by Phillip "PBK" Klingler
on Killing Birds nov 2011


"Footpaths And Trade Routes" is an LP by Kraig Grady, aka Anaphoria. This composer, born in California in 1952, studied with Nicolas SlonimskyDean Drummond, Dorrance Stalvey and Byong-Kon Kim before meeting up with Erv Wilson in 1975. Wilson is an esteemed Mexican-American music theorist who has written extensively about microtonal music and just intonation. I have not studied all the specifics of these tuning forms, but I have heard a bit of this type of music (Harry Partch and Wendy Carlos, for instance) and, for the uninitiated, it consistently sounds exotic to these ears and able to achieve moods very different from western music and the common musical scale we all grew up listening to. At some point, apparently, Grady also became inspired by indigenous music forms, perhaps specifically the music of Aboriginal Australia (?), and this album seems to reflect those studies. The first track, "Zephyros" is a minimal composition beginning with chiming bell sounds that are created by a vibraphone using a once forbidden tuning. On this track we hear the basic blueprint for the rest of the album, as the overtones created by Anaphoria's acoustic music instruments dynamically rise within the tracks, sometimes very ambient, in the background, other times floating up directly in the mix only to disappear momentarily. Although the music is minimalist, the patterns aren't repetitive and he's not using obvious loops in the structure either, the movement in the composition is slow paced and without dramatic effect. "Zephyros" sounds like a prelude and, indeed, proves itself to be so as it weds to the beginning of the followup track, "Hierophone A341", which is immediately more dense, more complex. This track too contains some of the same sort of instrumental tones with rhythmic bell-like percussives being most prevalent. Here the rising overtones are more apparent, becoming buzzing atmospheres that rise up in the mix behind the closely miked instruments. Nice, quiet LP grooves are essential when listening to such music and this LP is mastered perfectly, pressed on superb quality vinyl. "Ostaelo", the long single track that takes up side two, is the inventive re-imagining of the previous tracks, using all the same instrumental configurations in an effort to find a music balanced somewhere between Balinese gamelan orchestras and the minimalist droning of LaMonte Young. A beautiful, meditative album, particularly good for morning listening.


by Tobias Fischer
on Tokafi, may 2010


No imitable method: Placing the listener inside the cube of infinite potentials.

About a decade ago, Brian Timothy Harlan visited Kaig Grady at his wood-panelled, instrument-laden home. Originally intended as a conversation about the ongoing relevance of desperately underappreciated pioneer Henry Partch on the musical map of the 21st century, the friendly chat quickly turned into a mint-tea-fueled „interview to end all interviews“, in which Grady's past as a wondering student, his long and winding road towards microtonality and self-built instruments as well as his vision of Anaphoria, a virtual (but not imaginary) state whose culture he propagated and promoted in his work, were discussed. With a view to his most recent release „Footpaths and Traderoutes“, Grady's perspective on „space“ as a creative goal, as laid out in that conversation, was probably most enlightning – especially so, since his affiliation with Anaphoria could easily be regarded as a cheap marketing ploy. In reality, it has served as a strikingly precise image of his approach as well as an ideal to which all of his compositions aspire. The rediscovery of Gamelan as a form of expression containing „all gradations, even some that we no longer know how to name“, as Debussy once famously put it, is only an outward manifestation of a far deeper truth here. Conventional logic is, in effect, reversed, placing the listener inside the music, rather than implanting the music into the listener. Sound, to Grady, had the unique propensity of making structures visible which had been silently in existence since the beginning of time, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, but perceptible to the attentive ear. And once you had actually witnessed this virtual geography for yourself, every other musical experience paled in comparison.

Interestingly for a man so immersed in this vision, Grady's oeuvre has never overtly been part of a recognisable movement. Ever since programmatic music called for the translation of narrative and visual elements into notes, the call has been on composers to try and find techniques to make these structures more clearly apparent. Over time, two distinct and somewhat contrapuntal approaches emerged: On the one hand, the creation of densely layered textures, in which the simultaneity of quiet and loud events mimics the sensation sound-sources at different distances from the observer. On the other, the attempt of juxtaposing a handful of solitary acoustic events with almost complete silence, thereby integrating music into the space surrounding the listener. Grady occupies none of these poles, nor is it sandwiched in between. Rather, his coordinates appears to be located outside of them, extending an essentially twodimensional timeline into a threedimensional continuum.

