Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just found a Tapegerm compilation featuring my track "Sea Monster" using a few of their samples: Germination 2.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I signed up to take part in the sound loop sharing project at Here's a piece I put together this weekend using a few of their sounds, some whales, and some water.

Brutum Fulmen - Sea Monster

I consider it to still be a work in progress, but take a listen, let me know what you think!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Brutum Fulmen albums are now beginning to become available at online stores: Collapsing Orchestra, Flesh of the Moon, and New Tender Wreckage.

The latter is a combination of the Brutum Fulmen tracks from Tender Wreckage (split with Lasse Marhaug) and New England (5LP box set from RRRecords), to both of which we contributed one LP side. Sadly, I was unable to find the original file for "Artificial Life" from New England so I ended up substituting the track "Before the Invention of the Nose Hair Tweezers" which anyway was an outtake from Tender Wreckage and is a better piece. I also rounded out this collection with the track "Dusk" which is a reworking of sounds used elsewhere on Tender Wreckage and previously released only on the Variious compilation for Intransitive Recordings.

Stop by your preferred online music store to purchase these digitally, or maybe write a review:

For some reason eMusic is missing Flesh of the Moon at the moment. These albums should be available on a bunch of other sites as well.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ray, Scultor of Clay. Half-finished painting from life-painting session yesterday afternoon. Hope to finish it next Sunday.  
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Here are a few snapshots of my painting "Jenny McCarthy (Mommy Instinct)" in acrylic and mixed media on canvas.

It's actually about something, and just for fun there's a whole bunch of symbolism which is probably not possible to decipher.

The back is also painted and has a painted card suspended by thread from nails.

All four edges are painted with text.

This painting is for the New Britain Museum of American Art (in CT), who will be auctioning it off at a benefit on August 21, 2009.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Finally creating a proper "musician" page for Brutum Fulmen at Myspace. This is probably the easiest way to listen to the mp3s I currently have online.

Previously I'd set up just a personal page (now deleted). This means I am going to need new friends over there.

To celebrate the occasion, I will upload a track tonight that has not been online before.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well, tonight I made my first attempt at getting back to recording in quite a while. And I figure I might as well post it, at least temporarily. This is an ambient, feedback-based piece using some improv recordings Ken and I did in my basement.

Download: Brutum Fulmen - Nude With Icicles

Remember it's just a work in progress, but let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

hell, that's been a long time of inactivity.

but the Brutum Fulmen are not dead yet!

i am still planning on doing a revised version of 1000 Suns for release on CDR. i have re-recorded much of the narration (originally by me) with an old guy in his late 70s, for a more authentic feel (?). planning to rework much of the sounds as well.

i've recorded a new cassette based piece, a lo-fi conceptual/process piece, which i am thinking of asking Ron to put out on the RRRecords Recycled cassette series.

i am also working on a collaboration of more song-structured material with prog rocker Ken Pfeifer, under the banner The Bureau of Weights and Measures. already have demos of half a dozen songs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I just ran across a great review of 1000 Suns in the Cassette Gods blog:

"I had my back to the blast, my fists shoved into my eyes. At the moment of detonation there was a flash. At that instant I was able to see straight through my hands."

Brutum Fulmen's first above-ground effort appeared in 2002 with the full-length "Flesh of the Moon" CD and more recently the band appeared on RRRecords' "New England" 5 LP box set. It looks as if the band was on hiatus for a while, but thankfully they're back with this gem on Throne Heap and an interesting departure from the group's usual style.

A self-described "impressionist audio drama," "1000 Suns" resembles at first glance the kind of soundtrack which might have been played at Halloween parties a few decades ago, or the audio from a 1940s public safety announcement. Reading the list of "instruments" present on this release almost makes it sound like a regular special effects record: "rusty music box, spring night creatures, breaking lake ice, 'fiddle trees' rubbing," etc. I'm definitely missing that volume in the library, if anyone finds it. But as the grand tradition of tape manipulating cut-and-pasters has continuously shown (and BF isn't exactly a small fish in this area), how one ties these elements together makes all the difference. Brutum Fulmen's sound is as far from kitschy and random "weird for weirdness' sake" as you can get.

Rather, "1000 Suns" is an intriguing construction of voiceovers, warm minimal tones and obscure sound sources that weaves a narrative of an ominous and paranoid reality. The binding element is a chain of World War II era eyewitness reports of nuclear testing, read by a monotone parade of scientists and soldiers. Most of these accounts are bizarrely horrific, like the quote above. Once these voices begin reporting, accompanied by deep rumbling and subliminally jarring creaks and moans, your attention stays captive until the side is over.

What makes "1000 Suns" so haunting is its power in mirroring the spoken word with an emotional response in sound. When the speech is purely scientific, deep oscillations erupt like plumes of smoke from an industrial laboratory. During another segment describing parties being held to watch a rainbow-like nuclear aurora, the music takes cold and melancholy beauty. Whereas others might have interpreted this subject matter with blatant violence, Brutum Fulmen employs suggestion and subtlety.

The second side of the release offers another methodology of construction, including about fifteen different types of tape degradation involving the original recording on side A. The contrasts are interesting, and it easily holds its own against similar examples of cassette abuse in this genre. But regardless of the insanely complex tape destruction it doesn't quite hold the attention in the same way the first version excels.

I've found myself returning to side A about fifteen times now, and although it' s one of the weirdest (maybe uncharacteristic?) Throne Heap releases it's certainly one of the finest and accomplished. The case includes a sweet black silkscreen on brown craft paper that works swell with the "goverment issued" theme. I'm just sorry that it took me so long to write about, and I sincerely hope this one stays in print for a while.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yay, the first review of the new Brutum Fulmen release 1000 Suns is in. This from Vital Weekly #599:
BRUTUM FULMEN - 1000 SUNS (cassette by Throne Heap) For all I know Brutum Fulmen were history. I didn't hear from them in quite some time, which was a great pity as from the few sparse releases I heard from them, I had them down in my little book as one of the interesting noise bands. Good to see them around, even when it's a cassette.

They use a whole bunch of sound sources, including voices, feedback, 'readings of eye witness accounts of atomic tests' and something that is called the 'corrugaphone', among lots of other things, but as interesting is the list of tape processes used here, such as stretching, wrinkling, writing on tape, breaking cassette shell, biting, rubbing, scraping, abusing deck while recording and then I haven't even summed up half of it.

Although the cover 'seem' (!) to list various titles for the pieces, I am not sure if we are dealing here with one, two or more pieces, but what is captured here is great. That is: if perfection isn't your middle name, or, if you are as old as I am, and still cherish old cassettes and what ever imperfections that had. Brutum Fulmen use their lo-fi techniques to a great end, and still belong to the best that noise has to offer. Not for their sheer volume (by which noise sometimes is wrongly associated), but by using all sort of unconventional techniques and sounds to create something. Wish I had this on CDR, so I could more easily play though. (FdW)