Gyre (with jgrzinich) CD, 41 min.
cut 018
Composed 2005, released 2006.
Cover image by Jason Kahn

An album of location recordings, continuous abrasion, open environments, compositional drift, site-specific improvisation and free exchange.

Sources include rubbed organ pipes, trees, bowed wires, metal objects, wood pile, glass jugs, blown bottles, forests in Estonia and Finland, resonant oil tanks, wind.

Gyre is a sound art project which investigates, and then renders abstract, acoustic experiences of place and location. The collaboration of Seth Nehil and jgrzinich has no doubt been informed by the vast distance which separates their homes in, respectively, Oregon and south east Estonia. The pair work acoustic material from "empty barns, forests, fields and hills" into heavily processed passages. The process is most recognizable in "Weald": sparse, echoing taps and gongs sketch out the contours of their surroundings, as they ring and report back from distant surfaces. But Nehil and jgrzinich also invert such notions. For "Cast", they use their source sounds not to imply or describe any kind of space, but to build a gathering slew of thickly textured sound, which enters into the listener's space like a concrete object.
- Sam Davies, The Wire, October 2006

Congealing, free-wheeling atmospherics remain the order of the day for Seth Nehil and Jgrzinich, the unofficial tag team of archaeological experimentalism. The three long tracks on Gyre sport sound sources culled from wildly distant points on the compass. “Cast” takes it cue from whatever the duo lifted from the pine barrens of Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; if the resultant haunted audio is to be believed, that portion of the Empire State hosts a forest perilous, some mythological playground where the earth has opened and fanciful beings scuttle about. Ethereal drift magnified under the watchful eyes of its perpetrators, during the piece’s 20-minute duration campfires cackle, whipped up by cyclonic winds, warming the rampant sprites’ arcane rituals. Estonia provides the brick and mortar on “Weald,” wooden wands banging about a pindrop tabletop while noises of dubious supernatural natures play hide and seek. “Furl,” also birthed in Estonia, boasts a similar tableau of cooing, irising noises that flit about like light glimpsed through cracks in the foundation. An unnerving and unsettling experience, Gyre is a curious oddity amongst the catalog, rendered with exacting precision and a sculptor’s fine hand.
- Darren Bergstein, e|i Magazine, 8.2007

Read Tobias Fischer at Tokafi.com

Read Brian Olewnick at Bagatellen

Read Stephan Bauer at Foxy Digitalis

Read Jon Dale at Paris Transatlantic

Read Adam Strohm at Fake Jazz

Read Franz deWaard at Vital Weekly

Born from location recordings taken in Estonia, Italy and Finland, "Gyre" is a superb electroacoustic work which marks the third joint collaboration of Nehil and Grznich (now based in the US and Estonia respectively), after the two 2002 releases, "Stria" (Erewhon) and "Confluence" (Intransitive). The 4-year span was well worth the wait, considering the quality of these three pieces. Knowing their inspiring collaborative and solo releases, and having seen a remarkable live performance by Nehil in Milan, my expectations were pretty high, and they surely weren't disappointed. "Cast" opens the album with a billowing low-end drone, reminding of López's or mnortham's absolute music; it's a fantastic piece, but somehow more predictable than the following two, "Weald" and "Glaze". The former is arguably the masterpiece of the whole disc, with sparse sounds (is it wood beating on wood, or dripping water?) creating an atmosphere of suspension and recollection; then, more layers of outdoor recordings are added, the piece gets more and more chaotic with the noises of branches and pebbles, the volume billows, then collapses in the last sequence of acoustic debris. It's an astonishing piece, with a great sense of composition, but most of all an uncommon evocative power. "Glaze" is an equally solemn soundscape, with subdued drones and unidentified metallic rattlings and thumps, with a subtle tension crawling in, as if waiting for an impending storm. Field recordings-based composition hardly gets any better than this.
- Eugenio Maggi, Chain DLK, 4.2007