Just how much closer than most of his colleagues Grady has come to placing the listener inside this cube of infinite potentials becomes clear on „Footpaths and Trade Routes“. Outwardly, the album fits in seamlessly with his back catalogue and seems a perfectly straight-forward work on paper: Timbrally hinting at Bells and Glockenspiel, performance-wise referencing pure Gamelan- and Mallet-pieces and employing “the just intonation resources of Wilson's combination-product sets and meta-slendro“, these three pieces could at first be mistaken for solo-musings by a Vibraphonist in a reflective mood. And yet, the moment one pulls the LP from its mysterious sleeve and drops the needle, the psychoactive characteristics of the music are immediately becoming apparent. Grady's music is airy and open, weightless and unreal, using microtonal shadings and psychological colours to create a fluent lightplay akin to beams of broken sunrays gently piercing a blossoming spring-forest. Melody, tonality and rhythm are important, but they are means to an end rather than an actual goal in themselves, drawing the listener in like silent sirens and recalibrating his senses to open them up for the world hiding underneath the surface. Even without closing one's eyes, they are changing the properties of the room, enriching and distorting them and making one feel as though everything had been bathed in an intriguing new light.

At the same time, Grady awards a compositional urge to his pieces that is unequalled in a musical area usually defined by a lack of direction and an overdose of „mood“. Here, in contrast, each of the three tracks included on „Footpaths and Trade Routes“ is marked by a striking creative idea. „Zephyros“ is bound together by an upbeat Leitmotif, which returns at strategic moments throughout its duration, then dives into a series of call-and-response games as part of which thematic inventions are presented and then discreetly varied. An extract from long-form work, „Hierophone A341“ is built on a two-tier architecture: On the one hand, it is made up of a complex rhythmical pulse complemented by seemingly irregular polyrhythmical adornments and long, sustained tones. On the other, there is a clear order to these motives, with each layer following recognisable patterns while at the same time magically avoiding simple repetition at all cost. Twenty-minute long „Ostaelo“, which takes up the entire B-side of the Vinyl and represents a studio re-examination, re-interpretation and re-contextualisation of various small-group performances, meanwhile, creates a humongous clockwork of gigantic loops comprising stray notes, slow-motion impulse-drones and melodic fragments, all underpinned by an ominous, subliminal bass field. Manifesting itself with shocking subtlety, the virtual geography Grady obliquely mused about in his interview with Harlan is turning into an overwhelming reality here.

Astoundingly, there does not seem to be a single method or imitable process at work here. Within this equally ethereal and mythical machinery, forms and formations are born and exposed, before disintegrating into their formants and percussive properties again - but their lifecycles are never quite the same. Moving according to a logic of their own and at a volume just inside the borders of listenability, these pieces always appear to be much longer than they actually are, fooling the rationally-conditioned mind and quietly knocking at the doors of infinity. In a word, this is space-time music in perfection. It should only seem fitting that one initially accepts a seemingly meditative ostinato-sequence in „Ostaelo“ as a particularly hypnotic passage - before realising it is, in fact, a locked groove.

Even after years of studying at various colleges, Grady still considers himself self-taught and perhaps the answer to the mysteries his music poses lies less in metaphysical studies than in talking to the man behind these otherwordly sounds in person. The way it looks, someone is going to have to take the trip to Grady's home again.

