Peals is William Cashion and Bruce Willen, two bass players for some of Baltimore’s most revered bands (Future Islands and Double Dagger respectively) known for their passionate and energetic live performances. With Peals, the duo creates intimate ambient music based in improvisation, flipping the bombast of their other groups on its head in pursuit of a more subdued muse. Seltzer is a special limited edition cassette release that captures the duo at their most raw and experimental. Side A features a recording of a live performance inside the clock room of Baltimore's Bromo Seltzer Tower, a collaborative installation with multimedia artist Zoe Friedman. The b-side collages some of the duo’s improvised home recordings into a seamless mixtape-esque composition, drifting through Peals' earliest rehearsals to their most recent sessions.
Seltzer will be released as a cassette tape (limited to 400), as well as a numbered laser cut print by Friedman that includes a digital download.
William and Bruce talk about the experience of performing in the clock room:
“We first visited the clock room on a cold winter night. In the stillness above the city, the darkened space took on the hush of a post-industrial church. We all found ourselves talking in low voices as if out of respect for some giant clockmaker. Unexpectedly, a series of loud pops and bangs broke the quiet, causing the three of us to jump—the large bank of elevator controls had sprung to life as someone called the elevator from one of the lower floors. We realized that the random whirring of the equipment and loud sparking noises were going to be inescapable elements in the room during the performance. Rather than mask the noises of the machinery, we decided to incorporate its sounds into our performance. Attaching a contact mic to the elevator controller, we captured and amplified the random clicks and pops of the machinery, adding to the layer of ambient sounds reverberating through the space.
Our performance included compositions created specifically to accompany Zoe’s projections as well as two adaptations of pieces from our Walking Field album. Because the clock motor hummed in the key of G, we tried to write pieces that would fit harmoniously with this tone. Noises from the elevator controller appear at unexpected-yet-oddly-appropriate times. Shortly before the last movement, you can hear a distant siren echoing from the streets below. This recording documents the first of two performances and was the first time that we had performed these pieces in a live setting.”
Tiptoes in the Parlor