manhattan during the dark days of the Covid-19 pandemic as we came out of a deadly summer. A heightened sense of anxiety stemming from the then-upcoming US Presidential elections as well as the virus seemed to pervade all aspects of life, for myself and everyone I knew. Its’ minimal quality reflects the sense of ‘motionless time’ that many of us felt. I set up some microphones in our darkened living room (studios being closed due to Covid restrictions), coaxing out one simple, repetitive phrase, and then another, sounding them out into the air. The casual home ambience – a siren or truck rumbling down the street out the window; someone talking around the table in another part of the loft; water running – intrudes at points. I worked to develop a few simple thematic elements, but mostly I wanted to hear the notes and chords ringing out, hanging in the air for a long time on that evening when the world seemed close to stopped on its’ axis. I’d been listening closely to Morton Feldman’s catalog throughout the pandemic. His sparse, long-duration music could often be heard playing on repeat as we spent endless days locked inside. His willingness to do very little, with very simple elements, and to such profound effect, has been inspirational. I found the vast open spaces in his works thrilling, miraculous, and comforting in those empty times. Additionally, the Drop D guitar tuning used here has prompted my own variations on Bach’s works for solo cello, open strings droning against melodic lines, so simple and perfect…

in virus times

etched b-side

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4