By Tobias Fischer

by Nicola Catalano
on Blow Up, may 2010 issue


Il primo LP sul finire del 2008, con la pubblicazione del bell'album di Blindhæd "Whether That Will Make People Want to Become Archaeologists, We'll Have to See", frutto della precisa scelta di stampare soltanto vinile. E ora le lussuose edizioni di Anaphoria e Twinkle3 che, in attesa di lavori firmati Francisco López, d'incise e Dave Phillips & Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, preparano la belga ini.itu ad un più che probabile botto a livello internazionale.
La politica l'etichetta si ravvisa già nella ragione sociale che nella traduzione letterale dall'indonesiano suona suppergiù "questo/qui.quello/lì" e nel motto (deleuziano?) "ci sono molti modi di essere qui e lì".
E allora ecco progetti che emanano un pungente sentore di fanta-etnografia, come quello dell'americano Kraig Grady, sound-artist che nel 1993 ha fondato la fittizia isola di Anaphoria (per maggiori informazioni, luogo interiore o metaforico-geografico che rimanda direttamente, spesso anche sotto il profilo musicale, ad altre mitologie create ad hoc, "Eskimo" dei Residents e The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland di Leif Elggren_e CM von Hausswolff tanto per dire. "Footpaths and Trade Routes" presenta tre delicatissime composizioni microtonali, leggeri aliti di metallofoni e altre percussioni intonate in meta-slendro (variazione ad opera del teorico Erv Wilson della tipica scala pentatonica anemitonica del gamelan e di tutta la musica indonesiana, alle cui ricerche, oltre che a quelle di Harry Partch, Grady deve molto) a creare una affascinate, ancorché immaginaria, musica tradizionale. (8)


by Fabrice Vanoverberg,
in Rif Raf 159, April 2010


Acteur insolite de la scène micro-tonale, l’artiste sonore et
compositeur Kraig Grady – dites Anaphoria – inscrit sa démarche
à tâtons entre les échos minimalistes de LaMonte Young et
l’Indonésie muse de Steve Reich. Version überacoustique du
calme électronique version Seefeel dépouillé de ses oripeaux
rock (l’amplification, les percussions), la présence musicale de
l’Américain exilé en Australie tangue sur un fil fébrile et imaginaire.
Minimale incontestablement, la démarche de Grady déroule le fil
de l’utopie qui rejoint parfois l’enchantement luxuriant de Francisco
López capté sur un enregistrement de zoviet*france. Inventeur
de l’île fictive d’Anaphoria dont il a tiré son nom d’artiste, Grady
imprime les pages de ses rêves instrumentaux au gré de ses
fantaisies. Créateur d’instruments volumineux – ils rendent difficiles
l’exécution publique de ses oeuvres, l’autoproclamé ambassadeur
nord-américain de l’île d’Anaphoria nous présente trois de ses
récents travaux. Enveloppé dans une draperie nocturne et rituelle,
le trio (deux titres en face A et un en face B) parcourt une vallée
chaleureuse et humide. Telle une aventure inaltérée où la surprise
guette le moindre son de cloche, la chaleur humaine qui s’en
dégage incite à la méditation autour des géants végétaux, amusés
de notre faible condition.


by Roger Mills


Anaphoria aka Kraig Grady, will need little introduction to connoisseurs of microtonal music, and his release Footpaths and Trade Routes really showcase the width and depth of his output. Following in the footsteps of innovative instrument makers and composers such as Harry Partch, Grady also builds his own instruments to sculpt his sound. The self styled mesotonal and xenharmonic instruments include metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers and reed organ, which he plays in both solo and ensemble combinations. The resulting material on Footpaths and Trade Routes take you through a musical topography of meditative microtonal improvisations, which all have quite distinctive melodic, textural and rhythmic qualities. Zephyros (track 1) introduces the LP with spatial metallic tones building sparse contours of conjunct melodic fragments, often just left hanging on a single note as untempered tones fade to join each other in silence. Heirophone A341 strays into darker territory as a repetitive metallic rhythm chips away at the sonic ether, underscored by a processed zither like drone. Again this builds in layers, and is the most emotive of the albums tracks. Ostaelo (Side B) continues a trajectory of ominous quietude punctuated by occasional processed hits, which appear and dissipate without trace. It all has a very cinema of the mind quality, and I can imagine Grady performing soundtracks to silent films and puppet shows, as it refers to in the press release. For those of us in the Australasian antipodes, catching one of his performances isn’t too difficult but everyone else must apply to the Anaphorian embassy.


by Tobias Fischer
from Tokafi


( introduction to an interview - review to follow )

