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Knitting By Twilight

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This album is presented in a limited, numbered edition. Specially sized six-panel vessel, suitable for framing.

Knitting By Twilight Presspage
Select Notices | Interviews

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Music Emissions


Fire of Unknown Origin

FAME Review

Sea of Tranquility

Rock and Reprise


The Big Takeover

Vital Weekly


IO Pages

Zazz Productions

This is Book's Music

Arlequins (italian)

Traverses (French)



by Editor John Collinge

Approaching twenty years of making fiercely independent,genre-defying music, Rhode Island act Knitting By Twilight lulls, provokes and inspires once again with eight new contemporary instrumentals. Weathering is an adventure of tone and texture in motion, brimming in subtlety and nuance but commanding sufficient exotic swagger to keep your synapses firing.

Leader/percussionist John Orsi emphasizes tone play and textural resonance as much as rhythm via orchestral instruments, xylophone and all manner of bells, cymbals, metal bowls, etc. - even pots, pans, whisks and something called the boomywang. John also plays keyboards, with Manny Silva and Mike Marando assisting on guitars, ebow guitars and bass.

Jazz elements flit in and out of rhythmically percolating arrangements where edgy dissonance and harmonic ideas joust for dominance. Though the tracks are short = four of the eight approach six minutes each - melody isn't foremost in Orsi's wheelhouse. Things occasionally come close, a la celestial chill-out "The Doorman's Dairy Dream," but unconventional spacey/ tribal soundscapes rule. (Orsi notes that Weathering's rhythm structures drew inspiration from Hindi music.)

Oversized double-gatefold packaging with beautiful artwork makes things doubly special.



The Big Takeover
by Editor Jack Rabid

John Orsi's Providence, RI art pop instrumentalists drop a fourth lp that recaps why the late 70's punk/new wave/post-punk scene was so boundlessly fascinating. Art school creative types were making loads of music then, and true artists recast music instead of replicating conventional norms. Likewise, KBT always hypnotize. Previously, I've compared them to Berlin Bowie and Pornography Cure; here there's an air of tropical melancholic mystery amid tribal rhythms that suggest macaws and toucans cawing and lizards hissing - in space! Like another David Bowie/Brian Eno curioso. 1979's Lodger, "Clouds and Stars" makes me think of 'African Night Flight' without vocals, while "Biddeford Pool" is like 1977's Low's 'Art Decade' hovering mixed with Savage Republic (Another offering is called "Harold's Budds".) Weathering is alive with patterns of space and color; it makes me miss Providence's AS 220 art-music space too!



Review by Erik Groeneweg

Ah, our friends Knitting By Twilight, or rather our friend Jon Orsi and his comrades. These Americans are regular guests since I was a mini CD into his hands with the permanent residents on their last full length An Evening Out Of Town. Weathering embroiders (actually knit, but yes) more or less upon the music of the album, very cinematic instrumental pieces with a heavy emphasis on percussion. This is understandable because Orsi is a great percussionist.

The pieces on Weathering, itself a title to me to David Sylvian recalls, sounding them for the day: beautiful lubricate sonorous synthesizer with many authentic percussion here and there a fretless bass, creative guitar sounds and then mainly ambience. It sounds as crisp, well produced and tastefully arranged. And speaking of tasteful, the ring protrudes even further in the most beautiful cover of the year. It fits in any CD rack, but I like to take for granted!

That does not mean that all the pieces sound the same. In A Thousand Islands make guitar licks from Robert Fripp could have been a nice dressing, which is spicier, the longer percussion tempo boosts. Rainy Day Trains is a brilliant cacophony of cymbals and other tuned percussion, which actually something of a railway crossing in echoes. Budds Harold's is a reference to the master of ambient keyboards Harold Budd. Also, Heavy Weather is beautiful, dark keyboard sounds, nice drumming and mountain atmosphere.

The Doorman's Dairy Dream is the best piece for my taste. A beautiful melody with some heavy synth sounds appropriate tapping cymbals, it's the soundtrack of a great movie, best compared with the film work of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Incidentally, much of the album on the website to listen, so will certainly take a look!

As far as I know his work, this is the best album ever made Orsi. Lovers of the quieter work of Robert Fripp, David Sylvian and certainly Terry Bozzio would have to give this album a chance. Adventurous world music with lots of depth, which now no longer the label of the examples, but simply the choice of the creators work deserves. Knitting By Twilight will never be a great name, but what good are the men!

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Music Emissions
Music Review by Mike Wood

Though not explicit, there is a Middle Eastern feel to the eight instrumentals that make up Knitting By Twilight. Though the songs on  "Weathering" reference in their titles rain, pools, stars, dreams, there is an expansive tone to all of them, suggesting, not the specific, but, like the desert, full of wonder, danger, and mile after mile.

