Label: Full Spectrum Records
debut recording from long-time friend of the label Aaron Oppenheim, as one of our final releases of the year. A constituent member in various iterations of the Andrew Weathers Ensemble, as well as the Real Life Rock & Roll Band, Oppenheim is an avid experimentalist with an ear towards strange and aleatoric musical forms. We’ve been sitting on Cumberland County for months, waiting for the opportune moment to release it into the world; and with winter upon us, now is the time.
A tribute of sorts to the longstanding Windham Hill record label and their peculiar strain of New Age music – whose vast catalog Oppenheim fell in love with after hearing a William Ackerman recording many years ago – Cumberland County takes that aesthetic as a starting point, fracturing its stylistic cues and reassembling them as a mosaic landscape of rasterized sound, peppered with sonic mile markers to help guide the listener on their way.
Recorded during a rapid series of sessions that transpired over the course of a month, Cumberland County exists now as a catalog of Oppenheim’s eclectic creative process. “September Seas,” for instance, was generated automatically using a MAX/MSP patch that uses a pitch follower to record material onto loops whenever it registers a C note, while “Many More” showcases Oppenheim’s primary instrument: another MAX/MSP program he dubbed CLASSI. The sprawling album closer “Brick By Brick,” on the other hand, was made with a Sanyo TRC 9010 cassette transcriber, which allows for a bizarre sort of pseudo-looping effect that Oppenheim leverages to devastating results.
Ultimately, Cumberland County is less a collection of “songs” and more of a vibe – a zone to lose oneself within. As the air cools down and the frost creeps in around the window panes, we hope that you find some warmth and perhaps comfort in these strange sonic realms.