The Ivytree – Unburdened Light LP
The Ivytree, as some may know, is the project of San Franciscan musician Glenn Donaldson. In the early 2000s Glenn was a founder of the Jewelled Antler Collective, forming such projects as The Blithe Sons, Thuja, and The Skygreen Leopards, among many others. The range of projects he is associated with all beautifully web together. Between 2001 and 2005 Donaldson published a handful of discs under the names The Ivytree and The Birdtree. These boiled down and tanned the patient, outdoor ambiences of the long-form instrumental recordings. These were slow and pastoral and pensive songs, carried by Glenn’s haunting voice. Glenn recorded outside with field-recorders and mini-discs: in forests, headlands, and tunnels of the Bay area. Recital label head Sean McCannon the recordings: “I grew up listening to his recordings — throughout high school and college in Goleta, CA. They spark many memories: driving around beach parking lots, dragging boomboxes into creeks, camping in the mountain valleys etc. I remember once driving five hours up to San Francisco with a group of friends to try and get into a Giant Skyflower Band concert (another Donaldson project). It was at a bar and we were under 21 — so we couldn’t get in, even after trying to bribe the doorman. As you can tell, very special places in my mind and memory. My fondness for The Ivytree never dissipated, and I always dreamed of hearing more material from that time, as I know how prolific the Jewelled Antler association can be. On a whim in 2017 I reached out to Glenn and asked him if he wanted to publish a ‘best-of’ The Ivytree as a limited LP. This idea blossomed and provoked Glenn to dig through his vast mini-disc archive, where he unearthed some forgotten jewels. The recordings were trickling in to my email — one by one, each better than the last. Ranging from the Robert Wyatt-esque piano ballad ‘Evil Is Circular’ to the gentle melancholy of ‘All The White Plumes’ that could belong on Richard Youngs‘ Sapphie (1998). ‘Unburdened Light’ carries on the warm breeze and innocence of the early 2000s CDr culture. So our project then turned into publishing a new album of unreleased Ivytree recordings. A full circle youthful wish now ripens in my adulthood. I am honored to have stirred up the bees-nest to deliver you these tragically honeyed songs.” Unreleased recordings: 2001-2004. Includes eight-page 9×9″ booklet of Glenn’s collages. Edition of 300.