Ashley Paul creates music by coalescing her instruments, that can include saxophone, clarinet, guitar, bells and percussion, as well as her vocals, into new and beguiling areas of listening and perceiving. She forms ‘A world away sound’ from delicate and brittle sounds that lend her intensely intuitive songs free forming, introverted melodies, caustic tones and subtle dynamics that bear close attention.
Latest album Heat Source finds her using her brilliant ears to find a zen like balance between her voice and a sparse arrangement of staccato instrumentation leaving as much open space on one song as most people would create in a lifetime. It was recorded during a challenging year of transience between New York and London. During this year of impermanence Paul performed regularly and the effects of frequent performance and traveling can be heard in the intentionally pared back emptiness of Heat Source making it an emotionally challenging and fascinatingly personal listening experience.
Live at shows, at residencies and in collaboration Ashley creates sets from a field of sound gleaned from oblique musical positional senses. The listener is allowed to explore with a sense of wonder concerning where this is ALL coming from, so creating a special zone, as shards of voice(s) manifest themselves against beautiful and simple musical forms and acoustic experimentation.
Ashley lives in New York, USA and has performed or recorded with Phill Niblock, Loren Connors, Aki Onda, C. Spencer Yeh, Anthony Coleman, Joe Maneri, Joe Morris, Seijiro Murayama, Greg Kelley, Bill Nace and Eli Keszler. She has appeared on such labels as REL, PAN, ESP-DISK, Tzadik and her own imprint Wagtail.
“Dissonant chordal pluckings on a guitar, long tones on a clarinet and saxophone, a careful high voice creeping through it, bells and close-up noises of objects being shifted, pushed and scraped. Is it arranged? Is it made up on the spot? It’s almost all coming from Ashley Paul, a Brooklyn musician who sometimes sounds influenced by improvisers like Derek Bailey or Keith Rowe, and sometimes sounds as if she’s got nothing to do with any tradition at all — rather, a songwriter with a diaristic, private and flexible sense of what a song is.” – New York Times
“Armed with a brutal take on classical instruments such as the clarinet and a disarmingly powerful vocal, Paul’s ‘Line The Clouds’ is a quietly forceful experimental record that’s set to turn heads.” – The Dummy
“Ashley Paul’s songs can be called ‘songs’ in the conventional sense. Melody and lyrics float over a tapestry of sparse guitar figures, with ambient drones and random sounds filling out the whole. The result is a kind of music where time stands still, shimmering in the air like static noise. Ashley Paul’s music invokes both the industrial wastelands of Brooklyn and a zen-like stillness, with echoes of Sonic Youth, Fred Frith, John Zorn and even Philip Glass‘ serial minimalism.” God Is In The TV
No shows booked at the moment.