If the term "Ambient" denotes music which subtly enhances environmental factors, then Kraig Grady's most recent LP, "Footpaths and Trade Routes" (released in a limited Vinyl edition on ini itu) could be considered "Mental Ambient". Consisting of four compositions of weightless tonal chains of chime-, bell- and gamelan-like timbral qualities, it is an album that lingers in the listener's imagination like a psychedelic perfume, gradually fanning out to its outer-most corners and filling it with confusion, calm, anticipation and inexplicable excitement. Disconnected from traditional forms and modes of development, these pieces are not so much "epic" as entirely located out of time and imbue their audience with the sensation of wandering dream-like through a quiet and peaceful, yet all the same immense and infinite cave-scape stretching far beyond the borders of the humanly imaginable. This "sonographical" element is a constant in Grady's work, who has been called anything from an "Ethnographic Surrealist" (David Toop) to an explorer of a "visionary geography" (Grady himself) - and it has become even more pronounced after he discovered the fictional island of Anaphoria, a "metaphorical geographical locale" as he puts it, as a space of inspiration. Anaphoria represents an ideal and a reality at the same time, serving both as a description of the feeling of being literally surrounded by music rather than containing it within oneself as well as the urge of trying to convey this perception to the public as a composer. Anaphoria is also steeped in the tradition of instrument design and Grady's oeuvre has accordingly been closely connected to the tools he has constructed to map out the trajectories through his mysterious acoustic planes. Cynics may consider all of this a PR-hoax and as a revamping of ideas pioneered by his first reference point Harry Partch. But the subconscious, psychoactive power of this music clearly marks Grady as an artist with a language capable of not just transcending the idea of Ambient as "background music", but of forcing the listener to face his fears, anxieties, hopes and desires - and therefore of making him experience some of the deepest emotions we are capable of.



by James Wyness
on his blog "Fouter & Swick"


Everyone has some music in them. Getting it out seems to be the problem. I wonder how many aspiring musicians have spent fruitless years attempting to master an instrument, or perhaps even composition, when they might have followed Lou Harrison’s advice, which goes as follows: build an instrument of your own, just the one will do nicely, then tune it to one of the many wonderful just intonation scales or modes and finally play it. It’s simply the most satisfying thing. That advice incidentally, minus the just intonation bit, is now being followed by a generation of new improvising musicians who fashion their own electro-acoustic tools for performance.

Kraig Grady is one of the leading musicians in the field of justly intoned music played on hand made instruments. To build one instrument takes time and application. To build an orchestra of tuned strings and struck percussion instruments takes courage, commitment and artistic vision. But in the end you get the music out of you; original, unique and very beautiful on the ear.

To arrive at a complete understanding of the music of Kraig Grady by means of emulating his achievements is a task which will occupy you for several years. You will never regret the undertaking: a journey through instrument building, justly intoned scale construction, microtonal composition, improvisation and ensemble playing, a deeper appreciation of non-Western musical idioms and their aesthetic leanings, to name a few of the landmarks.

I’ll talk a little more about these features later. For now, all I can say is that anyone with an interest in new original music should buy a copy of Grady’s latest album, Anaphoria, Footpaths and Trade Routes, released as a 250 limited edition vinyl LP by ini itu.

This is more than just another release. I consider Kraig Grady’s music to be more like an initiation into an incredibly beautiful sound world of integrity, depth, charm and mystery.

I assume, and I say this from experience, that touring with such large and heavy resources is difficult and costly. This leaves the option of solo and collaborative shows in and around where the instruments are located, and of course the production of recorded music. Here we have the latest in a line of excellent releases by Grady and his fellow musicians and artists. I own several and recommend them all.

In other words you really want to have a copy of this album. To own a limited edition copy on vinyl is particularly gratifying, given the currently favoured modes of new music distribution.

What you will hear on this album are three pieces of original music in just intonation played on hand built metallophones, tuned to scales devised by Erv Wilson, one of just intonation’s most revered theorists. The particular scale at the forefront of these pieces is the meta-slendro. You can follow up for yourself the whys and wherefores of this and other scales (this might occupy you for the next decade or so as I found to my cost!) on the Anaphoria site. In simple terms the meta-slendro is built on tones, which ,sounded together, create difference tones which are also part of the scale. The arithmetic is simple (I understand it!) if you take time to grasp the basics. As a compositional or improvisational tool, such a scale might seem to suffer from harmonic limitations compared to a tempered 12 tone system. But these and other scale systems offer immense variety and versatility. Played on metallophones they also allow the composer or improviser to explore musical flavours associated with gamelan and similar idioms.