Although John Jgrzinich lives in Southeast Estonia and Seth Nehil is currently based in Portland, Oregon the both of them present their co-operation on CD format. This time on Jason Kahn's Cut label. Their previous albums were Stria (released by Erewhon) and Confluence (Intransitive Recordings).
The two of them this time come up with three long tracks that are quite different from each other. The opening track is a long constant flow of dark organic substance in which tiny, crackling details and minimal changes in the sound colour make up for the variation. The second piece exists merely of percussion elements. It's like somebody is hitting in wood irregularly, or the recording of a sound installation, later changing in a dense recording of a birdhouse (?) and ending in a metallic bustle and cacophony.
The last composition combines the sounds of birds and various layers of mysterious peeps, crispy sounds and other obscure concrete sounds. Just like the other pieces the music or the sound palette develops unnoticeable, which gives these abstract and disassociateable sound explorations an intriguing character.
- Paul Bijlsma, Phosphor, 2.2007

Le label de Jason Kahn convie de façon régulière des artistes à exposer l’avancée de leurs travaux.
L’idée de collaboration a récemment émergé, ouvrant le spectre des possibles.
Le concept d’immanence et d’ubiquité étant acté par la révolution technologique, cet album s’est logiquement réalisé en divers lieux d’Europe. Qu’importe la distance, pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse.
Pour autant, cette connivence à distance n’aurait pu se faire si les deux musiciens n’avaient collaboré par le passé durant plusieurs mois, entre Estonie, Finlande et Italie au fil de résidences, performances et workshops.
Ces multiples rencontres ont donné lieu à "Stria" en 2002 puis "Confluence" en 2005, respectivement sur Erewhon et Intransitive Rec.
Habitués des champs de l’expérimentation à tous crins, c’est logiquement qu’on retrouve JGRZINICH sur Staalplaat, Erewhon, Intransitive, Elevator Bath, Sirr, Cloud of Statics ou CMR ; Kaon, Uva ou Unbra pour le second.
Artiste à géométrie variable, protéiforme, JGRZINICH [soit John Grznich ou Moks, selon les formules] développe un goût certain pour les vibrations et les captations de drones, les lentes progressions d’ondes.
On retrouve évidemment des similitudes avec Popol Vuh, des labels comme Dorobo ou Extrême rec, mais aussi avec Francisco López, ou avec Tô dans cette profonde aptitude à capter la singularité et la frêle beauté des instants et des choses, de manière extrêmement poétique et introspective.
Cast, Weald et Glaze simulent une lente progression en terrain inconnu, une plongée, une variation microscopique sur le mode environnemental, milieu infra-organique d’un monde cellulaire où les éléments naturels (vent, eau, air) se conjuguent aux matériaux primaires (métal, pierre, glace).
Un dialogue dont la contiguïté paraît confondre ces deux trajectoires humaines en un seul et même monologue.
> Julien Jaffré, Revue & Corrigée, 11.2006

Seth Nehil and John Grzinich are two respected multimedia artist who specialize in sound installations, often developed in environmental settings. The source materials for these three enticing examples of their assembling expertise were captured in studio and on location in New York, Mooste and Saaropera (the latter are Estonian cities; Grzinich is currently coordinator of that country's MoKS - Center for Art and Social Practice). "Gyre" is an extended comparison between a certain event, or a series of aural occurrences, and its placement in a context of subliminal sounds and frequencies which function as a weightless catalyzer in a naturally tuned sonic mixture. As the authors write, "material origins of wood, glass, air and metal are transformed into abstraction"; yet, that very abstraction gives back its familiar character as the foundation of this music, which resonates spontaneously according to simple principles of contraction and expansion, urban murmurs and metallic rolls raising an enthralling involuntary harmony that is best highlighted in the final track "Furl" but, on a "drone-for-pleasure" scale, probably offers the most engrossing result in the greyish mist of "Cast". Either way, a must-have for lovers of the genre.
> Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 9.2006

Third collaboration between John Grzinich and Seth Nehil is out on the Cut label, the imprint of celebrate composer and improviser Jason Kahn. Another diary of their accurate interaction in the field of creative exploration, exchange with sound sources and non-verbal impressions. They both are really profound collaborators, one can remember some great albums involving such soundartists as Michael Northam, Olivia Block and Rick Reed. "Gyre" means rotatory movement - I just imagine the survey on the location, somewhere in the primeval forest, when you see trees are besetting you in the close circle. As the liner notes says, the musicians were really going deep in the woods, recording the environmental sounds and occasional events by contact microphones, bringing them back into the studio after. These real sounds were transformed into abstract sounding collages, their textures were extended and multiplied. What we can hear is really close to naturalistic drone ambient, but if you will compare this music with some works of say Paul Bradley or Colin Potter, you will find a difference: here the sound is much more spiritualized, eventful and builds up the new world (not authentic but beautiful). "Gyre" is fascinating application of psychology, acoustics, geography and technology, the demonstration of endless inspiration and ghostly soundsculpturing.
- IEM Webzine, 12.2006