The percussive sorcery of "Heavy Water" and the languid "Biddeford Pool" have an arid beauty, as does "A Thousand Stars." Jonh Orsi's assortment of keyboards, bells, metals and toms create intricate sonic possibilities even when, as on "Harold's Budds" and "The Doorman's Dream," only a few minimal paths are chosen. The welcome sound of Mike Marando's guitar up front in the mix on "Rainy Day Trains" just deepens, McLaughlin style, the meditative echoes  from Orsi's grab bag.

Largely mellow but wide in ambition, the subtle keyboard driven instrumentals of "Weathering" hint at the places beyond place, whether it be dream, desert, glacier or ocean. Knitting By Twilight have conceived their most cinematic work, and this is truly a soundtrack that asks the listener to bring their own dreams and images to the table while hearing these tracks.

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Music Review by Ian C Stewart

Fascinating, percussive instrumentals with art rock tendencies. It would be lazy to say Dead Can Dance with special guest Robert Fripp, so I won’t say it. The soundtrackish, professional production places this album into a category all its own. And though the song title “Harold’s Budds” may tip their hand, Knitting By Twilight is more than mere gauzy piano. The layers of hand percussion deserve a special mention, and the unique, darkly Asian tone of the cymbals. The dynamics ensure that this is not some overly-rigid MIDI new age pastiche, or something. I’m losing the plot trying to say how much I’m enjoying this. I do! I’m reminded of David Sylvian’s better instrumental pieces.

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Fire of Unknown Origin
Music Review by progmistress

1. A Thousand Islands (3:59)
2. Clouds and Stars (2:46)
3. Heavy Water (5:55)
4. Biddeford Pool (4.30)
5. Harold’s Budds (6:01)
6. The Doorman’s Dairy Dream(4:10)
7. Rainy Day Trains (6:33)
8. Weathering (5:36)

John Orsi  – drums, percussion, keyboards
Mike Marando – guitars (3, 5, 7, 8), bass (5, 7), ebow guitar (7)
Manny Silva – guitars (1)

Knitting By Twilight is a music and art collective based in the historic New England city of Providence (known as the hometown of cult horror writer HP Lovecraft), where it was founded by John Orsi and Michael Watson in the spring of 1994. Orsi, a talented composer and multi-instrumentalist, has been the only constant in the outfit throughout the years. Weathering, the sixth CD released by Knitting By Twilight since their inception, comes in a stunning six-panel package graced with a full-size image of late 19th-century French artist Antoine Bouguereau’s painting Biblis. Orsi is also involved with Incandescent Sky and Herd of Mers, both signed to his own label It’s Twilight Time.

When I started my “career” as an official reviewer (as opposed to writing about albums in my own collection), I chose Knitting By Twilight’s fourth album, bearing the charming title of An Evening Out of Time, for my very first review. In spite of my extensive exposure to all kinds of music, I had rarely chanced upon something so distinctive and delicate, yet bearing very little resemblance to the “prog” that made up the bulk of my listening and reviewing routine. Everything about the album drew my attention – from the lovely, romantic artwork (a constant of Knitting By Twilight’s output) to the quirkily delightful titles, reminiscent of haiku-style poems or Impressionist paintings rather than the slightly self-conscious grandeur of a lot of “mainstream” progressive rock. The music within was no less fascinating, even if very much of an acquired taste, requiring both patience and an appreciation for muted contrasts of light and shade rather than intricate arrangements, flowing melodies or instrumental flights of fancy.

Knitting By Twilight’s music revolves around John Orsi’s remarkable, yet understated skill as a percussionist. Totally passionate about his craft, and using his extensive, inspirational array of instruments (listed in loving detail on the CD) to generate sounds that range from pastoral gentleness to eerie dissonance, Orsi is the polar opposite of the stereotype of the muscular, propulsive rock drummer, his approach quite far removed from the technically gifted, yet overly assertive likes of Mike Portnoy and his ilk. He also handles keyboards, which add depth to the compositions and create an atmospheric backdrop for both his percussive forays and the guitar touches provided by Manny Silva and Mike Marando (the latter also a member of Incandescent Sky) on some of the tracks.

Unlike most traditional prog, the music featured on Weathering is not tightly orchestrated, but rather loose and improvisational, deeply evocative, often airy and rarefied, occasionally a tad uncomfortable. As both the main title and the individual titles suggest, the album is very much a celebration of weather and nature, seen as metaphors for many of life’s situations. However, though some listeners might expect a new-agey, somewhat limp-wristed musical offer, there are different kinds of beauty on display on this album, some of them reflecting the languor and sensuality of the cover art, others edgier and slightly ominous.