Music in just intonation offers not only some of the most beautiful music you will hear anywhere, but also some of the most disgusting. On the plus side you have the beautiful music of Kraig Grady and one or two others, usually artists who have devoted their lives to the practice. On the other side I’m thinking of some of the stuff that goes around on retuned midi synthesisers, which sets out to demonstrate something theoretical and which sounds out of tune, badly so, in its attempts to emulate various harmonic modulations. There ought to be a law, etc…..

I know from following Grady’s work over many years and from frequent correspondence that there are several strands to his compositional process. He has a very good understanding of the technical aspects of the scale systems, something approaching a scientific approach to the complexities. Erv Wilson’s work, from which Grady draws most of his resources, is dense and difficult. Much of the raw research is in need of interpretation or helpful commentary for the non-specialist. Next, less well documented perhaps and more an assumption on my part, much of Grady’s work will have been improvised in the making, both in solo and in ensemble settings, at many stages of ‘composition’, before a method of organising the tones comes into play. The actual compositional method(s) used are of great interest, a range of techniques related to minimalist cell permutations, tintinnabulation and gamelan structures. In some cases a series of rigorous arithmetical and geometrical transformations are applied to the scale’s logic.

The resulting music has warmth, elegance and human appeal, as opposed to some of the dry sterile justly intoned music out there which drifts off eventually into demonstrations of various acoustic phenomena. This is because the music is played on physically sounding instruments as opposed to those disgusting midi machines. In addition metallophones are inherently inharmonic, they have their own character deficiencies so to speak, so any theoretical reliance on accurate difference tones arising will be compromised somewhat from the outset as the metal bars wobble according to their own unpredictable harmonic nature.

Finally, all of this is wrapped in narrative, myth, folklore, fantasy, fact and the stuff of dreams, principally by means of the Anaphorian connection. Grady seems to bury his character in the spaces and places of Anaphoria, out of which various characters (real or imagined?) seem to emerge and recede. He seems to have created his own personal or small collective mythology, a place where history meets nature. Strangely, I’ve never questioned the concept, if that’s what it is. It seems to have its own logic and explains much of the underlying musical aesthetic.

Kraig Grady’s output has a lot in common with gamelan in being practically tied up with shadow puppetry, with story telling and with the investigation of transcendental phenomena. This functional aspect of Grady’s work, playing for theatre, is to my mind responsible for the integrity of the music. Like Stravinsky who throughout much of his career worked with touring ballet, Kraig Grady makes work for collaboration with other performative art forms. He sets up his own performances across several media. In this he is both very modern and very ancient. But the music will tell you this in its own way.

The three tracks are: Zephyros, Hierophone A341 on side A and Ostaelo on Side B. Zephyros is described as ‘an example of a celebratory ritual meditation based on one of the sixteen winds’ This wind is described as ‘light winged and with a subtle and shifting delicateness’. Comparisons are drawn between the winds and states of being, natural forces and human emotional states are considered as sharing common subtle material properties. This to my mind fits well with a music which has such a powerful physical and emotional appeal. In simple terms Zephyros is absolutely gorgeous, a ballad of sorts, gentle, introspective. It feels to be searching in its improvised manner. What I like about this track is the feeling of the music being played as opposed to a composition being rendered. The metallophone in this work is warm, shimmering, engaging. The music makes use of space and silence, allowing the decay of tonal structures to merge and generate their own clearly perceptible harmonic structures.

Zephyros contrasts with Hierophone A341 (an extract) with its percussive pulse, fragments of human voice chanting, various emerging and receding layers of tonal sound, that omnipresent background shifting drone as the combination tones do their work. When I first listened to this piece I heard ,or imagined I heard, something of the representation of a Native American Indian ritual. Not that I would know about these things from experience, but the mind does wander around various cultural territories when exposed to this music.

