Joe Jones - A Garden Party LP + book by edition telemark


A Garden Party

, Edition Telemark, 2016


We will go back in time. We are in a garden, in Düsseldorf, Germany, 26 June 1983, surrounded by some guests. A garden party was organised by Erik Andersch, in honour of the American artist Joe Jones, known for his association with Fluxus anti-art movement. From 2 pm Joe Jones started constructing a Solar panel orchestra. The setup included acoustic instruments like zither, glockenspiel, mandolin, small drums, ukulele etc and custom machines made by Solar panel and umbrellas, that were giving kinetic energy to metal strings and drum sticks, that were playing / hitting the instruments randomly. There was no need of a player although, some of the guests, like Takako Saito, improvised with it. As Joe Jones mention “The solar music returned where it belonged, with people who were not afraid to touch the objects and play”. At the end of the day, the sun went down, the music stoped and the event came to an end.

This is how the story goes, through the pages of the book, that it was originally released by Jones in 1987 in an edition of 15 copies. The recording of the “A Garden Party” event was previously unreleased, until October of 2016. The Edition Telemark released it as a lmt LP of 200 copies, in a gate-fold PVC sleeve (This is a minus) that also included the book, a poster and a postcard. This fabulous edition, documents another mythical event by the Fluxus movement, re-introduces us to Joe Jones work and his rhythmic music machines. The 45 minutes of the recording are flowing in a loose unobstructed manner. The randomness of the rough sounds are creating a drone piece that reminded me of the magnetic sculptures by Takis Vassilakis. This repetitive amalgama of metallic sounds, construct a meditative and a deep acousmatic feeling, that finally sounds natural. As Joe Jones writes about this project “Hang a solar music machine in every tree it will make trees happy”. I have to say that sonically and conceptually I am absolutely amazed of this already sold out edition. It is already one of my favourite albums of 2016. Keep an eye on it.

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December 21, 2016 5:05 pm

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