Free-thinking Nova Scotia composer, musician and visual artist Jay Crocker (aka JOYFULTALK) channels Minimalism, Japanese environmental music, Maghrebian rhythmic modes and other numinous folkways to create his most focused, vibrant work to date. Based on a monumental, kaleidoscopic graphic score, A Separation Of Being is translated from two-dimensional page to this album using an array of homemade instruments, crowned with a majestic string arrangement written by Crocker and performed by Polaris and Juno winner Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Destroyer).
Visual scores often provoke ideas of openness, interpretation, improvisation and fluidity. JOYFULTALK’s third album, and second for Constellation, is an altogether different beast. This three-part suite is airtight; interlocking arcs of polyrhythmic deep groove and new minimalism roll out in spellbinding propulsion, the music gathering its warmth from the strings and its peculiarities from Crocker’s bespoke instrumentation and analog clockworks.
Crocker began developing ‘The Planetary Music System’, his particular methodology for visualized composition, in 2012. The score for A Separation Of Being is the pinnacle of his system to date. Impressive in scale and scope, the stunning 5’x10’ mural (acquired by Nova Scotia’s provincial Art Bank in 2019) features geometric multi-directional cycles of brightly-coloured, finely-detailed sound notation. Album packaging on CD and 180g LP features details on the outer jacket cover art, and a reproduction of the full score on the inside gatefold, and as an exquisite 12” x 24”pull-out art print, respectively.
Both the intricate graphic score and the expansive music distinguish and elevate Crocker/JOYFULTALK as a creator/producer/performer who’s been integrating sonic, artistic and sculptural practices into unique installation, environmental and recorded works for the past 15 years. A Separation Of Being is a career-defining moment for this artist.
Echoes of Steve Reich, Phillip Glass and other minimalists mingle with a modern contrapuntal approach to create a hypnotic sound which embraces the name of the artist with its joyfulness. Life affirming and uplifting music!