Coming: July 21st 2009
of which the New York performer-poet Copernicus speaks is that of The Universe itself. His conceptual concerns are not with the everyday. He is not penning couplets about the changing fortunes of human existence, other than on the grandest (or lowliest) scale. He speaks of subatomic matter, and refuses to bear any glad tidings.
It all happened in Hoboken, New Jersey, on November 2, 2008, when Copernicus gathered together a large ensemble of improvising musicians and booked a day-long session dedicated to existential immersion (or possibly non-existential immersion). Many of these are artists that he's worked with for more than two decades, all of them attuned to the willing abandonment of pre-meditation, well-versed in the dangers of deliberate free-fall. The longtime musical director of Copernicus' assemblage is the Irish keyboardist and composer Pierce Turner, long resident in New York City. His fellow countryman, Black 47 leader Larry Kirwan is one of the album's four guitarists, along with Mike Fazio, Csar Aragundi and Bob Hoffnar. Other musicians appearing on the album are: Raimundo Penaforte (violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals), Fred Parcells (trombone), Rob Thomas (violin), Matty Fillou (sax), Marvin Wright (electric bass guitar and additional electric guitar), George Rush (tuba, acoustic and electric bass), Thomas Hamlin (drums & percussion) and Mark Brotter (drums & percussion).
Is Copernicus celebrating The Universe, or observing its collapse? This ageless sage orates like a windswept preacher who has just witnessed visions of the apocalypse. Turner is rolling out swathes of Gothic Hammond organ, leading the ensemble in their surging accumulations. A bassline walk begins, a slide guitar floats, a trombone starts up its funereal sway. Copernicus declaims, and almost rants. He's taking things (matter) to the precipice, as he deals with the nature of subatomic particles. A chorus of voices from the band fill the edges around the congregation's void. Does Copernicus herald doom or salvation? A synthesizer whine melds with acoustic guitar traceries, as the music moves like slow-scudding clouds. Copernicus will invoke the blues, violins steadily sawing. He'll tell of the “god of nothingness”
asking, “Do you like him better?... Does he look like you?
” A bassline stalks around a metronomic hi-hat beat, building up to a pounding insistence, a frothing climax. Copernicus mocks humanity, almost exultant as he repeatedly screams, “Nothing exists!”
with his intensity feeding back and forth between himself and the players. The band marches down to New Orleans, Copernicus angry, desperate, defiant, triumphant and forlorn, rising out of a free jazz maelstrom as he booms, “The revolution is here!...The revolution that does not exist!”COPERNICUS disappearance" CD credits:
I. 12 subatomic particles 9:52
II. The Quark Gluon Plasma 7:42
III. The Blind Zombies 8:54
IV. Humanity created the illusion of itself. 7:09
V. Atomic New Orleans 5:30
VI. Poor Homo Sapiens 13:57
VII. REVOLUTION !! 21:05
All lyrics by Copernicus. All music created spontaneously and instantly by the musicians. All vocals of Copernicus created by Copernicus. Executive production by Joseph Smalkowski.
Recorded on November 2nd, 2008 at Water Music Studios, Hoboken, NJ. Recording and mixing engineer JAMES FRAZEE.
COPERNICUS poetry, lead vocals, keyboards
PIERCE TURNER musical director, Hammond B3 organ, acoustic piano, vocals, percussion
LARRY KIRWAN electric guitar, vocals
MIKE FAZIO electric guitar
BOB HOFFNAR steel guitar
RAIMUNDO PENAFORTE violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals
CESAR ARAGUNDI electric & acoustic guitar
FRED PARCELLS trombone;
ROB THOMAS violin
MATTY FILLOU tenor saxophone, percussion
MARVIN WRIGHT bass guitar, electric guitar, percussion;
GEORGE RUSH tuba, contrabass, bass guitar
THOMAS HAMLIN drums, percussion
MARK BROTTER drums, percussion.
Very special thanks to Marcela Smalkowski, Leonardo Pavkovic and Pierce Turner without whom this album would not have been created.
This album is dedicated to Jimmy No Coats.
Additional thanks to Fernando Natalici, Adnor Pitanga, Michael Theodore. COPERNICUS' notes:
Leonardo, designer of this Copernicus’ album writes on the back cover of this album: Copernicus is a conceptual creation of Joseph Smalkowski." The comment bothered Copernicus and he answered that, Joseph Smalkowski is actually the creation of Copernicus!"
Copernicus does not like Joseph Smalkowski, the way that most artists do not like their patrons. Now, these two characters occupy the same illusionary brain and flesh. One day a while ago, they were arguing over poor Joe’s wife, Marcela, because Copernicus said that she didn’t exist and that it was impossible to love anyone since neither the lover nor the loved existed. Joe promised to cut off Copernicus’ money since actually half of the money belongs to Marcela. Anyway, Copernicus shouted out vindictively, Leonardo does not exist and that’s the main thing!"
Existing. Nonexisting. The macrocosm. The microcosm. Money. Fame. Truth. Lies. Illusion. Reality. Ignorance. Wisdom. Time. Nontime. It is impossible for a human to experience the nonexistent present, since by the time the human senses pick up on sound and light waves emanated from someone or some thing that is actually a cauldron of subatomic fury, that person or thing has subatomically changed into something else and keeps changing nonstop. There is no present and since there is no present, there is no past and definitely no future. Is it possible that in the flick of a nanosecond, a nonexistent creature like Copernicus could create a slave, Joseph Smalkowski, to go out into the world of illusion and acquire wealth for him, Copernicus, to piss away in recording studios with no return other than the reward of evolving in the complexities of nonexistence? Who created whom? Did Copernicus create Leonardo? That is the real question. Did Copernicus create the illusionary world of the planet Earth and all of its illusionary inhabitants just so he wouldn’t be alone in the consciousness of nonexistence? Copernicus is protesting the comment that he is a creation of his personal slave, Joseph Smalkowski. Actually, it is that noone exists — neither poor slaving Joe nor the evolving artist, Copernicus. In a world of nonexistence, who wins and who loses, as King Lear once wondered?
Anyway, the winner of this battle should be the nonexistent public. The public has another piece of work from Copernicus and his musical family this time directed by the master, Pierce Turner. Copernicus calls for us to move into nothingness, now! Away we go.