husc ensemble – mono no aware

For the past seven years the red thread through my home studio ‘husc.sound’ has been the sonic exploration of the husc ensemble.

What started as adding a bit of Koen de Wit’s clarinet playing to one of my electronic efforts collected on ‘autumn_encoded’. That led to clarinet and Samir Boureghda’s guitar being layered to all the electronic compositions on ‘Nothing Large, but All Things for Little’ three years later, a one time experiment to add some life to very digital and electronic structured songs. From that experience I learned the three of us were capable of a lot more sonically and needed to start working as a three piece ensemble.

We started to explor a live setting where the three of us would improvise together without the boundaries of pre composed structure. The sessions of ‘In the space of seven breaths’ were recorded live and released on our site with little to no editing or post-processing, the results were beyond expectations and what interests me most about the recordings is that we sounded as a single instrument, our ensemble.

From there we recorded ‘killscreen’ an album exploring loops and improvising over them, rearranging the results afterwards, applying alternative ways of working in the studio opposed to the limitation of free improvisation.

After ‘killscreen’ we recorded ‘still everything’ in early 2012, the ep could be seen as a counterpart to ‘in the space of seven breaths’ recreating the setting and recording strategy used , but this time with a lot more time spent together and effort within the ensemble.
The satisfaction of the quality we could produce in the studio provided us with enough confidence to take this to a stage and do our sessions in front of an audience.

Late 2012 we performed ‘F.L.A.S.H.’ an hour long intense and complex piece sonifying the five basic human emotions, fear, love, anger, sadness and hate. The performance was a succes and we received a great response from the audience. This led to us performing at the Incubate festival in 2013 where we were the musical support to an evening filled with dutch poets, reciting, slamming and screaming their poetry to our improvised sounds.

One of the poets Jonathan Griffioen joined us early 2014 to record some of his poems to us improvising in a studio setting. The afternoon was released as the EP ‘middag’ and was a great experience perhaps opening the door to more collaborations and guest musicians in the future.

Today our ensemble is performing and ready for new experiments or directions. To mark this seven year period and six releases I have composed ‘mono no aware’ it contains three unreleased recordings of our 2010 ‘in the space of seven breaths’ session and two songs we recorded last year. It marks the end of a fantastic period of growing with two friends and very talented musicians, we experience sonic magick in the studio that maybe doesn’t even have to be recorded or performed to an audience, we go with the flow. The pleasure and gratification comes from being in that moment at the right place, just experiencing.

– husc, June 2014

update: I had to quit the husc studio shortly after the release of ‘mono no aware’. I have access to a small part of my equipment, but am no longer able to record or work with the ensemble in a studio form. Therefor for now ‘mono no aware’ is not a next chapter in our sonic exploration, but a beautiful conclusion to a seven year journey. I will write and share my words on this page and I will start thinking about new forms and angles to approach husc at, resting and viewing it all from a distance is an important part of evolving. I wrote everything else I wanted to say in the above letter and I stand behind every note we played and released. It was magic so far and we have seven recordings to prove it.

– husc, October 2014