Terza uscita assecondando un'operatività della quale oramai ha piena padronanza il duo composto da Seth Nehil e Jgrzinich, abili sperimentatori multi-media provenienti rispettivamente dall'Oregon e dall' Estonia, che proprio nell'elaborazione di post-produzione di field recording, rilevate quasi sempre in ambienti naturali, vede il suo punto di forza. Sono tre le lunghe suite in scaletta: subito la prima 'Cast' c'introduce ad atmosfere cupe, piuttosto statiche anche se affascinanti, modulate dal rumore del vento, da suoni sottilmente metallici, da micro-riverberi ed echi. Altrettanto chiusa ma ipnotica nell'iterazione dei suoni, questa volta modulati da materiali legnosi (ci pare) e liquidi, con l'aggiunta d'ulteriori pattern, risonanze naturali ed alternanti emergenze auditive, la seconda traccia, 'Weald', un piccolo capolavoro d'accuratezza post-ambient, essenziale ma assai suggestiva. Si termina con 'Glaze', produzione maggiormente articolata delle precedenti nella sovrapposizione delle forme sonore che qui si fanno distinte. Il tutto è stato presentato originariamente come sonorizzazione su quattro canali al festival Correnti Sonore, tenutosi nel 2005 a Tarcento. Per ultimo, solo un cenno all'artwork, come sempre splendido, di Jason Kahn, un altro talento delle scene sonore performative che sa evidentemente distinguersi anche in ambito grafico.
- Aurelio Cianciotta, Neural.it, 11.2006

Seith Nehil è un multi-artista che pianifica la sua carriera-ricerca attorno più territori espressivi, panorami musicali e prospettive visive che siano. Responsabile di operazioni piuttosto difformi: da azioni candidamente sonore, ad una catena d’installazioni multi-speaker, dalle performance-live, soliste e in compagnia di ensemble, ai progetti combinati di danza-teatro e multi-medialità.
Ha pubblicato lavori di elettro-acustica e/o ‘field recording style’, avvalendosi della compagnia di Olivia Block e – più di una volta - di Jgrzinich, pubblicando lavori conosciuti come 'Tracing the Skins of Clouds', 'Uva' e 'Umbra'. Residente a Portland, dopo vari giri tra Stati Uniti, Giappone ed Europa, Seth dedica buona parte del suo tempo curando la pubblicazione di FO A RM: magazine dedicata all’arte, con un occhio attento al fenomeno ‘moderno’ della – nuova – sound art.
Anche Jgrzinich non è un pivello per quanto concerne le materie elettro-acustiche evolute: artista mixed-media sulla cresta dell’onda dal 1994, ricercatore del ‘suono’ e delle molteplici personalità che lo abitano. Su Kathodik abbiamo parlato, proprio poco tempo fa, del suo bellissimo “Insular Regions”, disco solitario pubblicato grazie alla portoghese S.irr.
Ed anche in questo caso, con “Gyre”, abbiamo la possibilità - come allora - di assaporare registrazioni avvenute principalmente in Estonia, paese di cui John Grzinich è (orgogliosamente) originario. Difatti, anche nella precedente discussione, menzionavamo il rapporto intenso tra la cultura estone-balcanica e questo artista che, tra l’altro, collabora attivamente alla vita del circolo artistico MoSK, sito nella lontana cittadina di Mooste.
Due personaggi che hanno stretto, ormai, un sodalizio da tempo, diventando sempre più una sola entità… un unico pensare, agire e suonare.
La scissione di Cast, Weald e Furl (i tre brani del cd) dal contesto specifico in cui ondeggiano apparirebbe come una frammentazione assurda e imperdonabile. Si crea una congiunzione spirituale, un amalgama, oseremo dire, perfetto di rara simmetria, con l’anima satura di registrazioni di campo, trasfigurate in forme geometriche sfuggenti e misteriose. Materiali sonori che si spogliano dell’originario clima atavico per divenire, come per incanto, melodia vitale e indispensabile…
Il senso del concreto, il realismo del mondo, i diversi ‘canti’ che capita di captare distrattamente dalla quotidianità di tutti i giorni, sono materia organica principale, gli strumenti in senso tradizionale di “Gyre”e di tutti gli altri lavori firmati dalla coppia Nehil/Grzinich.
Il principio della prima traccia si riallaccia totalmente a registrazioni atmosferiche americane mentre, sia Weald che Furl, battono il loro cuore per la prima volta nella lontana e calda Estonia.
I tre capitoli inoltre, sono stati presentati come ‘four-channel sound piece’ all’interno della penultima edizione di Correnti Sonore, a Tarcento in Italia.
Un altro colpo secco della impeccabile Cut curata del grande Jason Kahn.
> Sergio Eletto, Kathodik, 10.2006

