A stunning get for Black Truffle. The whole of Side A is given over to the titular 1970 tape piece, Lockwood’s calling card, which has been out of print for over 30 years; on the flip are recent performances of previously undocumented compositions for percussion and voice: Amazonia Dreaming (1987), by Dominic Donato, and Immersion (1998), by Frank Cassara. Credit to Oren Ambarchi’s label for releasing a record that both historicises and opens the New Zealand composer’s oeuvre to a broader audience - if anything ‘Tiger Balm’ makes clear that Lockwood deserves to be held in the same popular (it’s all relative, bub) esteem as Pauline Oliveros and Robert Ashley.
Working with largely unprocessed elements “chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics – a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman’s breath, a plane passing overhead” (be still my throbbing ****!), she unlocks strange resonances and continuities between ancient and modern, natural and manmade, the real and the dreamed.
Unlike so much music from the broadly-speaking academic sphere, this is a sensuous and immediate, as well as enriching, work – not quite burger and chips, admittedly, but not exactly wheatgrass powder either. There is humour – the humour of a Vassar professor, but humour no less – and there is mischief. Beautiful package all in all, with liner notes by A.L. herself and archival photos in a gatefold designed by Stephen O’Malley.