Danny Clay – Ganymede


More exquisite material released in January which can only make for what is sure to be another brilliant year for experimental music. This time Hibernate gets its year up and running with ‘Ganymede‘, an album from Ohio, US based composer Danny Clay. Ganymede is an exquisite set of recordings which were mostly extracted from turntables and a few extra-creative ideas. The result is a wonderfully textured record, full of genius murk and playful magic. Highly recommended

‘Ganymede” is the latest full length album from Ohio based composer Danny Clay. Having seen past releases on labels such as Eilean Records, Rural Colours, Heat Death and Audio Gourmet, each release has been very different but with each there is a theme where his music takes ordinary objects, sounds and ideas and re-purposes them in new, weird and wonderful ways.

With that in mind, “Ganymede” consists of almost exclusively sounds produced by turntables, utilizing found objects, friction sounds, and lathe-cut records of sine-waves, piano, and music box. Many of these sounds have been further amplified by turntable preparations such as plastic cups with needles, combs, etc. and baby monitors.

“Ganymede” was created entirely from the opening bars of a Schubert art song, “Ganymed,” based on a text by Goethe. In the poem, the speaker becomes profoundly allured by the beauty of God as manifested in the emergence of spring. For Danny, Schubert’s Ganymed sits at a strange intersection between innocence and loss, childhood and maturity, the beautiful and the sinister. So infatuated he was, that he began looking for ways to prolong the beginning music of “Ganymed” indefinitely. The notion of a kind of slow, patient, inescapable seduction though sound was of enormous interest to him, made all the more fascinating by the ominously complex undertone of Ganymed’s abduction in other versions of the Greek myth. 

This is the kernel from which this album began – a simple melody washing against the ear gently, insistently, pulling one’s thoughts and desires into deeper, darker mental chambers, drifting quietly into eternity.

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