At a superficial glance, there is not a lot of variety on Weathering, centred as it is on Orsi’s elaborate, yet oddly natural percussive patterns, achieved with both traditional instruments and more exotic ones – many made of metal, producing sharp, bell-like sounds. Clocking in at a very restrained 38 minutes, the album is a collection of tracks that run the gamut from the understated, haunting beauty of opener “A Thousand Islands” to the chaotic, challenging bouts of dissonance of the aptly-titled “Heavy Water” and the eerily buzzing keyboard tapestry of “Harold’s Budds” (a pun on the name of American composer Harold Budd), punctuated by bells and piercing guitar. In “Rainy Day Trains”, the title’s vivid imagery is conjured by clanging cymbals and surging keyboard waves, a difficult though exhilarating combination of sounds tempered by the solemn tone of Marando’s guitar. In the subtly melodic “The Doorman’s Dairy Dream”, layers of keyboards support the delicate, sparse percussion, used more as an accent than as the main event.  “Clouds and Stars” is as gracefully romantic as its title implies, with a main theme embroidered by various percussion, and faint Eastern suggestions backed by faraway-sounding keyboards; while in “Biddeford Pool” the keyboards suggest the ebb and flow of water, spiked by the faint metallic dissonance produced by the percussion. The title-track wraps up the album in stately fashion, with guitar, percussion and keyboards interacting slowly and steadily to create a rich, haunting texture.

As hinted in the previous paragraphs, Weathering is not for everyone – its refined minimalism very much in contrast with the carefully arranged lushness of most symphonic/neo prog, and the lack of memorable melodic structures posing another hurdle for those accustomed to more conventional fare. Like all mood/ambient-based music, it has its own time and place, being much better suited to moments of calm and meditation than more energetic activities. Warmly recommended to those who appreciate music that can evoke subtle nuances, dreamy soundscapes and also slightly disquieting atmospheres, it should also not be missed by  dedicated percussionists and lovers of inventive drumming. Fans of artists such as Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Dead Can Dance are also quite likely to appreciate Weathering’s exquisite, though not immediately accessible nature.

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FAME Review
Music Review by Mark S. Tucker

Just as Robert Fripp will always be King Crimson, Peter Gabriel was the true Genesis, and, hold on to your hats, Robert Plant was Led Zeppelin (too true!, just listen to Page's post-output and see clearly—in fact, J.P. Jones' solo work is very progressive, clearly indicating him as L.Z.'s #2 craftsman), just so is John Orsi Knitting by Twilight. This CD proves it beyond doubt. A rather self-effacing gent, I'm not sure he'd ever allow himself the distinction quite that boldly, but *Weathering* is so much a quantum leap forward that it astonishes even me, and I've been a fan since Day One.

That's the fascinating thing about progressive musics and progressive musicians: both tend to get ever more sophisticated as time wears on because, well, the very genre is nothing if not intellectual, and age—all we advancing dinosaur children of the 70s can smile about—brings wisdom…though I hasten to note that John is a younger fellow. It's his music that sits so beautifully beyond it's time and thus appeals to denizens of the preceding era as well as the cerebral among later generations. Weatheringis almost an Orsi solo CD, save that he chose wisely in recruiting two very good guitarists, Mike Marando and Manny Silva. The result is a magnificent Romantically pastoral blend of Fripp & Eno (Rainy Day Trains is a nexus point of F&E alongside Reich & Metheny's Different Trains), Sensation's Fix, early Long Hello, Steve Tibbetts, Vangelis, Michael Stearns, and an array of the more tapestristically oriented composers and players.

Each cut of Weathering is so immersed in lush imagery and so free of traditional conventions, almost the literal sonic paintings and air sculptures so many sound artists strive for, that succeeding listens work to reveal ever more landscaping, new side pockets, and deeper layers. Having here captured keyboards as the main axe, letting the percussives recess to punctuation and coloration—now true musical instruments only rarely concerned with the time duties normal to skins, wood, and metal—this is a rebirth and epiphany of the whole KBT ethos in upleveled grace. I find myself particularly entranced by The Doorman's Dairy Dream but each track is a beautiful exposition of well-honed transcendental artistry solidly in league with the visionaries Orsi has been so richly influenced by.

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Sea of Tranquility
Music Review by Mark Johnson

Knitting by Twilight is a Northeastern USA band made up of percussionist John Orsi, who also produced the album and plays keyboards; Manny Silva, who plays most of the guitar parts, and Mike Marando, who also plays bass and guitar. This is an instrumental extravaganza of sound. Full of everything from pots, pans, whisks and everything but the kitchen sink. But they do a fantastic job of integrating these daily sounds along with the keyboards and guitar to make some innovative music which will dazzle and delight, if you keep an open mind. The water sounds are very effective as electronics and percussion blend well with natural sounds.

