"When you take the time to take in Menzies’ music, you hear how he melds hardware/software with the organic close enough to make a tenuous dance... A quietly excellent release from a master."
— Foreign Accents
Breath's Length is a collection of solo electroacoustic works by artist and composer Roarke Menzies. Each work uses amplified voice, mouth, and breath as primary sound sources to approach themes of mortality, mourning, catharsis, digital reembodiment, techno-utopianism, and the impulse to outlast one's own lifetime.
The album's title track, and conceptual centerpiece, considers both the indeterminate length of a breath, and the indeterminate length of time one has left to breathe (i.e. to be alive), attempting to poetically extend each with technological assistance. The work builds from Steve Reich's notion of using "the human breath as the measure of musical duration." Each sung tone is held for one breath's length, recorded, looped, and overlaid, accreting into a heaving mass of sound – an audible sonic body that 'breathes' indefinitely.
released June 1, 2017
All tracks composed, performed, produced, recorded & mixed by Roarke Menzies.
Many thanks to Samson Stilwell, Geneva Skeen, Emma Gray, Ian Giles, Scott Murakami, Dan Joseph, Jennie Punter, Brett Despotovich, John Silvis, Katherine Aungier, Noa Ginzbourg, Ian Lockey, Ben Lehn, Paul, Jackie, Drew, Rose, Juliana, Mom, Dad, Debra Ann, Kieron, Victoria, Felix, and all the friends, family, and loved ones past, present and future.
Roarke Menzies is a New York City-based artist and composer who uses his voice, mouth and body as sound sources, along with audio hardware, software and field recordings, to create electronic and electroacoustic works.