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Vertical Foliage - Love is a Grasshopper Nearby

DIGITAL / £4.99

- Translucent Cromlech
- Ancestral Realm
- Love is a Grasshopper Nearby
- Pylon Shadow Stenness
- Rutilant
- Someone is Waiting for You at the Horizon of the Earth
- Love is a Grasshopper Nearby (Big Apple Circus)

Vertical Foliage's debut "Love is a Grasshopper Nearby" explores the colours and haptics of interference patterns and spectrality created by the voices of Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Gryphon Rue, and his bowed hand saw. Each performance is bound by specific frequency clusters, which stamp each movement with chord identities. Within the constraints of these intervals, Vertical Foliage nimbly and sensually activate the interplay of the evolving textural and harmonic interactions. Valentina Magaletti (Tomaga, Vanishing Twin, Fanfarlo) responds to the haunting voices with percussive improvisations by turns virtuosic and creaturely, channeling shimmers of Jaki Liebezeit, Ikue Mori, Milford Graves.

Love is a Grasshopper Nearby was recorded with Tunstall-Behrens and Rue gazing at each other, their bodies relaxed and motionless, the saw acting as a kind of tamboura or igil. Their voices blend in the evocation of a third body or spirit through sustained sound. Prior to performance, attunement exercises involve visualizing and sounding the corresponding colors, tones, and syllables of their bodies chakras. The system and sound of Vertical Foliage conjure up predecessors: La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela harmonizing with a frequency generator​​, Eliane Radigue's hyper-subtle synthesis of emotional apperception, Alvin Lucier's fascination with the artistic application of psychoacoustics, the Deep Listening exercises of Pauline Oliveros, the placid flutes of Mary Jane Leach, Folke Rabe's seminal What??, as well as contemporary kin like drone artists Sarah Davachi and Long Distance Poison.

The pair were drawn to the acoustics of a former police academy in Mile End, London, a "sanctuary space" as the building awaits its uncertain fate. Their voices reverberated with the vaulted ceiling of the gymnasium, further enhanced with an old-fashioned 300 kilo plate reverb.

Love is a Grasshopper Nearby features an original film of The Big Apple Circus in New York City, 1987, shot on 16 mm film by Rue’s father. The film captures a moment of authenticity in circus, with a host of legendary performers, including the pachyderm bull elephant Anna May.

Heloise Tunstall-Behrens also performs with Deep Throat Choir and Landshapes. Gryphon Rue performs in the light and sound duo Rue Bainbridge, and is the author of Strange Attractor ​(pub: Inventory Press & Ballroom Marfa).

Video credits:

Vertical Foliage | Love is a Grasshopper Nearby
Big Apple Circus (1987)
Original footage by Sandy Rower

Les Casaly (Guillaume Dufresnoy and Mireille Fenwick), casting cradle
Clown Gordoon, with snake puppet
Dolly Jacobs, aerialist in the rings
Robbie Libbon, performance director in tuxedo
Michael Christensen, clown escorting Dolly Jacobs out of the ring
Anna May, elephant
Ben Williams, elephant trainer
Paul Binder, ringmaster
Vanessa Thomas, riding Anna May
Bill Buckles and Barbara Woodcock, elephant owners