“Janaka Stucky is extraordinary, and his work riveting.” – Jimmy Page
As Neurot Recordings prepares to unveil Ascend Ascend: Janaka Stucky Live In Seattle With Lori Goldston from prolific writer, poet, and performer JANAKA STUCKY in May, the artist has confirmed several live performances supporting its release.
Praised by Jimmy Page as “riveting,” JANAKA STUCKY’s book length poem, Ascend Ascend, published by Jack White’s Third Man Books in 2019, gets a mesmerizing treatment on this album by the same name, accompanied by experimental cellist Lori Goldston. Goldston, known for her work with several acts – including Nirvana, Cat Power, and Earth – provides otherworldly layers of distortion and natural reverb over Stucky’s dirge-like vocal performance.
Ascend Ascend: Janaka Stucky Live In Seattle With Lori Goldston was recorded at the All Pilgrims Church in Seattle while STUCKY was on a seven-city tour produced by Atlas Obscura in 2019. The performance is served well by the room’s ambiance and was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mell Dettmer, who has engineered albums for acts such as Earth, Sunn O))), Master Musicians Of Bukkake, and Wolves In The Throne Room.
Ascend Ascend: Janaka Stucky Live In Seattle With Lori Goldston takes place over two full LPs, each of the four acts consuming one side of each record. The artwork for the record is by David V. D’Andrea, who has created album covers and tour posters for musical acts such as Sleep, Earth, OM, and Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Meanwhile, the record itself is being expertly pressed and packaged by Third Man Pressing, the record-manufacturing division of Third Man Records & Books, who published Ascend Ascend.
In conjunction with its release, West and East Coast live performances are being announced for May and June, presented by Atlas Obscura. The two West Coast shows were recently announced, which will see JANAKA STUCKY joined by Dylan Desmond of Bell Witch, at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle on May 11th, and the Masonic Temple at Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles on May 18th.
Today, the first of two East Coast shows has been announced, taking place at Vilna Shul in Boston on May 25th. Another performance is also being booked for New York City in June and will be announced in the days ahead.
An excerpt from the opening movement, “Assiah, The Material World,” is streaming at THIS LOCATION.
Ascend Ascend: Janaka Stucky Live In Seattle With Lori Goldston will be released by Neurot Recordings on Transparent Yellow w/ Opaque Yellow Splatter 2xLP on May 12th. Physical preorders and digital presaves can be found HERE.
“I wrote Ascend Ascend over the course of twenty days – coming in and out of trance states while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church,” STUCKY says. In the live performances, he recited the book in its entirety from the confines of a magic circle – drawn with sigils and arcane seals on the floor – ringed with beeswax candles, incense, and live marigolds planted in an outer rim of soil.
“It was important that the performance of the work reflected the space from which it was produced – not just the physical space, but also the interior space,” STUCKY says. “I wanted the shows to be initiatory – inviting the audience into my own altered state of consciousness, so the performance could become an invocation, a collective trance, flowering into this fourth dimension.”
“The recording is very warm and processed in a way that really brings out the best of the room,” says Steve von Till of Neurot Recordings, who is releasing the album. “I have seen a million sound waves, and upon first looking at the waves of Janaka’s voice and Lori’s cello I had to do a double take to make sure they weren’t the same wave – or that there wasn’t tons of bleed between the two – because they look eerily similar. They were so tuned in to each other!”