'A Thousand Islands' opens the album with cool smooth keys setting the stage in the background as percussion fills the open space in front. Bass and other guitars are added as the pace picks up and the keys weave some cool melodies. The lead guitar joins in later to fill in any open sound gaps and this production is off to a great start, full of Larry Fast – like sound with real percussion instruments, straight from the kitchen.'Clouds and Stars' opens with drum – like rhythms before the keys join in to add color. A very cool rhythm continues with the keys delivering all of the action. 'Heavy Water' opens fast with keys and some pounding percussion before more eerie keys and guitar sounds enter to add dynamics to the soundscape. As it moves along, this song would fit perfectly on either a thriller or sci – fi genre movie soundtrack.'Biddeford Pool' is one of my favorite songs on the album. It opens with the sounds of water, and when you Google the track's title you will understand the origin of the idea for the track. The percussion starts and then some great keys join in. The bird noises and beach sounds fill the soundscape and you are transported to this beautiful place through music.'Harold's Budds' opens with chimes and eerie keyboards before guitars and bass join in to provide cool chill sounds. The guitars play some heavy riffs which helps provide some variety to the musical chemistry.'The Doorman's Diary Dream' opens with shy, brilliant keys and tymps, like a morning eye opener. More of that spacey vastness of sound fills the sound chamber as the keys build and create rhythm.'Rainy Day Trains' is full of more percussion and evolving keyboard sounds which fill the sound space completely as the guitar and bass provide reflective rhythms.'Weathering' is full of more morning opening like percussion and keys and this time what sounds like Asian influences. The guitar work adds dimension to the sound and provides additional nuances.

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Rock and Reprise
Music Review by Frank O. Gutch, Jr.

Here we go again. When last we heard from Knitting By Twilight, they were twisting knobs and pushing buttons and pounding anything close enough to reach in a quest for that state of grace prog-rockers think of as Nirvana (erm, the state of mind, not the band, kids). At times emulating the venerable Harry Partch Ensemble, at others a mirrored reflection of the early marriage of electronic and rock music, KBT pieced together the mysterious Riding the Way Back (2009) with paper clips and bubble gum and came out of the tunnel none the worse for wear (it is, in fact, a very intriguing five-song EP--- read my review here). Between there and here, head knitters John Orsi and Mike Marando supported John MacNeill and Don Sullivanon Incandescent Sky's slightly more jazz-oriented Four Faradays In a Cage (review here) which to my ears was more of a mixture of mid-seventies jazz fusion and European progressive rock than anything I could put my finger on. Both adventurous, both very worth hearing, both excellently put together.

It is not at all surprising to me that Orsi is involved with another musical step-into-the-void with Weathering. The guy has demons, methinks, and unleashes them through the mixing board much the same way others might through psychiatric sessions. For him, and for fellow KBT members Marando and Manny Silva, music is emotion and sound and vibration and beat and a whole lot of other things. It is basically a living thing and their process of getting it through the board and onto “tape” (or its digital equivalent) seems organic if it is not. Three guys. One studio. Whether they were all there at the same time is of no consequence. They are obviously of one musical mind.

Weathering? Think prog and fusion, then think A Thousand Islands and Clouds and Stars and The Doorman's Dairy Dream and five other like titles. Anyone who knows the genres will have a good idea whatWeathering is like. Toss aside New Age, think electronic orchestral, slip in layers of percussive effects (some ambient, some not) and overlay synthesizers and electronics of all depths and you have it. Sometimes light, sometimes intense, the music wends its way through scenes of almost cinematic content. Play it soft and it is the background of life on a musical scale. Play it loud and it is pure Solarium, the sound as majestic in places as a cathedral organ (minus Bach).

Don't like prog of any kind? Let me tell you a story. Back in the early seventies, I had this friend named Darryl down in Eugene. I met him at our local record hangout, The House of Records, and at first thought him more than a bit weird. While I was scarfing up Grin and Cowboy and Wishbone Ash, Darryl was grabbing everything European and obscure--- everything from early Genesis or Van der Graaf Generator to Amon Duul to Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Now, Darryl was a nice guy, but only a couple of us gave him any credibility when it came to music. He knew of the music we listened to but he didn't really know it--- and vice versa. One day, Darryl asked me to come over for a listening party. You know. Bring a few albums and we'll use the turntable alternately. I did. You know what? I became a huge fan of Van der Graaf and Amon Duuland every one of those bands I'd ignored. Darryl was no longer weird. In fact, we became good friends.

My point is this. As a culture, we have become so engrossed in the popular that we use it as a yardstick. The argument probably goes something like, if everyone likes it, it must be good. Because of that attitude, we are becoming culturally bankrupt. If we let the masses and the media hand us our playlists (or movies or anything else), we might as well hang it up. That is why I love music of all kinds. Because we need diversity in all of the arts (and in life in general) to progress. Get it? They call the music progressive for a reason!