Ostaelo, the longest track, is an uncompromising piece; muscular and relentless in its forward motion. It contrasts with Zephyros in that the metallophone has a different timbre, more like large bells than tubes, and the combination tones are clearly heard as structurally important elements in the work. The low end is incredible. I haven’t put this through a software spectrogram, but we’re talking here about some serious lower chakra activation. I was reminded of the metal percussion in Xenakis Pleiades, more in the spirit of the work, the feeling of instruments being performed as opposed to a piece being played, and the specific choice of hand wrought metal for its unique properties. Variety and interest are maintained throughout by careful dynamic contrast and subtle variations in the duration of sounded tones.

There are some nut-crunching dissonances in all three pieces which Grady exploits with relish. These structural features give the music an edge which cuts through any tendency towards more amorphous ambient forms. I would say, however, that both sides of the sign ‘dissonance’ need an overhaul in the context of just intonation music played on metallophones.

I love this music because of the challenges it presents. Despite the fact that many in the academic community have declared microtonality to be dead and buried, except as a tasty spice to be sprinkled here and there, the music of Grady and others takes us out of our narrow parochial frame of reference and reminds us of the wealth of non-Western forms. The mode of production of the instruments themselves is a challenge to convention. Boulez was said to have turned his nose up at Partch’s hand made orchestra. If this is true, he will have scorned the majority of instrument makers around the world who ‘roll their own’. Then there is the rejection of 12 tone equal temperament for valid and well considered reasons allied to the establishment and successful exploitation of an archive of alternative tuning systems. And the work is still in its infancy. I’m drawn also to the collaborative potential of this kind of music, in particular with with certain electronic forms.

But perhaps the most exciting feature of Grady’s music is its simplicity, which we all overlook so often in our individual and collective desire to gather, consume and achieve.

I would recommend serious consideration of Lou Harrison’s advice to build an instrument, to tune it and to play it. You might not be able to modulate freely around the cycle of fifths or to play Bach fugues (after several year’s practice) but you will be doing something musical of great beauty which is both original and unrepeatable.

Finally, I would offer the view that Kraig Grady’s music has much in common with some of wonderful drifts in new non-academic music. His music is based on the exploitation of limited resources, produced ‘locally’, on the creation of a unique sound world and on reductive approaches to musical organisation, including an investigation of structural uses of silence. His musical voice is one of the most vital and essential in these first decades of the 21st century.


by Ryan Martin
from Still Single (Dusted)


Third album of ritualistic drone from microtonal sound artist Kraig Grady, under his performance name (and self-declared nation) of Anaphoria. This record easily appeals to listeners of minimalist composers such as Lou Harrison and Harry Partch, but takes on a more modern primitive approach by using synchronized chimes and lightly touched dulcimers, organs and bells, which will please followers of all those amazing Nonesuch Explorers compilations. This record seemed to take on the sound of an audio sigil that one would use to embody sounds that conjure up a building rally of haunting surrealism and modernist folklore. Each side contains very diverse instrumentation, yet the album as a whole is very quiet and sparse. Anaphoria could easily follow alongside contemporaries such as LaMonte Young or even John Cage at his most tribal if he keeps this up. Limited to 250 copies.


by Ian Holloway
from Wonderful Wooden Reasons


Kraig Grady has been making his beautifully rotund music for quite a while and it shows.  The struck bell (or prayer bowl) like ringing tones upon which his music is established are an erratically gentle fall of sound, unpredictable and incandescent. It's form is reminiscent of John Cage's Music for Prepared Piano but of a more elegant and stately nature.
Grady has previously recorded for ensembles but the three pieces here are two solo and one edited amalgam.  All are delicately poised with shifts in tension given sparingly as the music waxes and wanes.  There is a moonlit quality that is hugely immersive and compulsive. The music has a pull and a call based on it's refusal to settle into one particular shape and as such I've found yourself losing hours of time as I relentlessly flip the album over replaying each side in turn.




