Gray Acres

ARTIST NAME: Gray Acres
LOCATION: Philadelphia/Baltimore, United States
FILE UNDER: Ambient, Drone
RELEASES: WLR064

Out now! xu – embodying formlessness

We’ve had a short break since our last release by Emanuele Errante and we’re also due to go on holiday next week. Before we go, we’d like to introduce another Italian sound artist Nicola Fornasari, who records as xu. Those who pay close attention to liner notes may recognise Nicola’s name, as he is one half of La Petite Vague, who we worked with back in  2016. thoughts of the present as electronics and organic instruments layer together. As xu, Nicola has released with labels such as Eilean and Cathedral Transmissions and in ‘embodying formlessness‘, we have a beautifully minimal set of electro-acoustic tracks created using a toy ukulele and electronics. Artwork is provided by our regular collaborator Peter Nejedly. This will be available in 2019’s signature gatefold-LP style CD, in a run of 100 copies  and we’ll release this officially on or around the 14th of September 2019. This one might appeal to artists such as Masaya Kato, Offthesky or Marcus Fischer.

embodying formlessness was released to subscribers of our mailing list last weekend, who had the first opportunity to grab a copy and the CDs have been going well! You can stream the album on Bandcamp and of course, grab one of the remaining physical copies or a download if you prefer by clicking the link below or image above. To avoid missing out on future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/embodying-formlessness

 

press release
“With our next release we welcome back Nicola Fornasari who is one half of La Petite Vague, a project which we’ve almost exclusively supported across Whitelabrecs and our sister label Audio Gourmet. Nicola also records solo work as xu, with material released through labels such as Eilean, Cathedral Transmissions and most recently, Manyfeetunder.

The next album in the xu catalog is ‘Embodying Formlessness’, which Nicola created by recording improvisations performed on his daughter Nina’s toy ukulele and then setting these into non-synchronised loops. These were made by using various pedals by experimenting with ‘blind looping’, a technique used to create unpredictable variations of a certain loop. Additional sounds were layered into the compositions by adding minibrute parts which were also fed into effects pedals and these provide an array of high and low frequencies.
The resulting sound throughout the six tracks that encompass this album is one of a tactile minimalism and the sound itself is a representation of the concept.

In the period during which Embodying Formlessness was created, Nicola was studying the Two Truths, fundamental points developed by Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna. These consist of Relative Truth, which is the conventional way in which we perceive reality and Absolute Truth, which is the theory that objects and events have no intrinsic existence and no individual identity, except in our thoughts. Both perspectives are true and neither intellectual position is the correct one. So in summary, phenomena are both real and not real; things exist, yet nothing exists.
There is a sentence in the Heart Sutra which inspired the title for this album:
Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form. Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness exactly form.

Embodying Formlessness sets out a short collection of existential pieces, crafted from the random placement of melodic source material, adorned with subtle electronics. This provides an ideal backdrop to contemplate the theme of the Two Truths, as you try to separate the difference of what is real and what is perceived.”

credits
Written and produced by Nicola Fornasari
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Cover artwork by Peter Nejedly
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…xu – embodying formlessness



We’ve had a short break since our last release by Emanuele Errante and we’re also due to go on holiday next week. Before we go, we’d like to introduce another Italian sound artist Nicola Fornasari, who records as xu. Those who pay close attention to liner notes may recognise Nicola’s name, as he is one half of La Petite Vague, who we worked with back in  2016. thoughts of the present as electronics and organic instruments layer together. As xu, Nicola has released with labels such as Eilean and Cathedral Transmissions and in ‘embodying formlessness‘, we have a beautifully minimal set of electro-acoustic tracks created using a toy ukulele and electronics. Artwork is provided by our regular collaborator Peter Nejedly. This will be available in 2019’s signature gatefold-LP style CD, in a run of 100 copies  and we’ll release this officially on or around the 14th of September 2019. This one might appeal to artists such as Masaya Kato, Offthesky or Marcus Fischer.