Seth Nehil y John Grzinich son dos músicos electroacústicos con vasta experiencia en presentaciones en vivo y en grabaciones y han trabajado juntos desde 1994 y han producido los álbumes "Stria" (Erewhon, 2002) y "Confluence" (Intransitive, 2002). También han formado Alial Straa junto a Olivia Block y M. Northam.
Seth Nehil es un artista audiovisual que reside en Portland, Oregon quien está involucrado en varias formas de arte. En tanto John Grzinich es un artista multimedial que nació Poughkeepsie, New York y que ahora vive y trabaja en la República de Estonia, ex Unión Soviética.
Este trabajo tiene una rica gama de percusiones con elementos de madera y metal y en cuyo fondo se aprecia un drone.
" Gyre" son tres temas de 41 minutos aproximadamente grabado en varias locaciones y cuyos sonidos obtenidos fueron procesados luego en el estudio. Se identifican registros de campo tomados en un campo, con sonidos de pájaros que se funden en ecos metálicos: una simbiosis entre la naturaleza y la manipulación electrónica.
Nehil y Grzinich se parecen a dos obreros que están trabajando en una fábrica donde están permanentemente moviendo grandes bidones de lata, que rasmillan el suelo produciendo texturas rugosas y chirriantes.
> Guillermo Escudero, Loop, 9.2006

Wieder eine geniale CD vom widerborstigen Schweizer Label cut: »Gyre« ist die dritte Release aus der Zusammenarbeit von John Grzinich und Seth Nehil, die sich seit über zehn Jahren in einem kreativen Dialog befinden. Als dessen Basis dienen Field Recordings, gemeinsame Auftritte, Workshops und Performances sowie nachträglicher Austausch der Ergebnisse und Bearbeitung im Studio – geographisch haben sich die Wege der beiden nämlich schon seit einiger Zeit getrennt. Musikalisch bewegt man sich im subtilen Segment elektro-akustischer Kompositionen, im ersten Stück »Cast« von einem wunderbar entrückten Transatlantik-Drone eingeleitet, der sich, von Haken schlagenden Subbassfiguren unterlegt, mittels einer langsam auftauenden Geräuschmelange aus Knarzen, Schaben und Plätschern zu extrem spannenden Klangtexturen verdichtet. Das folgende »Weald« widmet sich der rhythmischen Bearbeitung verschiedenster – wie schon zuvor zum Großteil nicht mehr identifizierbarer – Quellen; auch hier scheinen die monotonen, abwechselnd links und rechts im Hörfeld auftauchenden Klopfgeräusche anfangs weit entfernt und erfolgt über eine viertel Stunde Spieldauer ein stetiges, herrlich entspanntes aufaddieren verschiedenster Soundlayer zwischen Vogelgezwitscher und Hohlraumpochen. In ein eben solches entschlummern im abschließenden »Glaze« die zwischen fragilen ambienten Klangflächen auftauchenden mikroskopischen Knarzskelette, ein Stück, das ganz besonders gelungen die beiden Hauptthemen des Albums, die kontemplative, beinahe nicht greifbare Andeutung sowie eine – wenn auch mittels Dekonstruktion und Abstraktion entkontextualisierte – physische Direktheit, miteinander vernäht.
> Tobias Bolt, Quiet Noise, 8.2006