January 2012 | Ed. of 200 5″ CD in handmade card sleeves + Digital
ANA is the second album by P. Manasseh (b. 1982, Wolverhampton, UK) and the tenth release on Staffordshire-based independent label Wayside & Woodland. ANA sees the multi-instrumentalist working very much in isolation, crafting minimalist compositions that are an exploration of the way we see and interpret the world, an attempt to create sonic systems based on visual patterns and structures.
The rigid order found in the work of radical 20th Century minimalist artists Carmen Herrera and Donald Judd and the textile designs of Jacqueline Groag worked as catalysts for the project. Manasseh was attracted to the challenge of interpreting colour and pattern in music: “Approaching visual abstract motifs, patterns and colours in such a way is problematic…the system is as important as the interpretation, the various strategies taking on a life of their own”. The simplest, most eloquent expression of this is Blanc Y Verde: one isosceles triangle.
This obsession with form and tone manifests itself in the use of tuning forks, which Manasseh has used in his work for a decade or more. Their appeal lies in their precise, simple nature, forcing you to think about resonance on a fundamental level, the pure expression of cause and effect. The subtle use of field recordings on several pieces comes from a fascination with immersing oneself in sound and the intense desire to connect with the systems inherent in our world, which became acutely apparent to Manasseh while touring the barren white-out landscapes of Eastern Europe two winters ago with epic45.
ANA however, is far from bleak. The exploration of systemic music production has lead to truly beautiful compositions borne of repetition and the subsequent subversion of order; glistening melodies, outbursts of joyful chaos and the vibrant sounds of everyday life captured on tape. It is an album that is as likely to appeal to those taken with the arpeggioed soundscapes of Emeralds and Mountains as the minimalism of Elaine Radigue or Pauline Oliveros – all touchstones for Manasseh during the 18 months or so spent working on ANA.
2 Four Fold
4 Paper Planes
5 Steel Blue Lines
7 Blanc Y Verde