Michael Gordon’s 2009 album Timber was an interesting collection of music. Gordon’s one-song, five-part opus was scored for a percussion instrument called the simantra, which comprises six planks of wood, each cut into a different size, giving each one a slightly different pitch, to be played by six different people. Today, a remix album of Timber has been announced, with 12 new reworkings of “Timber” named after the contributing artist. Tim Hecker, Fennesz, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Squarepusher, among others, have lent a hand to transform Gordon’s vision into something all their own, along with help on the simantra from the group Mantra Percussion. Mantra’s Mike McCurdy had this to say about how the collection of remixes was conceived:
As Timber was first brought to the public’s attention in 2010-2012, one of the most frequently heard responses from audiences, listeners and reviewers were about the electronics in the piece. But there are no electronics in the piece! As it was performed over the years, a disclaimer was actually given in the concert program before each performance that the sounds being produced were all natural, and that the wood itself had such lush harmonics as to deceive the ear, as though some electronic process was being applied to the sound.
All this talk about electronics got Michael Gordon thinking, and he proposed the idea in the fall of 2012 to find people to remix the album. So we came up with a favorites list of composers and musicians to take the music and do whatever they wanted, as long as the underlying composition could be perceived. The response was incredible. Timber Remixed is a testament to the ingenuity of Gordon’s music and to the creativity and artistry of the remixers who contributed to the album.
The first taste of the album comes courtesy of Fennesz. The avant-garde musician transforms Gordon’s original woodwork into a bubbling ambient soundscape with a life of its own like some kind of vast aural ecosystem. Listen.
01 “Jóhann Jóhannsson”
02 “Sam Pluta”
03 “Tim Hecker”
05 “Oneohtrix Point Never”
06 “Greg Saunier”
07 “HPRIZM/High Priest of APC”
08 “Ian Williams”
10 “Ikue Mori”
11 “Mira Calix”
01 Mantra Percucussion – “Timber Live”
Timber Remixed is out 10/28 via Cantaloupe Music.