Now, where was I? Sometimes the soap box takes over, you know? Ah. John Orsi. I have no idea where Darryl is these days (or even whether he is), but if I did, I'd send him a copy of Weathering and I'd tell him about Orsi, who is a damn nice guy and very open to talking about his music. I would thank Darryl for the push toward progrock and I would wish him well. Darryl gave me the foundation to love this music. And I think life would be a bit boring without it. In fact, I know it would

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Music Review by Roger Trenwith

Do yourself a favour, don’t listen to this while sat in front of the computer, put it on that frequently under-used piece of technology in this speeded up day and age, the hi-fi system, which if you’re like me, resides in another room away from the “office”. You will be rewarded in kind when the many and varied subtle intricacies of the ambient world of Knitting By Twilight is revealed to you in all its aural splendour.

Hailing from New England and led by the multi-talented percussionist/keyboardist John Orsi and more than ably assisted by Mike Merando (on four of the seven tracks various guitars, and sometimes bass) and Manny Silva (“a thousand guitars” on A Thousand Islands) KBT take us on a gentle and beguiling tour through seas of unclichéd ambience.

Heavy Water highlights the Hindi rhythms that pop up from time to time, giving the sound what at first listen appears to be an unfocussed centre, but after several plays uncovers a different kind of rhythmic logic for our tired Western ears to appreciate.

John seemingly can make any found object into a percussion instrument, and they are all lovingly listed track by track along with the more conventional things to hit. For example on the delightful Biddeford Pool he plays “evelyn’s metals, belltree and roto tom” over the sound of a babbling brook and his own keyboard washes. A summery watercolour vision opens up that is by turns evocative and contemplative. Orsi’s style and restraint is a lesson in percussive subtlety, and any number of testosterone fuelled prog skin bashers could do worse than take a leaf or two from John’s book. On A Thousand Islands he also plays something called a “boomywang” and this and other percussive exotica designed by the Hammerax Cymbal Company feature throughout. I wonder what a “boomywang” looks like? Google, here I come!

Harold’s Budds gives all the clues in the title that you need in order to guess where at least a good proportion of John’s influences lie, and a lovely thing it is too. As well as Harold Budd another obvious influence is ambientBrian Eno particularly on the opening track A Thousand Islands, probably the closest we get to a conventional tune on the album, and in the synth sound on Rainy Day Trains. The latter uses dissonant rhythms to the great effect to give the impression of a train swishing along a wet track, Mike’s ebow guitar playing a prominent role in addition. Weathering sees the return of “evelyn’s metals” and has an almost Oriental feel at the beginning, leading to long keyboard chords before the mantra returns.

Listen to this album enough times and its impressionistic and meditative qualities will reveal themselves to you slowly over time like a repeated mantra will take on otherworldly qualities for the yoga devotee. Maybe that sounded pretentious but it was not meant to, for that is the effect that this album and this kind of music has on me. OK, there are few toe-tapping moments here, but if you’ve read this far then I wouldn’t expect that was what you were looking for. This is the band’s sixth album, and as they’re new to me if the earlier works are of a similar bent I shall definitely be delving!

At a mere 39 minutes long for once I wish an album were longer. Far too often bands seem to over egg the pudding where filling up a CD is concerned, often over-stretching ideas, but the reverse is true this time. If you are a fan of Eno and Budd, along with David SylvianJade WarriorThomas Dolby etc, you will love to chill out to this, I’m sure.

Finally, the highly tasteful if somewhat difficult to store A5 sized three fold out cover reveals the painting Biblis by William Bouguereau a name yours truly, a bit of a philistine where painting is concerned, is not familiar with. Suffice to say it features a reclining Rubinesque nude draped over a stream. All most tastefully done and very romantic, it dovetails with the music perfectly. Were it not for the behemoth of a cover that is Correlated ABC by Pythagoras it would win cover of the year, no question.

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Vital Weekly
Music Review by Frans de Waard

Every now and then I am happy to receive music by Knitting By Twilight, even when, objectively, it should be noted that this music is hardly in the right place in Vital Weekly. More and more Knitting By Twilight is a solo project by John Orsi, with occasional help of Manny Silva and Mike Marando. On this new release, they are on the move again. Whilst the previous ‘Riding The Wayback’ (see Vital Weekly 687) was a bit more rock like and improvised, structures on this new one are more tight and less rock-like and more dwelling on percussive sounds. Orsi plays most of the percussive bits, very well present in all eight tracks, as well as bits of keyboard, while the two others fill in with layered drones of guitars. Throughout the music is very vibrant, minimal in approach, with ethnic like drumming and dark, present drones. Perhaps, this is the release that brings Knitting By Twilight more into the realms of Vital Weekly? I quite enjoyed this one, perhaps even the best I heard from them so far. (FdW)

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Again Knitting By Twilight explores an experimental/ambient universe that was inspired by Robert Fripp and King Crimson. This is done creativily, with great talent and care. Because of the large place taken by percussions, some of Peter Gabriel's music made for films also comes to mind when listening to Weathering.

This latest album by Knitting By Twilight continues what this collective has started a few years (an albums) back. If you are a fan of them or the above mentioned artists, you will want to add Weathering to your music collection.

