‘A politics of joyful resistance manifest: producing radical potentials through a negation of hegemonic forms and structures, outlining new ways of being, thinking, and organising ourselves. Music realised through focused, collective action generated by the interdependence of individuals, in opposition to cultural operating systems that place profit before people – as environmental ruin looms and inequality, intolerance, and isolation rise. […] An evocation of the imagination through a sublime of music; to experience life in its fullness, to reimagine and reconfigure how we are now.’ Leopold Robartes, liner notes to studio recording of Here We Are Now.
Here We Are Now is a post-minimalist composition for precarious times. A work for four electric guitars, bass, drums, percussion, and saxophonics that synthesises avant-rock, minimalism, and improvisation in a distinct and innovative form. Layers of iterated patterns and pulses, awash with justly-tuned drones and overtones, reconfigure Irish folk modalities and rhythms into bold, distinct new music; a ten-part form using dense timbres, duration, repetition, and volume to engage listeners on a number of levels. This work brings together musicians operating across avant-garde classical, electronica, jazz, and rock — a collective endeavour that foregrounds immanence and intersubjectivity.
Here We Are Now album cover (art direction by Paul Gilgunn, graphic design and layout by Kevin King)
A studio recording of Here We Are Now is available as a limited edition CD here and via selected purveyors of high-end music, with quality downloads and streaming available across a range of online services: HearNow. The performers on the recording are: Ray Boyle, Conor Brady, Alex Harvey, Paul Gilgunn, Robbie Malone, Jay Oglesby, Shay Cosgrave, Nick Roth, and Jay Bagnall. The music was recorded and engineered by Conor Brady and Jack Power at Camden Studios and Stuart Gray at Jealoustown Studios, mixed by Ciaran Bradshaw, and mastered by Fergal Davis. This recording was facilitated in part by an Artist Bursary Award received from South Dublin County Council. Here We Are Now is dedicated to Rhys Chatham.
After two successful antiphonal and site-specific performances at Dublin’s historic Smock Alley Theatre on 16 and 17 February, the music received airplay across Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE – RTE Lyric, RTE 2FM, RTE 2XM – and garnered extremely positive critical feedback:
‘Extraordinary… love the record’, Dan Hegarty, RTE 2FM
‘You won’t hear anything else like this today’, Nialler9 Record Picks
‘Fantastic’, Bernard Clarke, RTE Lyric FM
‘A piece of minimal instrumental avant-rock power that propels and compels. Here We Are Now is a big great slab of a group working perfectly as one tight unit’, Norman Records (UK)
Guitar Moderne’s Record Picks XVI.
‘Here We Are Now’ liner note manifesto by Leopold Robartes.