A wise man once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This week’s box of chocolates includes some sweet surprise guests! Jex Russell co-hosted, and harpist Grace Scheele dropped by for a bit to talk about her cassette tape Landings. The end result is one of my favourite shows! Top ten?
Max the Axe’s garage sale scores were the main focus of the show, with a second on cottage stories and musical memories. We told the previously unrevealed tale of Max’s carbon monoxide detector collection. We tributed the man himself with song after song, going over two hours!
Best of all: a first. A chipmunk visiting the show, captured on camera, live. Twice.
Life is like a box of chocolates indeed! I say, eat on.
A blast (-off) was had yesterday, taking a look at Landings, the debut EP by electroacoustic harpist Grace Scheele! It’s a concept EP about the Apollo 11 mission. If you like science fiction, space, the moon, chilling, or not chilling, this cassette is for you! Chromed plastic, sleek packaging, bonus tracks, what more could you ask? And a small quantity is still available if you’d like your own copy! You can get it at Bandcamp, and I’m getting a second copy while I still can. Why?
Supporting independent artists is important.
Each tape comes hand-sealed in silver foil, with a sticker on the seam.
Cassette-only bonus tracks on the B-side!
Sensational packaging; chromed cassette shell.
Music that is truly out of this world.
Grace joined me on an impromptu short episode of Grab A Stack of Rock on Sunday afternoon, where she explained the creative process, the art, and other details. Why cassette? You’ll love the answer. Also, find out what to do with an ornamental electric harp thingy if you want to have some fun with hacking! Seriously!
Great little mini-episode! Thank you Grace for sharing your time with us!
GRACE SCHEELE – landings (2023 EP – cassette and download)
I’m a sucker for a pretty tape. This has to be the prettiest tape I’ve ever seen — and I will be unboxing my copy live today at 1:00 PM E.S.T.! Limited to 75 copies, I was very happy to participate in a Kickstarter from electroacoustic harpist Grace Scheele. It’s called landings and, well, I think Grace says it best on her bandcamp:
“landings” centres on the real and imagined experience of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon; wielding bowed harp, electronic fx, and sampling from speeches, newsreels, mission audio, and NASA’s own interviews with those present at the historic newscast. Ranging from the ethereally ambient to grinding, jarring industrial noise, the seven tracks across this debut EP represents an imagined journey into the darkness of space.
I’d call it a concept EP, based on that alone. It’s a real listening experience, with elements that remind me of Pink Floyd, Star Trek, and War of the Worlds. Some of the speeches and dialogue will be familiar, others will be novel. There are sounds that, in my limited experience, I didn’t know you could make with a harp. At 22 minutes, landings is easy to digest in a single sitting, and the download comes with a “gapless version” that enables just that. The layers of harp, samples, and electronic sound build paint a sonic picture. You can feel the tension of the launch! I bet this sounds great with headphones.
The track “pomposity” has been getting some exposure, so if you only check out one track, try “pomposity” for a taste of what this is like.
Of course, the cassette itself will be fun once I have it out of the box, and will include three bonus tracks. You know me and bonus tracks — Can’t wait to hear those!
I can’t wait until I get this tape unboxed, for which I will be joined on a live stream by Grace herself. We’ll talk about the music, the artwork, the Kickstarter and of course the cassette itself.
Music like this is hard to rate, because I think it’s art, and what’s the point of rating a piece of art? It either resonates with you or it doesn’t. I find landings to be an innovative listening experience, unlike anything else in my collection, and I am looking forward to checking it out in different listening environments. Headphones next, and then this summer, on the front porch of the cottage at sunset.