the house was quiet and the world was calm

brandon labelle / steve roden
3" CD in regular jewel box

a set of 1998 live improvised recordings, done in my home studio with brandon labelle. it was our first collaborative release, put out by the meme label from japan.

1. a torn element
2. within the clearest stem
3. the quiet mist drones
4. raw star calm
5. water messiah
6. shoe steam drowns
7. soon has he
8. the alm die
9. a hidden hour
10. with calmer word
11. drawn low material
12. wood hiss

  • reviews:
  • The House Was Quiet And The World Was Calm is the first of several collaborations between Roden and LaBelle that include another cd and co-editing the excellent sound art anthology Site of Sound. The album, released by the lost but not forgotten Meme label, is among the strongest either has been involved in, and very much a synergistic merging of their aesthetics. These in studio improvisations are culled from indoor sounds that Roden procured and outdoor sounds that LaBelle sought on hands and knees. LaBelle’s contributions are entomologically inclined, capturing the minutiae of water bugs, spiders, and ants in macro-amplified glory. Roden coaxes waves from a variety of ways, gently scraping the insides of a bowl, steadily tapping a small gong. This merging of inside and out then is in perfect keeping with the album’s title, sharing its name with the following poem by Wallace Stevens: The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book. The house was quiet and the world was calm. The words were spoken as if there was no book, Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom The summer night is like a perfection of thought. The house was quiet because it had to be. The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind: The access of perfection to the page. And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world, In which there is no other meaning, itself Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

  • Steve Roden and Brandon Labelle could be more household names for you…
    Steve as In Be Tween Noise and Brandon as id battery. Here the present a
    fine work with a rather programmatic title: it seems they went in the
    studio on a quiet and sunny day and they improvised together, using a lot
    of small sounds, contact microphones and maybe some odd electronica here
    and there. Recognizable elements (like children’s toys, metal and stones)
    pop up and are researched for their tonal qualities in rather short and to
    the point pieces. It reminded me, how odd probably, a bit of the Kapotte
    Muziek live sound: the subtle scraping, touching and moving around of small
    objects. Indeed a quiet and calm disc.

    vital weekly 164

    frans de waard