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Zazz Productions
Music Review by Rotcod Zzaj

To look at the rather extensive player list, visit the KBT page… a superb lineup, but even more importantly, some of the better music to come from our long-time friend John Orsi & his crew.  Especially as you listen to the “water washes” on “Biddeford Pool” (flash only, no direct stream available)… a truly mesmerizing track.  If you don’t get a contact high from the full-bodied “Harold’s Budds“, you’re far beyond repair anyhow… the synth washes here bore right down into your inner soul and propel you to angelic heights.  KBT doesn’t really do “jazz per se”, but I’ve been listening to their work for so long now that it’s like a trip every time I get into their zone (which is often, as John makes sure I always get the latest releases – thanks, John).  It was the 6:33 “Rainy Day Trains” that captured my vote for FAVORITE track, though… again, it drills deep and leaves a lasting impression on your head! 

I give John & friends my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, particularly for listeners who demand creativity in their listening, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more inoformation at the KBT site linked in above. 

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This is Book's Music

The thing about John Orsi‘s Knitting By Twilight projects is that with each release, you never know what to expect, and that’s why I welcome any new music that he does under the KBT umbrella or anything else he chooses to share. I’m open to what he does because he and his collaborators make some great music, and I’ve put my trust in him. That trust has resulted in a brand new album calledWeathering, where he is joined by Manny Silvaand Mike Marando.

What you’ll find on this album are instrumental songs that border the imaginary line between the organic and electronic, where songs that sound like it was created machine was done with hands, while natural sounds were actually pushed by buttons and programming. Then again, what Knitting By Twilight does is blur everything so that you don’t really know, and end up not making it an issue. A lot of it sounds like the kind of trippy soundtrack albums from the 1970′s where every sound has its place, and yet you feel knowing its visual counterpart will ruin the beauty, elegance, grace, and mystery of these sounds. There’s a bit of a slight progressive rock feel, but more on the lighter side in the vein of Tangerine Dream. The music is very atmospheric, even when there are a wide range of sounds going on at once, it’s easy to breathe and thus easier to comprehend, nothing too confusing. Or even when you hear sounds that come off like accordians meeting up with distorted guitars (as heard in “Heavy Water”), you take in and allow the song to make its way through.

It’s relaxing and meditative, but it’s fairly heady too for those who wish to take in a very intense listen. That may sound like a conflict, the idea that this music can be meant to free the mind of thought but can also provoke a lot of mental vision, but it’s that balance and the understanding of it that makes this work, hearing each song individually and as a body of work. In a slightly more dangerous world than it was when we first entered, this may be the only chance one gets to hear some of these sounds. Then again, music can be used as a vast world to enter the true world outside of our minds, so make this the gateway drug to the beauty that exists outside of our front door.

(NOTE: Hip-hop/electronic music producers will definitely hear moments that will be choice picks for sampling purposes, especially “Biddleford Pool”, but make sure you ask for permission before bringing them into your own songs.)

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Arlequins (italian)

John Orsi è il creatore di questo piccolo collettivo musicale americano il cui scopo principale sembra quello di rappresentare in musica le esperienze oniriche più strane ed intense, con un approccio decisamente “colto” e senza tralasciare quel tocco di inquietudine necessario a rendere più vibrante una dimensione musicale che si identifica soprattutto nella musica elettronica ambientale. Nell’arco degli ultimi due anni John Orsi, insieme all’amico chitarrista Mike Marando e con la preziosa collaborazione di Manny Silva, ha inciso una serie di piccoli e suggestivi bozzetti musicali, otto ritratti sonori di ambienti quotidiani e naturali, intrisi di un intenso misticismo e di una spiritualità tutt’altro che dozzinale. Pubblicato attraverso un bel digipak in tiratura limitata di cinquecento copie, “Weathering” è dunque l’ultimo cd dei Knitting By Twilight, naturale evoluzione delle idee sviluppate nei precedenti cd: in questo nuovo disco le percussioni di John Orsi svolgono un ruolo forse ancora più determinante che in passato, metà dei pezzi sono avvolti in un inusuale atmosfera tribale ed ipnotica, in larga parte ispirata alla musica indiana; talvolta all’incedere delle percussioni si affiancano in maniera discreta rumorismi ed effetti sonori leggermente stranianti, dal gusto vagamente industriale, come accade in “Heavy Weather”, brano che in cinque minuti si espande in maniera frippertronica attraverso ipnotici mantra dissonanti… in effetti le sensazioni che derivano dall’ascolto richiamano, forse in maniera involontaria, le sonorità del kraut-rock più sperimentale, dell’elettronica tedesca (Cluster) ed anche di certe jam sessions acide e psichedeliche… sensazioni che si combinano con il lato più tipicamente ambient dei Knitting By Twilight, com’è evidente nell’esplicito tributo a Harold Budd nel piccolo gioiello “Harold’s Budds” in cui sonorità eteree e pulsanti, con qualche piccola incursione nella “shoegaze”, delineano paesaggi sonori di una bellezza surreale, come anche la nebbiosa sinfonia lo-fi di “The Doorman’s Dairy Dream”, in bilico fra Bill Nelson più visionario e Brian Eno; vertice sperimentale del disco è probabilmente la drone music di “Rainy Day Trains”, accostabile al Richard Pinhas più radicale, costruita su una struttura percussiva cacofonica ed ossessiva ed impreziosita da un breve e preciso intevento alla chitarra di Mike Marando. Se vogliamo tenere conto delle piccole pecche di questo disco, talvolta si può avvertire un’eccessiva divagazione verso strutture melodiche esageratamente sofisticate, al limite dello stucchevole; poca cosa rispetto ai diversi momenti eccellenti, specialmente i brani prima citati, che compongono “Weathering”, un disco che probabilmente avvicina John Orsi e i Knitting By Twilight verso la maturità artistica.

