- Released: August 24, 1998
- Label: Kranky
- 1.Low Level (Listening)
- 2.Low Level (Listening) (Continued)
- 3.Low Level (Listening) (Continued)
- 4.Anchor States
- 5.Anchor States (Continued)
- 6.Anchor States (Continued)
Full performer: Stars Of The Lid/Jon McCafferty.
Personnel: S. Nelson (cello).
This is one of the most unusual musical collaborations you'll find, challenging the accepted notions of interdisciplinary artistic domain. For this recording, Austin's ambient/experimental masters joined forces with forward-looking New York painter Jon McCafferty (best known to music fans by his cover art for REM's GREEN). Stars of the Lid recorded the sound of McCafferty painting in his studio and incorporated into their trademark low-key ambient brilliance.
The Stars have achieved such mastery at transforming sound sources that it's impossible to pick out the sounds of McCafferty from the slowly modulating, sensuously undulating electronic textures of the band. For the most part, both of the three-part pieces that make up PER ASPERA are even subtler than the Stars' earlier work. The one exception is the simple, gorgeous first movement of "Anchor States," a piece with semi-classical overtones that is one of the most melodic works in the group's canon. P.S.--McCafferty painted the album cover as well.