Six Organs of Admittance “Maria Kapel” Pavilion Records
Six Organs of Admittance
Multi-instrumentalist Ben Chasny has come a long way in the last 15 years and has always stayed active musically in that time frame. He has created one of the most impressive bodies of works in contemporary music with his groups Comets on Fire, Six Organs of Admittance and the scores of groups he is associated with. Psychedelic garage rock to eastern influenced drone pieces, Ben Chasny is always exploring new sound in the settings of what make his sound immediately recognizable. Six Organs of Admittance is the project of his that has received the most attention from him in his 15 years or so of releasing records. With almost 30 albums released since the late 90′s, Six Organs of Admittance has served as the creative vehicle of Ben Chasny’s evacatory musical exaltation that in my opinion, is Chasny’s most breath taking vehicle of expression.
Fragments of influences trace the sound Chasny has been renowned for but his path is an accumulation of so much more. Relationships, flashes of emotional responses in the setting of life, struggle and determination. Chasny is a musician that is the sweat, blood and tears of modern American music. Folk, classical, drone and other musings of the acoustic worlds submerge themselves inside the foundations of electronics, experimentalism and spiritualism with all of Chasny’s recordings. The finger picking acoustic guitar style that I hear in every Ben Chasny project takes me to a much simpler and honest time of music creation. A time when recording gear, albums, tours and the other modern devices of how the energy of music culture is shaped were non existent. Ben Chasny started Pavilion Records in the late 90′s and has started the imprint back up with his latest endeavor, Maria Kapel. The imprint was the first to release a Six Organs of Admittance full length on LP and it is great news to hear that the imprint is back up again.
After many years of tours, record releases and other walks of life, Ben Chasny has kept this fire lit with two new releases under the Six Organs of Admittance moniker this year. The album we are covering today is the limited edition studio and live album this year on Pavilion Records called Maria Kapel. The first and last songs of this album are electronic drone pieces that create euphonious panoramic windows of emotional waves in my mind. The type of imagery that ends in those same waves crashing into rock after rock on a beautifully gloomy rainy Northern California beach. Reverberant glass chambers where sounds drift in and out plays out with the minimal and powerful state of the two drones at the beginning and end of Maria Kapel. The first and last songs are the studio portion of the record and are sourced from this year at Holyoke, Massachusetts. The remaining 5 tracks were performed live at Pauluskerk, Tilburgo September 19th of last year and are solo recordings done entirely on Ben’s acoustic guitar. Ethereal is the most appropriate way to see this type of sound and justifiably so. Put on a pair of headphones, relax, close your eyes and let the music do the rest of the speaking. The things it has to say might surprise you.
The ability of the acoustic guitar to evoke certain emotions we all go through in life is done in a timeless way and Ben Chasny touches that world in ways not many players out right now do. There is a slight wavering tone to his acoustic playing and his finger picking style makes his sound as dreamy as it is contemplative. Imaginative as much as it is intelligent. Playful as much as it is serious, somber and deprived of joy. Duality is heard in full on Maria Kapel. When Chasny hits the lower registers of his acoustic, they always ring out in beautiful vibrant shapes with a powerful effect similar to the feeling of remembrance of dreams and deep meditation. Ben Chasny is a phenomenal guitarist and one who is as prolific as he is down to earth. On the end of the last acoustic piece he politely tells the audience, venue and everyone else involved thanks for having me.
The album is a concept album and the Incubate Festival website had this to say. “During last years Incubate festival American free folk artist Ben Chasny (also known as Six Organs of Admittance) recorded a concept album called ‘Maria Kapel. ‘ The album is based on his feelings and experiences with these little chapels in the landscape of Brabant. The recording and production of these songs were a part of the Glocal project at last years Incubate festival. He also performed these songs live in the Pauluskerk (Paulus church) in Tilburg during the Incubate festival.”
The album was released in a limited run of 500 copies in May of this year and has handmade covers for each release. Output and quality are in the highest of standards in the catalogue of Six oRgans and the spiritual connection of these creations is astounding and uplifting. Maria Kapel captures Ben Chasny in a special moment where the love making process of the human and the musical instrument comes in full fruition and all the things you can’t capture in words start to manifest. This limited edition LP is worth every dollar, don’t miss out on picking up anything from Six Organs of Admittance if you see it in stores or online. – Erik Otis
- Stone, Leaf And Pond
- Two Wings
From the LP: “This record is dedicated to my grandmother, Mary Rose Chasny”.