Pursuing Phantoms III: At the Doorstep, Looking Out

Sublamental Records
Pursuing Phantoms III: At the Doorstep, Looking Out

This music is like ethnographic work. It chronicles almost three years of living in a pandemic. Some of it is dark and brooding, some of it loose and open-hearted. Pursuing phantoms happens in both ways.

With its companion, Pursuing Phantoms II, the two records are like twins that deserve their independence. They were conceived in the same situation and subsequently coalesced into different assemblies according to mood. They exist separately as works but belong in conversation with each other and gain from their juxtaposition. They belong to the same adventure.

Each piece charts its own waters. Although conceived and created from the experience of isolation, what was learned in the process is that isolation in a pandemic produces uncanny commonality. From this standpoint, each piece is also a mapping of the commons. Isolation breeds plurality. In solitude we imagine interrelation. A wonderful group of musician friends in different parts of the globe generously contributed to the realization of this music. The Sublamental family is growing.


1 – Autumn frills
A sunny piece, built around a 15-second sample from a Miles Davis solo in “Autumn Leaves” live with the legendary Quintet in 1965. Testament to autumn as an optimistic, not melancholic, season.
Cello: Constant Price
Percussion: Moutro Monstrum
2 – Looking for love in a haystack
Island summer night improvisation on an impromptu theme devised by Hive Silk. Outrageous use of bass as a wood-and-strings soundbox by Kong and deliciously drunk vibes by Hive. And some piano doodling. Home recording, one take.
Contrabass/wooden bucket: King Kong of Korinth
Vibraphone: Hive Silk
Piano, brush cymbals: Count G
3 – Fugitive windmills tilting in the distance
A jazz session in remote Covid conditions, this piece is emblematic of the whole project. Counting on his friendship with MT’s band, Count G proposed a basic rhythm platform and then passed it around for layered improvisation.
Brush drums: Moutro Monstrum
Acoustic bass: King Kong of Korinth
Electric piano, tape-echo: Count G
Muted trumpet, trombone frills: Igo Sigma
Baritone sax: Rupert von Nutwood
Vibes: Hive Silk
4 – Veronica’s Harlem
The outcome of a beautiful night in Harlem, pre-Covid, with Count G fooling around on the piano and Veronica trying out different voices. Enhanced and expanded in isolation—plus, Jens’ and Titika’s remote ingenuity.
Vocals: Veronica Black
Violin: Titika Dafnomili
Viola: Jens Fruse
5 – Canvas horns, like goat’s thorns
This piece was pulled out of a pile of extant tapes from Notnef Greco’s second album. Somehow, it escaped the ravages of water unscathed. A moment of epiphany while pursuing phantoms.
Electric guitar: Deviant Fond
6 – The Tsung Tan Clan goes surfing
Based on Hive’s inspired marimba experiment in July 2020.  Subsequent additions and tape manipulations in the Boys Room. Voice samples of Iva Bittová and Jeanne Lee. How the summer turns to autumn.
Hive Silk: marimba and percussion
7 – Bluepoint in stone horizon
Island summer night, again. Same improvising trio, this time with acoustic guitar and Rocksichord. Home recording, party night.
8 – Music for brass tacks
A monumental composition to pull through given the remote logistics. It took the longest to bring to a satisfactory realization. Extensive enhancement in the studio, taking advantage of the endless stash of field recordings and old tapes, plus improvised sampler use of Art Zoyd.
Drums: Moutro Monstrum
Contrabass: King Kong of Korinth
Guitar and tapes: Masking Tapeworm
Bassoon: Dominique M.
Trombone: Igo Sigma
Baritone sax: Rupert von Nutwood
9 – Not getting off this cosmology train
Although MT decided to disband, the desire to continue playing together was undiminished. This piece is MT’s reciprocal gesture to Count G for joining them on the epic “Silk Hypothesis” in MT II. Same use of the fabulous SynThorn to stage a dialogue with the distorted guitars. Back in the studio the Count added two embellishments with the sampler as a live instrument: playing samples of Nadah El Shazly’s voice from her concert in Brooklyn (October 2018) and adding to the guitar craze by playing samples of Deviant Fond’s Fuzz Factory guitar improvisation from June of the same year.
Drums: Moutro Monstrum
Bass: King Kong of Korinth
Guitars: Masking Tapeworm
10 – Hesitant melancholy
Contemplative ambivalence in a hazy morning. Keyboard improvisation, scored for guitar, organ, and winds. Imagine it as a sort of choral piece.
Bassoon, oboe: Dominique M.
Mute trumpet: Igo Sigma
Guitars: Masking Tapeworm
11 – Swimming upstream in midtown
Reminiscing about New York next to the Aegean. Third and most fervent of the island summer trio encounters. This time, the trio coalesced over an already recorded improvisation on nylon guitar. More wood box thumping for percussion purposes. Home recording, happy feelings.
12 – Elongated secrets (“We cut trees to make theaters”)
A drone piece with bassoon solo and a poem. The solo was hummed into tape and turned over to Dominique’s trust to actualize. The poem was improvised late one night in Galaxidi (October 2018) out in the empty hills over the dunes, surrounded by stones and stars. Cell phone recording.
Bassoon: Dominique M.
Trumpet: Igo Sigma
Vibes: Hive Silk
 Είμαι σε ένα θέατρο                                             I’m outside in a theater.
Το ακροατήριο                                                      My audience are bushes
κάτι σχίνα και θυμάρια                                         of myrtle and thyme
Ένας τεράστιος κορμός δέντρου                         A huge tree trunk
κομμένος στη ρίζα σχεδόν                                   cut down almost to the root
Θα έπρπερε να έφτανε στον ουρανό                  It must have reached to the sky
Ποιοί το έκοψαν;                                                  Who cut it?
Κόβουμε τα δέντρα για να κάνουμε θέατρα    We cut trees to make theaters
Είναι επειδή αγαπάμε τις πέτρες                     It's because we love stones
Γυαλίζουν καλύτερα στα φεγγάρια                    They reflect better in the light
πολλά φεγγάρια                                                    of many moons
Είμαι αλλού                                                           I am elsewhere
Μαθαίνω να ακούω την σιωπή                           Learning to listen to silence
Δύσκολο μάθημα                                                 Difficult lesson

Count G: piano, clarinet, keyboards, voices, tapes, and all other sounds not noted above
Compositions by Count G, except:
# 2, 7, 11 by Silk/Kong/G
# 4 by Black/G
# 6 by Silk/G
Produced, mixed, and mastered by Count G in The Boys Room, New York, December 2021
Cover photo: Stathis Gourgouris
Design: Atticas Graphicas
Copyright © 2022 Sublamental Records • This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




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