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Music from the Sherman Box Series and Other Works

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Album Review

Music for the Sherman Box Series and Other Works is a bit of an anomaly in Pat Gubler's discography. Stylistically rather far removed from the pastoral alt-folk of earlier albums like Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites, this is a collection of loosely structured instrumental improvisations. Tracks one through seven were composed as the musical accompaniment for a summer 2005 exhibition of miniature multimedia collages (constructed in re-purposed Nat Sherman cigarette boxes, hence the name) by New Jersey visual artist Christine Krol. Titled simply by the instruments and effects used — "#1 for Wire-Strung Harp with Echo," "#7 for Bray Harp with Echo and Flanged Reverb," etc. — these seven brief pieces, all in the three- to five-minute range, are melody-free explorations of drones, overtones, and harmonics performed on the Celtic wire-strung harp and a relatively obscure early-music instrument called the bray harp that has a sort of built-in primitive fuzzbox. The effects are lovely, as suitable for alpha wave-inducing close listening as for background ambience, but even more so than with other works in the style: don't even think of driving or operating heavy machinery while listening. The other works in the title are a pair of 1995 compositions, one previously unreleased. The 12-minute epic "The Book of Rayguns for 6 Electric Guitars" was originally released on both sides of P.G. Six's debut single; this reworked version sounds like Glenn Branca recording a lullaby for the old Darla Records Bliss Out series of drifting space rock reveries. The brief "Cartographies for Piano and Electronics" ends the album on a gentle Brian Eno meets Erik Satie note. Anyone expecting P.G. Six's usual skewed folk might be somewhat disappointed, but as contemporary ambient music goes, Music for the Sherman Box Series and Other Works is inventive and endearing.

Biography

Born: 21 February 1969 in The Bronx, New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

P.G. Six is one of the monikers used by Patrick Gubler, a New York singer/guitar player whose debut solo album, Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites, was released in 2001 by the Amish label to much critical acclaim. Having released an out of print single under the same moniker in the '90s, his style developed from the lo-fi aesthetic into a sophisticated songcraft akin to Bert Jansch or John Renbourn. As a multi-instrumentalist, he worked in the group Tower Recordings, which released albums on the Siltbreeze...
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Music from the Sherman Box Series and Other Works, P.G. Six
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