His Name Is Alive - Cloud Box

You would almost think that we had a plan on here...

This is a ten CDr box set released in an edition of only 50 copies. The discs are housed within a wooden box, handmade, hand-painted, numbered, and signed by Warn Defever and Davin Brainard. This beautiful thing was only available on the band's label site (time STEREO), and unsurprisingly it sold out the same day that it was released (the 10th of November 2004).

This is a truly magnificent thing! Given that there is so much to describe, I'll leave it to the liner notes:

Disc 1 was "recorded during a non-stop marathon weekend session celebrating Elliot's 21st birthday + field recordings from Bhaktapur, Nepal on new years 1999-2000 + recordings made in Ann Arbor, Michigan with Jake's high school orchestra. Previously available at shows, BROWN RICE has now been re-edited and remastered."

Disc 2: Warn, Elliot and Hitoko "recorded several hours of Americanized His Name Is Alive music on a full set of instruments of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra kept at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Bonang, saron, gong, slentem and suling played by Warn, Hitoko and Elliot."

Disc 3 was "recorded circa 1994-95 back when HNIA was starting a lot of projects and not finishing all of then (the Mexican 1/2 speed ambient masters was another). It began as a covers album but since I didn't actually learn the songs, Karin had to sing them acappella, but an acappella covers album didn't seem like such a hot idea so the project got shelved. Later I added "music" and now here it is ten years later, a long lost old school His Name Is Alive album."

Disc 4 features improvised music using pinecones as musical instruments.

Disc 5 features string quartet arrangements of songs from His Name Is Alive's debut album, "Livonia".

Disc 6: "Recorded for an installation in an art gallery in Detroit after a particularly harsh winter, this long piece was designed not for the traditional left and right stereo speaker orientation but top and bottom separation. The installation was in a stairwell with one large PA speaker placed at the top of the stairs on the third floor and the other in the basement. The music tries to recreate the experience of being in a house for several months and then as the ice and snow gradually melt, the windows are eventually opened, the sounds of birds are heard once again, and finally there's a party at the lake!!!!"

Disc 7 was "originally performed Sunday, February 17, 2002 at an all night slumber party at an art gallery in Detroit at 9AM. The music was intended to gradually awaken the guests who had been "partying" late into the evening. Hitoko slowly brings out the organ drawbars, increasing the volume and quietly shifting the harmonic structure of the drone while Warn occasionally adds bells, gongs and percussion. The performance was unfortunately not recorded properly, so a few days later at Brown Rice, the piece was performed again live in the studio."

Disc 8 was "recorded inside Everglades National Park, Jan. 2003".

Disc 9: "His Name Is Alive played a special concert in Detroit on July 10, 2004. Lovetta sings, Warn plays guitar and piano, Elliot plays piano and saxophone, Jamie plays upright bass, and Nicole plays congas, a CD of birds plays quietly through one amplifier, and many bells were handed out to the audience members."

Disc 10: "On Tuesday June 15, 2004, I was trying to work in the studio (located in downtown Detroit on Woodward Ave), but I was interrupted in the evening by loud sounds from the street below. The Detroit Pistons had just won Game 5 of the NBA championship finals, beating the LA Lakers 100 to 87, and the people of the city had decided to celebrate with an unoffical late night drunken parade. The steady stream of car honking, screaming, and gun shots were too loud for me to work so I decided that maybe this would escalate into a cool riot and that maybe I should tape it. I set up some microphones out the window and waited for hours thinking it would soon pass. Eventually I decided to join in. I tried to accompany the orchestra of blaring car horns and the roaring choir of excited sports fans, on the piano. After several hours of not-quite-riot behavior, the police closed off the street, but the party continued in the distance...."

01 Brown Rice

02 USA Vs. Gamelan

03 Dreem Up

04 The Pinecone

05 Mystery Spot

06 Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

07 Wake Up Jin

08 Everglades National Park

09 Free Concert

10 Detrola


Anonymous,  10 April 2014 at 23:55  

Woah - incredible! Thanks so much.

Anonymous,  13 April 2014 at 17:31  

Yeah, this is another example of truly interesting music that came and went with virtually no one (50!) having the opportunity to hear it. Thanks so much.

Anonymous,  14 April 2014 at 12:01  

i confess an addiction
to gamelan
but all 10 cds are gorgeous
from field recordings
to live blues.

Anonymous,  14 April 2014 at 15:11  

thx so much,
i especially loved the drone pieces, but all discs were nice

Jakob von Gunten 28 April 2014 at 04:04  

A million thanks! I thought I'd never get to listen to these CDs. I particularly love USA vs Gamelan, and Dreem Up.

Anonymous,  27 June 2014 at 14:17  

Great post and blog.

It seems some links doesn't work though : disc 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8

Would be glad if you could fix them up, thanks a lot

badgerstump 27 June 2014 at 17:10  

I've checked and all of the discs download. Everything is working fine!

Anonymous,  28 June 2014 at 16:47  

Yes, thanks!
I guess Filecloud was a bit messy

Anonymous,  27 October 2014 at 09:44  

Thank you so much for this precious gift ! ;-)