I cannot think of any other excuse for why I have not mentioned Longform Editions before. How éver did I miss this? After all, the concept perfectly fits to the music recommended here:
“Longform Editions is a collective for deep listening – an ongoing series creating a space for extended, immersive music pieces from around the world.”
Ever since their first release (Richard Young\s Daybreak, in 2018) they have released 56 titles including artists like Lee Noble. Caterina Barbieri, Ekin Fil, Marja Ahti, Nicola Ratti, Kate Carr, Frank Brettschneider, Pan American, Jasmine Guffond, and many, many more.
According to founders Andrew Khedoori and Mark Gowing, “we need to slow down”. Their ‘collective’ (not: label) releases four tracks by four artists every two months. This release rate – 24 releases every year – does not exactly feel like ‘slowing down’, one might say.
But slowing down refers to the way of experiencing music: unhurried, unaware of time, ‘mindful’ if you wish.
Longform does not necessarily refer to the length of the compositions: they’re not necessarily lasting for hours. Most compositions are 20-30 minutes, with some exceptions with a length up to one hour.
Longform Editions is a concept more than a label, a concept that has been implemented in detail, like the album cover art that presents the album artist and title in a (somewhat indecipherable) font created by Mark Gowing.
All Longform Editions are presented on their website (note: music starts playing as soon as you open it, don’t let it interfere with what you are listening to. Or just let it interfere with what you’re listening to, which may be even better). The releases can also be found on Bandcamp, where you can download each release individually ór subscribe to receive all releases (future + 10 of the back catalog) for a monthly fee.
It’s too late to look back to all previous releases now, I’m afraid. But at least we can take a look at the four Longform Editions releases for June 2020 to get a taste of what this ‘collective’ stand for. After that, you (and I) can take our time to check the previous 52 releases in their back catalogue!
CARMEN VILLAIN – AFFECTION IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Carmen Villain (Carmen Hillestad) is a Norwegian-Mexican artist creating “tapestries of field-recordings, flute, piano, vocals, zither, synths, combining elements of fourth world ambient, experimental pop with an electro-acoustic vibe.”
Her appropriately titled Affection In A Time Of Crisis is a beautiful example of her work, although it leaves out the ‘pop’ and offers “an enveloping space where emotive resonance rules over experimentation”.
The 20 minute piece starts with a fascinating combination of acoustic chords embedded in electro-acoustic layers, taking a somewhat unexpected turn halfway into a flute-solo before ending with a fresh-sounding field-recording loop. “Engaging and Relaxing” indeed.
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA – BLUE GOAT
I can probably safely assume that Chihei Hatakeyama needs no further introduction here. It’s no surprise that he is included in this series, because the prolific artist is “known for gorgeous, drifting ambience that uncurls like smoke to reveal slowly changing shapes and textures weaving through each piece”.
Longform music avant-la-lettre.
Blue Goat is a (20 minute-)composition using an old Alpha Juno synth and a modular synth. The theme is “influenced by the melody of Angelo Badalamenti“, who he listened to when writing this piece.
CELER – FOR THE MEANTIME
Another veteran of ‘longform’ ambient music who (hopefully) does not need to be introduced: Celer (Will Long). With 60 minute and 29 seconds, his For The Meantime is móre ‘longform’ than the others in this June edition.
It is perfect for ‘slowing down’ time:
“The idea of change is ever-present… for the meantime, let’s pretend we can keep this moment forever.”
MICHAEL VINCENT WALLER – A SONG
In this June edition, Michael Vincent Waller is ‘the odd one out’ regarding the sound of his composition: A Song is a 21-minute composition for solo piano, recorded pure, as is, without any further effects or enhancements, “exploring the subtle gravity of harmonies with an inward gaze”.
Waller has studied with La Monte Young and Bunita Marcus and has previously released three solo albums (not counting this addition to the Longform Editions).
OK, that should be enough for a (belated) introduction to the Longform Editions.
Based on these four additions alone, I guess it will not be the last time I’ll recommend their releases.
But for now, I guess I (and you) have got some work to do checking out their past catalogue.