Whitelabrecs low-run releases will be made available suddenly without official release dates, meaning they’re likely to sell out fast. The best way to keep informed is to join our mailing list which can be located through our website menu or you can click HERE

press release
“With our next release we welcome back Nicola Fornasari who is one half of La Petite Vague, a project which we’ve almost exclusively supported across Whitelabrecs and our sister label Audio Gourmet. Nicola also records solo work as xu, with material released through labels such as Eilean, Cathedral Transmissions and most recently, Manyfeetunder.

The next album in the xu catalog is ‘Embodying Formlessness’, which Nicola created by recording improvisations performed on his daughter Nina’s toy ukulele and then setting these into non-synchronised loops. These were made by using various pedals by experimenting with ‘blind looping’, a technique used to create unpredictable variations of a certain loop. Additional sounds were layered into the compositions by adding minibrute parts which were also fed into effects pedals and these provide an array of high and low frequencies.
The resulting sound throughout the six tracks that encompass this album is one of a tactile minimalism and the sound itself is a representation of the concept.

In the period during which Embodying Formlessness was created, Nicola was studying the Two Truths, fundamental points developed by Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna. These consist of Relative Truth, which is the conventional way in which we perceive reality and Absolute Truth, which is the theory that objects and events have no intrinsic existence and no individual identity, except in our thoughts. Both perspectives are true and neither intellectual position is the correct one. So in summary, phenomena are both real and not real; things exist, yet nothing exists.
There is a sentence in the Heart Sutra which inspired the title for this album:
Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form. Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness exactly form.

Embodying Formlessness sets out a short collection of existential pieces, crafted from the random placement of melodic source material, adorned with subtle electronics. This provides an ideal backdrop to contemplate the theme of the Two Truths, as you try to separate the difference of what is real and what is perceived.”

credits
Written and produced by Nicola Fornasari
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Cover artwork by Peter Nejedly
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Best of 2017: Nicola Fornasari

Our ‘best of 2017’ feature returns after a short festive break, as we draw breath ahead of what will likely be another busy year for Whitelabrecs. This time we caught up with Nicola Fornasari, one half of La Petite Vague and also of Xu, who contributes some excellent Modern Ambient selections:


bill seaman
epiphanies
[Fluid Audio]

“A dark and deep, emotionally intense album.
I really love the style of Bill Seaman and in particular it seems to me that in this record he has surpassed himself, thanks also to the help of his collaborators.
The perfect sound accompaniment for uncomfortable black and white movie scenes where people move slowly and interact with each other in a mysterious and unfathomable way.”


monolyth & cobalt
the dunen diaries
[Eilean]

“Bright as the sunlight refracted on the snow, I liked a lot this album (especially the CD with solo tracks).
How can you not be sad knowing that this will be the last record under this moniker?”



james murray

killing ghosts
[Home Normal]

“Abstract soundscapes at its best… a door between visible and invisible world.
Great sound design for a record that suggest and not trivially describe; just hit play and dive into your inner world, accept your feelings and feel better.”


seabuckthorn
turns
[Lost Tribe Sound]

“Mesmerising collection of rich and resonant tracks. A very personal work, with a unique guitar style (at least to my ears).
Stunning cover artwork by Gregory Euclide.”

 


Isnaj Dui
Poiesis
[Rural Colours]

“Anxious and tense, “Poiesis” is like a shamanic rite that allows to free yourself from mental obstacles and constructions. Nothing is taken for granted on this record!”

 


What have you been up to Nicola?
“I recently completed my new solo album, which will be released in spring 2018 (it will be my second release on Eilean!).
Also… I have many other projects for 2018 but for the moment I do not want to reveal too much!


You can find out more/buy Nicola’s music here:
substance.it
https://soundcloud.com/nicola-fornasari
https://xu-substance.bandcamp.com/
https://lapetitevague.bandcamp.com/