Other Minds Records is excited to announce a new archival release featuring work by pioneering composer and improvisor Dary John Mizelle. An important figure in the mid-century American avant-garde, Mizelle’s music has languished in relative obscurity over the last few decades, an injustice that Other Minds hopes to address with this release.
The Music of Dary John Mizelle was originally released in 1981 on Irida Records, the briefly extant private press label run by the composer and performance artist Jerry Hunt. The three pieces within found Mizelle playing and processing a Japanese shakuhachi, writing for solo bass, as well as an ensemble of 24 celli.
In the new liner notes to the album, Vanessa Ague states that “Mizelle’s penchant for forming wholly mesmerizing sonic landscapes…exemplifies the vast scope of his work.” While he deals with seemingly unrelated ensembles and timbres, each piece contained within contributes to a unified sonic whole. The composer’s unique combination of extended techniques and densely layered rhythmic patterns ensure that timbre and texture are at the fore across the entirety of the collection. It’s this focus on texture and density that allows a reading of this music as an unheralded precursor to the “power ambient” of composers like Tim Hecker, Ben Frost, and their aesthetic peers.