The JMJ trio considers their music to be a part of the rich tradition of ambient music and trace their influences back to Erik Satie's "furniture music" and John Cage's ideas of inclusiveness. The environmental re-structuring found in the tape works of Luc Ferrari and Pierre Schaefer also contributed to the work in both sound and process. Contemporaries who have inspired the JMJ trio include such artists as Helen Said This-era Dead C, K-Group / Surface of the Earth, Omit, Dean Roberts, and Rafael Toral. Recording for In the Absence of the Third began in Oyster Bay, New York during the winter of 2000 and continued through the summer and fall months at the Library in New York City, using a simple four-track cassette recorder to document improvisations performed on alternately tuned and prepared guitars. The recording sessions were inspired in part from the ideas developed by the Nordoff-Robbins School of Musical Therapy; namely, that one's innate creativity can be expressed through improvisation, and that this exploration can positively address emotional, cognitive, and developmental needs. Additional sounds were drawn from the different recording spaces and from field recordings of the surrounding environment. Preliminary selections were digitized at The 402 Annex in October of the same year; recording, editing and mixing continued until the following spring. Improvisations were structured and re-structured in the digital medium through intuitive means. The goal was to layer sonic textures with shifting sound events that allowed the pieces to evolve. The JMJ Trio strove for music that dictated its own form, which re-invented itself within its own parameters. The living space became a crucial part in the creation of these sound events -- when someone unlocks the front door and slams it shut, the answering machine interrupting a recording session, St. Nicholas Avenue as a rain-slicked cavern, the sustained crackling of steam radiators throughout the apartment. The improvisations happened while life happened around us. In the Absence of the Third is packaged with silk screened and hand painted covers and is available in a limited edition of 250.
item # 7676