catalog number: GO 47
release date: November 13, 1997
Edition of 500 copies with hand assembled color photograph cover.
Edition of 22 copies with individually hand made covers: SOLD OUT
"egress is a song cycle comprising short songs played entirely on the remains of dead cactus found in the sonoran desert outside tucson arizona. the title refers to my exit from the desert, and also the decay and eventual exit of the cactus "instruments". egress is also an old theatrical term, and i realized after completing the song cycle that the recordings were made in close proximity to "old tucson", a tourist trap that was once the sight of an old theatrical set used In many early films and television programs, which was destroyed by fire during the recording of egress. nice coincidence that. saguaro cacti are the ones you see in roadrunner cartoons, the big skinny ones with the arms. a saguaro won't start growing arms until it is at least one hundred years old. they live many hundreds of years and are protected by law, when a saguaro dies, its outer skin rots and falls away, leaving many long straight "ribs" which are the cactus' skeletal frame. these ribs were bowed, usually with another (broken) rib, and the resulting "cry" could be heard some distance away. i also drummed on the trunks of dead cacti. agave cacti flower only once a century, sending a stalk of blooms sixty or more feet in the air. after blooming, the cactus dies. the dried stalks were for many years used by apache indians to construct one-string fiddles. the apache violin heard on egress was rather crudely constructed from an agave stalk and a used guitar string. an "acoustic theremin" was also constructed from agave stalk and a length of dowel, which was bowed with a violin bow. a drum of sorts was devised by contact-micing a forked saguaro rib. when struck against my palm, the forked rib resonated at a low frequency. cholla and ocatillo cactus were also played."
Hands To was started in 1986 to explore sound. In the eleven years since, the project has explored many avenues ranging from realization of the proposed audio warfare of William S. Burroughs through the abuse of audio equipment to attempting to trap the spirit of place on magnetic tape to dense emotionally charged vessels of sound. More recently, the focus has been on natural acoustic sound sources becoming more subtle and concentrated, showing a steady progression of working method. Earlier releases include: "Myasic" LP [split with Mental Anguish], "Vinhilation" LP [split with Eric Lunde], "Korperlaute" 7" [split with Kapotte Muziek], "SFO" CD (Zabriskie Point), "Hands To Turn My Hands To" CD (Zabriskie Point), "Circumscription" CD (Urthona), "Cipher" 7" (Povertech), and "Nahza" CD (Manifold). Hands To has recorded collaborations with John Hudak, Eric Lunde, Merzbow, S.B.O.T.H.I., PBK, Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, Michael Northam, K2, and Bob Blaize. Recently bernhard gunter has shown interest to work with his material as well.
"Almost unrecognizable, it is also wholly intentional as such."
"a really innovative + truly interesting recording and what a beautiful sleeve, along with a CD I got from Michael Northam recently these are the most engaging records I've heard for a long time."
"I played it for the class on Musical Aesthetics that I teach. They didn't know quite what to make of it but that's why I played it for them. Wonderful gnarly, beautiful stuff."