Footpaths and Trade Routes contains three pieces by Australian resident Kraig Grady, who operates under the name Anaphoria and who David Toop has characterized as an ‘Ethnographic Surrealist.' Grady named himself after the island of Anaphoria which he ‘discovered' in the mid-‘90s and of which he is now a citizen (and also, ahem, responsible for the Austronesian Outpost of Anaphoria and the Office of Cultural Liaisons); that said discovery allowed him to make use of a “visionary geographic” inner space suggests that the locale is, one guesses, imaginary. Influenced by the likes of Stockhausen, Harry Partch, and microtonalism pioneer Erv Wilson, Grady assembles his own custom-built metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers, and reed organs into ensembles. The three pieces on his forty-two-minute album, however, include two solo compositions in addition to one assembled from multiple ensemble takes (the album's material is said to have been “collected in conjunction with the Center of Alphabetical Sequencing”). With the sound palette often reduced to reverberant mallet tones, the material is obviously minimal and austere in design and reminiscent of gamelan music—especially side A's second piece, “Hierophone A341,” which expands atmospherically upon the first piece, “Zephyros,” in its incorporation of thick background tones. Though still retaining a gamelan residue, side B's “Ostaelo” is more clanguorous and thus suggestive of bell chimes emanating from a town's central tower, neverthless, its peaceful, unhurried meander proves soothing, just as it does in the other pieces.


        by  Frans de Waard
from Vital Weekly #699  (October 2009)


Back in Vital Weekly 582 I was first introduced to the work of Kraig Grady, of whom I thought 'Beyond The Windows Perhaps Among The Podcorn' was his debut CD. That CD blew me away, and I held it for the missing link between Phill Niblock, Ingram Marshall and Alvin Lucier. Later on I got some of his older work, which explored also micro tonalism. Grady explores the sound of metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers and reed organs, which makes it hardly a surprise that he ends with a LP for Ini Itu, the label from Brussels, of whom I found out explore Indonesian music - a point I missed when reviewing their first two LP releases of this label. Grady here play percussion instruments and does that in his usual elegant manner. Working around with overtones, he plays mood music that seems to me (and I readily admit being no expert) only vaguely connected to Indonesian gamelan music. That is usually much louder and more hectic, but in Grady's hands they turn out to be sounding like wind chimes. Not music that demands a lot, but music that works well on a microscopic level. A bit like z'ev playing softly. Great late night music - very atmospheric, very controlled and ending in gorgeous lock groove on 'Ostaelo'. Damn fine record. (FdW)


by Sietse van Erve,
on Earlabs



The Belgian/Indonesian label ini.itu is a label that releases only vinyl in limited quantities that contains music with connections to Indonesia. With their latest release by Francisco Lopez they gained quite some (well deserved) interest. But before that release they already delivered us a few other good and interesting albums, and one of them is Footpaths and Trade Routes by the musician Anaphoria.
Behind Anaphoria is percussionist Kraig Grady who makes music with a certain traditional connotation. And here we seem to find something along that line.

The connection with Indonesia shouldn't be sought very far for this release. The percussion played seems to be some sort of self-made gamelan. One with a very clear sound when played quickly creates surrounding drone patterns.
Things stay really down to earth creating some sort of state of meditation. Where at points it refers to the Indonesian traditional gamelan music, at the same time it also can be connected to traditional music from Tibet, but always the improvised avant-garde stays near.
The first piece sounds a lot like some kind of improvisation with not clear structure or progression. It more functions as some kind of relaxing music with the soft touches on metal objects creating reverberations that slowly fade in and out. Like wind-chimes moving in the wind. The music has something transcendental without turning into new-age.
The second piece seems much more structured and is closer related the the gamelan music. While the basic ingredient of this track consists of metal percussion here the outcome is much different. Repetitive rhythms are combined with gong like sounds that live their own life. Because of this the piece inhibits a paradoxical feeling. The reverberations we hear here create almost drone like background noises creating some sort of spooky haunting atmosphere. I guess that if you would hear this kind of music coming from a jungle you would become quite scary.
What you directly notice about this piece is the richer sound color. Grady worked with different sets of instruments in this piece, opposed to the first and last track.
On side B of the LP we find just one piece which is again more in the vain of the first piece. The free character playing of gongs or metal pipes seems to be the case here. Again the music plays with reverberations of sound, which create phasing patters. Though, due to the different sound source used you get a complete different outcome than in the first piece. The sound is much more like that of church bells. The piece doesn't really seem to develop. Both in sound color and composition there isn't much progression, only in the volume there are some changes. The rest just stays as it is. Because of this the 20 minutes are actually way too long. When you are reading a book or something like that it doesn't really matter, but as soon as you start to listen intensely it can become really boring.

