Robert Takahashi Crouch is a Los Angeles based artist and curator whose work encompasses sound, performance, and technology. Ritual Variations is the new album which is out now. He explains: “My last album opens with a piece called A Ritual. I think of this piece as a somewhat aggressive, long-form meditation on intimacy and ecstasy. There’s a reason I think about it like this.
The 19 minutes that comprise the track were taken from a much longer recording; a 2 hour improvisation I performed privately for my partner, Yann Novak. Performance is always a personal experience, even when offered communally, but this particular performance was very much about a shared moment, in an environment that foregrounded the personal. The low, undulating frequencies in the piece underscore a sense of the physical for me. I’d like to think it’s a work that dwells on upon the vibrational qualities of sound, and offers a respite within its mesh of rich harmonics, pushing a listener towards the ecstatic.
For Ritual Variations, I reached out to friends and artists whose work I respect and admire for various reasons. I gave these seven artists, including my partner, access to the original 2 hour recording and invited them to create new compositions using it as source material. It was a chance for them to also consider the private, intimate nature of the recording itself.”