Recorded over the past two years, the record bares the marks of difficult terrains – personal, political, social and cultural. It tips its hat to the complex and unpredictable dynamics of the contemporary world, correlating concerns both macro and micro. Compositionally the music mirrors the tensions of contemporary America, contrasting passages of great beauty and calm with harrowing waves of density and pressure.
"A Fragile Geography" also charts Rafael Anton Irisarri’s personal journey of transience and tumult. His entire studio, audio archives, and possessions were stolen while moving from Seattle to New York, forcing him to rebuild from ground zero. But such a tabula rasa moment also brought with it a chance for renewal, and for reductive experimentation. This experience birthed a range of fresh approaches and ideas, many of which became central to the aesthetic pillars of this record. Empire Systems, the album’s centerpiece, perfectly encapsulates this mood of flux: a rich and harmonically saturated monolith of sound, restless and constantly reaching outwards.
Like much of the album, it is considered, but not excessively laboured; open, but never unruly. "A Fragile Geography" is an exercise in the art of maximal minimalism.
released October 23, 2015
Written and produced by Rafael Anton Irisarri at www.blackknollstudio.com
Mastered at 158 (Brisbane) by Lawrence English and Complete Mastering (Bethel) by Dietrich Shonemann
Cello on “Secretly Wishing For Rain” by Julia Kent
Additional processing and production on “Empire Systems” by Lawrence English
Artwork and layout by Sean Curtis Patrick / The Attempted Theft of Millions
Published by Edition Outer Worlds
Many thanks to: Oren Ambarchi, Tim Hecker, John Chantler, Taylor & Tina Deupree, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Geir Jenssen, Scott Morgan (Loscil), Aðalsteinn Guðmundsson (Yagya), Markus Guentner, Jimmy Tamborello (DNTEL), Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv), Michał Jacaszek, Jeff Owens, Sam Valenti IV, Nils Frahm, Benoit Pioulard, Windy & Carl, Brock Van Wey, Will Wiesenfeld, Simon Scott & Slowdive, Doug Cholewa, Keith & Hollie Kenniff, Erik Keldsen, Erik Skodvin, Jeff & Sarah McIllwain, Tom Butcher, Joe Andrews & Tom Halstead (Raime), Mo Loschelder, Liz Harris (Grouper), Jesy Fortino, Mike Lazarev, Jefrey Schox, Mark Van Hoen, Frank Bretschneider, Grayson Cooke, Mike Cadoo, Gultskra Atikler, Nan Schwarz, Rüdiger Kinast, Steve Peters, Adam Lee Miller (ADULT), Aron Schoppert, Todd Matthes & Ayako Sakurai, Liam Hon, Carlos Mendoza, Iñigo Ugarteburu, Molly Smith, Matthew Gawrych, everyone at Ghostly, Daniel Duda, Nico Cox, John at Trading Musician (Seattle), Niabi Caldwell, Gregory Euclide, Michael Cina, Jake Muir, Wilbertjan Vlot, Brian Willoughby, Stefan Koopmanschap, Donte Parks, Dave Segal, JD Harrington, Carl Urban, Donnacha Costello, Chris Steliof, Helge Tommervag, Markus Mertens, Ben Wynn (Deru) & Lara Howestine, Josef Sedlon, Sawako Kato, Richard Lotz, Robin Hercia, Sean Horton, Don Atchinson, Emmanuel Witzthum, Tim Tepstra, Yair Etziony, Ryan Griffin (ASIP), Patrick Jass, Jennifer Major, Phil Petrocelli, Robert Pointer, Larry Imgrund, Pete Davey, Jason Daniello at Moog Music, Ray Maxwell at Eventide, Peter Janis at Radial Engineering, Peter Churchyard, Christopher Bradbury, Ruben Tamayo (FAX), Jonathan Krantowitz, Kathryn DiGiacomo, Clinton Fox, Christopher Jagalla, David Persson, Stephen Nelson, John Barbuto, Ario & Aira Jafarzadeh, Logan Wright, Marc McLean, Evan Meagher, Susan Hawkins, Joey Bornino, Felipe Pavon de Mingo, Philip Rha, John Forsythe, Nicole Sanches, Jeremy & Brian Peters, Jakub Alexander, Willian Morgenthaller, Eric Carl, Paul Carter, Gustav Fernstedt, Brandon Russell, Maxime Vavasseur, Kimberly Coyne, & Jeff Sandys.
Special thanks to: Rita J Irisarri, Julia Kent, Lawrence English, and Sean Curtis Patrick.