A Thousand Breathing Forms, the second boxset of Steve Roden archive works released by Sonoris, is a selection of unreleased or hard-to-locate works from 2003 to 2008, a very prolific and creative period for the Californian artist. The boxset is centered on his hard-to-describe loop based sound works that are uniquely his own, such as Stars Of Ice (2008), A Christmas Play For Joseph Cornell (2007), but also includes the conceptual “One Hour As The Bumps Of Surfaces” and some more musical or instrumental works. So Delicate And Strangely Made, the title of one of his very first records (2003), could still be the right description of his sound work, rooted in visual arts and architecture, mixing conceptual rigor, and experimentation, without neglecting musicality. Most of Roden’s sound works tend towards using a singular source — such as objects, architectural spaces, field recordings, or texts. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi; Edition of 500.
Steve Roden on the collection: “Stars Of Ice was inspired by a Chinese 7″ record salvaged from a thrift store. ‘Stills For Guru Dutt’ came out of my love of discovering my favorite Bollywood director, and the En/Of (2004) record used the sound of the great Indian playback singer Mohammed Rafi. ’22 Letters And The Resonance Of A Three Pointed Star’ was inspired by an early 1960’s building for the Olivetti design firm in Ivrea Italy, where the original installation was placed within the lobby where it was ‘modulated’ by the space. A Christmas Play For Joseph Cornell was of course, inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell, but also George Brecht’s water yam scores. The banjo used in ‘Banjoharmonium’ was found at the flea market (my home from home), and the harmonium was a gift from my friend Damon. . . . ‘To These 4 Horizons’ was, again with collaborating with architecture, making recordings in the rain on the site of Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp after getting lost for hours while trying to find our way through torrential rains (that you can hear on one of these tracks). ‘Sleep/Walk/Drive’ was a collaboration, also something important to keep one honest. The last track, so tiny, was a cover version of the oldest recorded sound we know, and the story of that not only generated this track, but a sound and video installation.”