Label: Lobby Art Editions
Religious architecture functions both as a mode of creating shelter for reverence and worship while at the same time creating an aura of authenticity within a given community. Form functions differently than say the local post office building, the bank, the grocery store. A history and purpose simultaneously visible and obfuscated. The music created and shared within these spaces is assumed to exist in harmony with the moral and spiritual teachings of the associated sect. However, the spectral tracings of this music reveals an altogether more complex portrait of what our shared histories, languages, trauma, and traditions say about life lived between being and not being.
Vermont residents Weston Olencki and Jack Langdon situated themselves within the gnarled wood outpost of the Thetford Hill Church in Thetford, VT for their first output as UNIONBLOCK. A shared curiosity about the latent histories of American vernacular musics and what is both said and unsaid in the musical traditions of rural and working class American musical practices; they present the haunting and forceful album Thetford. Composed of the epic subterranean dirge, "Coupler" and the quick witted chaser of "Brick Whittle", the album finds Landgon employing mid century-era mechanical tracker organ and Olencki's own homemade electromagnetic banjos. Drones both fractured and contiguous, their offerings foreground the relationship between digital languages and mechanical construction.
Question making within the church is a peculiar and challenging proposition. We are told these spaces are where we find answers, respite from the unanswerable taunts that exists outside their spirited doorways. The architectural music of UNIONBLOCK provides no escape from these questions, but when we sit in the unknowing and surrender ourselves to this space, perhaps we can know a little more about how to live in harmony with the complexity of this land, its history, and its language.