Heavy Machinery Records is proud to present BLAK MASS - the debut full length LP from Naretha Williams.
Commissioned by The City Of Melbourne for a live performance in 2019, BLAK MASS sees Naretha combine the gargantuan Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ with live electronics to realise her complex progressive compositions. BLAK MASS reflects on the city’s jarring civic history and the impact of colonisation on its First Peoples and Land, through an experimental, site specific musical performance developed for the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.
Naretha Williams is a First Nations experimental interdisciplinary artist with a primary focus on music and audio arts practice. A Wiradjuri woman of mixed lineage, born and based in Melbourne on the Sovereign Land of the Kulin Nation, Victoria, Australia, Naretha's process-based work intersects installation and contemporary music, exploring themes around identity, place and the unseen. Ritual and esoteric practice underpins both process and presentation of her work.
BLAK MASS is the second iteration of Naretha Williams’ CRYPTEX composition project. CRYPTEX – Bio Templates & Ceremonial Frameworks for Contemporary Composition utilises the source code of the body by analysing DNA sequences to create mathematical templates to work with in a musical context.
BLAK MASS considers the Grand Organ as a significant symbol of European domination and reaches deep in to the psyche of the instrument to create a haunting, avant-garde sound work.
The title may indeed conjure pearl-clutching anxieties about the summoning of ‘dark’ forces and the opening of portals between forbidden realms. These concepts are central to Naretha William’s stunning Grand Organ commission which is a direct confrontation with ideas of established power, conservative gatekeeping and cultural dominance in Australian society.
"Under the control of Williams, the Town Hall's Grand Organ became something else, electric and unruly as the deep melodic sounds of the old instrument intersected with her vivid set. Her music was an act of cleansing, taming the instruments that attempted to obliterate blak culture. Her presence and dynamic sound demonstrated survival in an era of renewed blak confidence."
Timmah Ball - ABC Arts
released August 14, 2020
Naretha Willams - Grand Organ, Moog, Prophet, Programming, Electronics
Recorded live by Myles Mumford and Jem Savage at the Melbourne Town Hall 04/05/2019
Mixed by Myles Mumford at Rolling Stock Studios Melbourne
Mastered by David Walker at Stepford Audio Melbourne
Photography by Christopher Sutherland
Designed by Luke Fraser at Grin Creative
Curated and produced by Miles Brown
The music on this album was commissioned by the City of Melbourne
where is the hour that remembers you
you untie from the unsteady
wings of the day
the words you have not spoken
out of the great whirl of exile
you will find your voice
in the solitude of a prayer
you will tie your name
(Lance Henson) fbrc_clrt