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Traverses (french)
Music Review by Stéphane Fougère

Nous avions découvert KNITTING BY TWILIGHT avec Riding the Way Back (voir TRAVERSES n°27), un EP qui se distinguait par sa richesse et sa singularité, car oeuvrant au croisement de tendances qu'on ne s'attendait pas forcément à voir cohabiter ensemble. S'y manifestait une sorte de nouvelle musique de chambre aux penchants creuser les lignes d'horizon.

Le titre donné à cet album, Weathering, résonne comme un hommage à la Nature et à ses climats. Les patronymes des pièces font allusion à des îles, des averses, des rêves, des nuages (« that which passes, passes like clouds »...), des plages, des trains, des étoiles et... Harold BUDD ! Pardon, Harold's Budds ! (Ce n'est pas la première fois qu'un titre de morceau fait allusion à un musicien à la faveur d'un jeu de mots : Il y avait eu Evelyn's Glen, allusion à la percussionniste Evelyn GLENNIE dans An Evening out of Town).

Mais ce qui rend l'univers de KNITTING BY TWILIGHT captivant, c'est précisément cette façon de donner vie et d'activer la circulation sanguine d'images qui en apparence ne pourraient être que des natures mortes. Loin de là ! Les tableaux de KNITTING BY TWILIGHT ne sont pas de ceux dont on se sert comme oreiller pour l'oreille. Chacun d'eux est traversé de tensions indicibles, de méditations rythmiques, de crispations feutrées, d'ardeurs déviées, de pulsations grouillantes, de béances et de lézardes par lesquelles permutent toutes sortes d'accents, de virgules, de points d'exclamation ou d'interrogation...

Les compositions de John ORSI ont ce mérite d'exhumer toutes sortes de relations ambivalentes entre élans progressifs et tourneries minimalistes, paysages romantiques et environnements industriels, climats languides et perturbations dissonantes. Weathering est en somme une succession de vignettes impressionnistes hantées par des clameurs chaotiques, ou bien de flashs véhéments tentés par des apaisements sournois, et tant d'autres fluctuations météorologiques.

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Review by Olav M Bjornsen

Prolusion. The US outfit KNITTING BY TWILIGHT started out back in 1994, initially consisting of John Orsi and Michael Watson, the twosome using this artist moniker for material unsuitable for their other various endeavors. Dawson has since left this collaboration, but Orsi maintains it and uses it in the same manner still. "Weathering" is the most recent effort to be issued under this project name, and was released in 2011.

Analysis. As have been commented on quite a few previous occasions, one of the true pleasures about being involved in the art rock environment is to be able to discover artists that stray from the norm. Music people have created that defies normal style and genre conventions to a lesser or greater degree, artists whose approach is unique in some manner or other. And Knitting By Twilight is a fine example of that, and in more than merely the choice of moniker. Musically we're dealing with a project based around electronic sounds and percussion. Those are the key ingredients throughout, one or both dominating all pieces on this disc. The overall sound is one that probably merits the description dream-laden, and to some extent one might describe the material as related to new age too, at least on a superficial level, and with a marked emphasis on related. Because what John Orsi sets out to accomplish is far more refined in nature than what you'll find on your average disc by the likes of Jarre, Vangelis or Kitaro. "Weathering" isn't a production that pulls its punches either, and generally avoids the cotton candy, all encompassing synth arrangements that are a trademark feature on the most accessible parts of the new age universe. Instead we're treated to a strong emphasis on percussion, mostly Asian inspired and occasionally of a more tribal nature, melodic and accessible just as much as arrhythmic, infrequent and unpredictable, in particular when it comes to the former. And while there's a fair degree of fluctuating synth patterns to be found, the wavelike textures tend to be subtle and a greater emphasis given on droning qualities, and more often than not backed by a variety of textures that don't follow any common harmonic traditions. Robert Fripp-inspired guitar details make the occasional appearance too, and droning quality, dark-toned guitar undercurrents are another infrequent but effective part of the proceedings. There's a rather broad atmospheric span covered too. From the sparse, cold and almost alien sounding landscapes explored on Clouds and Stars to the brooding but organic warmth ofBiddeford Pool, from the slow moving, fluctuating drone-like patterns of Rainy Day Trains to the energetic rhythms and grand majestic landscapes that eventually unfolds onHeavy Water: sometimes breathtaking, often intriguing and mostly enthralling. A fine display of innovative music that might be described as avant-garde new age, as oxymoronic as that might sound.