Footpaths and Trade Routes is a nice album to hear so once in a while but nothing to lay on the turntable to often. While the sounds are beautiful the release as a whole is kind of directionless. This is a shame, considering that a lot of gamelan music is really rich and really happening. With this we can say that this is definitely not the best release on ini.itu. Nonetheless for those who are looking for a combination of traditional folk music from Indonesia and modern avant-garde it might be exactly what you are looking for.


by Scott Foust
on Swill Radio feb 2012


Anaphoria is Kraig Grady. This record initially put me off due to the test, a fake ethnomusical study made to look like a page from an old book (yawn), and the cover, which is pretty dismal despite the usual very high quality ini.itu sleeve. Once I got past all of that, this is a fine LP. Slow gamelan-esque percussion pieces that are very resonant, well recorded, well played, and slow. From the insert and the cover I assumed this was going to be some sort of terrible, digital reverb soaked, ethnic tinged 'New Age' music. Instead, it is great! It just goes to show, although most of the time you can judge a book by its cover, once in a while, you can't. The perfect music for slowing yourself down.


by Sergey from Maeror3


Сопроводительный текст к этой пластинке, вложенный в конверт листок, будто бы напечатанный на пишущей машинке, оставляет после прочтения больше вопросов, чем ответов. Что такое «Анафория»? Название одного из островов, к которому так неравнодушен автор этого проекта, Крейг Греди и его многочисленные коллеги, участвовавшие в записи, или же медицинский термин, о чем подсказывает интернет-поисковик? Кто эти древние боги и богини, о которых идет речь? Высыпая загадки и тайны (среди которых, опять же, если вчитываться в строки, найдется место и криптографии, и последовательности Фибоначчи), музыканты, в конце концов, оставляют слушателя один на один со своей музыкой, сочиненной на основе правил микрохроматики и сыгранной на разного рода перкуссионных инструментах (имеющих непосредственное отношение к индонезийскому гамелану), таких, как вибрафон, ксилофон, маримба и гонги.
      Первая композиция – день, вторая – ночь, а третья - бесконечность. Объединившие экзотические ритуалы «малых народностей», разбросанных по тропическим островам и достижения авангардной музыки, они позволяют по-новому взглянуть на саму структуру звука и мелодий, играя полутонами, вибрациями, пульсациями, резонансами и еле различимыми оттенками. Трек «Zephyros», носящий имя ветра, сыгран на вибрафоне, но навевает ассоциации со множеством ветряных металлических колокольчиков, развешенных на ветвях вдоль берега океана. Настоящая музыка для медитации – все оттенки звона, медленные переливы, всегда есть немного места для тишины. Звуки разбегаются в разные стороны, такие же недолговечные, как следы на песке. «Hyerophone A431» уже более серьезно исследует различные аспекты звона – от тонкого писка по продолжительного гула, а также содержит некое подобие ритма, задаваемого робкой металлической перкуссией, и воспринимаемые не столько слухом, сколько всей поверхностью тела пульсации и дотрагивающиеся до кожи неуловимые шумы (иногда приходится недоуменно крутить головой, пытаясь понять, доносится ли этот шум из динамиков, или же проникает сквозь окна и стены). Гипнотическая вещь, как и было сказано выше, относится к ночному времени суток, и судя по немного отличному качеству записи, была создана и зафиксирована на более удаленном в прошлое отрезке времени, чем остальные вещи с пластинки. Ну, и наконец, вечность – «Ostaelo», композиция, несущая имя бога (есть ли бог с именем Остаэло, или это еще одна выдумка авторов?), но посвященная его жене. Здесь все построено на вибрациях множества гонгов, которые сливаются вместе и порождают новые, создавая интересные акустические (точнее, видимо, сказать «психоакустические») эффекты, сопровождая воображение слушателя то на пустынный пляж, то под своды затопленной пещеры с ее удивительным эхом. Размеренность, неторопливость, смены настроения и, в то же время, непоколебимая неизменность - и разлетающиеся в пространстве звуки, которые заставят позабыть о реальности, хотя бы на эти двадцать минут. Безупречный диск, «штучная вещь» для истинных ценителей «тонких состояний» музыки.