Louise Landes Levi / Bart De Paepe / Paul LaBrecque – Colloidal Love 10″
From the beginning Louise Landes Levi worked with the idea that the American folk tradition, Southern Appalachian, ballad, dance and blues – as documented on Harry Smith’s ‘Anthology of American Folk Music’ – would play a vital role in these recordings. Not in the least because of Paul LaBrecque’s presence, whose solo work and group jams with Sunburned Hand of The Man are informed with such influences. Louise intuited a correspondence between the string tradition, especially fiddle and banjo in ‘old weird America’ and the early recordings of sarangi, especially those of Ustad Bundu Khan and his pupil (and her teacher) Ustad Abdul Majid Khan, with relation both to ‘tension’ and ‘intonation.’ The meditative recordings balance on a tight rope between melancholia and a desire for ‘The Pure Land’, with references to Angus MacLise, Tony Conrad and Popol Vuh to name but a few.
From within the poem ‘Colloidal Love’ (an insert in this release), Louise, inspired by mention of Paracelus, envisions the LP cover as a mandala, a ritual symbol, usually circular, which in Hindu & Buddhist tradition serves both to represent and to initiate divinity. Harry Smith had painted some in classical formula but when a friend of hers, organizing the presentation of Robert Frank’s movie ‘Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel’ (2017) sent her an image of the mandala appearing on this recording – a free form mandala by Smith – the link between the American Folk and Indian tradition was now complete.