Conclusion. On "Weathering" Knitting By Twilight takes the listener out towards a rather unique musical landscape, where atmospheric textures, world music inspired rhythms and subtly dissonant elements combine into a form of instrumental electronic music that defies most normal genre conventions, rich in mood, occasionally rich in instrumental details too, and of a generally enthralling nature throughout. A production that should interest those fond of innovative music, especially if they find the notion of listening to what inspired musicians might do if they were given the task of transforming accessible new age music into something rather more challenging and intriguing one.

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AUTOreverse Independent Music Magazine
Ian C. Stewart Interview with John Orsi

July 10, 20011

I did miss AUTOreverse! My immediate reaction to it’s absence was “Where did that great magazine go to?” It seemed to me that AUTO had the same sensibility regarding Music AND Art and Design that I was/am attempting with Knitting By Twilight. And so a kinship was lost when AUTO went away. And so Welcome Back!

That the principle writer doesn’t know what the album all means yet. This is typical. Sometimes it’s months before it reveals itself, and oftentimes, it’s others out in the world that explain and interpret the work far better than I.

In my humble home studio. Nothing slick mind you, but I can ignore the clock on the wall. Better still, there is no clock on the wall. And of course, it’s a short commute.

I think so. A theme runs through them, or maybe it’s that they’re all thematic in approach.

Indeed, the gadget technological malaise we seem to be encapsulated within. Honestly, much of it is helplessly over designed. Feature laden with features that have no function being featured. Makes we want to pitch most of it right out the window. Thus, ‘Oh waiter, only as much as I really need please?’

Influences. Loads of people really, too numerous to mention. Having said that, the work of Kate Bush, Bill Bruford, Evelyn Glennie and Harold Budd have a particular resonance. Early influences? My Dad’s Jazz and Pop albums. Miles/Frank/Ella/Nat King. Then on to Ginger, Giles and Bruford on the rock side.

Formative learning on the drum set.

Well I love what’s happening to me by way of the Hindi music my Indian friends have plied me with in recent years. Such an overwhelming joyful spirit in that music. Lovely melodies, and of course, the rhythms are tremendous. On ‘Weathering’, I so enjoyed having the one of the beat implied most of the time, rather than it being so deliberate. This changes everything within the arrangements, and of course, it’s great fun moving to the resulting circular swing and sway.

And so, I want to learn more about orchestrating the music in this fashion, and I’ll be curious as to how it plays out within the cinematic flair of Knitting By Twilight (read: frustrated film director/cinematographer).

The last few albums were taken through Sonar Producer’s edition. However, and please pardon my language here, I’m due for some knob twiddling, and less staring at sound waves on a screen a foot from my face.

And so there are no immediate plans for new software. I have been poring over microphones instead, as my percussions rig does present some challenging mic type and placement. And of course, there’s that cymbal, that drum, that……

A combo of modern workstations and vintage gear. I still sometimes employ a 4trk cassette machine for example.

Love the sound of tape, even at that tiny width.

I’d like to record one of the next albums scheduled on two inch tape, as they’re are a few more studios offering that again. Tape gain and saturation are marvelous for bass and drums especially.

Keyboards. There’s a great logic there that I can’t seem to assimilate on guitar.

Rather depends on the album. Overall, I’d say that these days, there’s a fifty/fifty split between percussion based and chordal based composition. For Knitting By Twilight, I’ll usually sketch out a basic arrangement, and then turn that over to the stringed instrument players. When it comes back to me, I might add, subtract or mold what’s there. Occasionally, I’ll have the very great pleasure of having someone come to the house in person, which changes everything about the collaboration.

Hmmm, I suppose to articulate thoughts, ideas and emotions that I couldn’t describe in conversation. And of course as an instrumentalist, there became a great want and desire to give life to, in my case, percussive ideas as a basis for getting on with others in a given combo. I mean they naturally look back at me to get things started anyway, and so I aim to please.

I’ve been in and out of the local scene at various times. Never in fashion particularly. The problem with trying to be forward thinking, is that by the time the general population hears what you’re on about, you’re bored and you’ve moved on due to lack of interest in what you’ve just left. The constituency for Knitting By Twilight is I’m happy to say, all about the world. I’m rather more for this than as popular scenester I think.

Whomever’s voice would further the music along to fruition. There are so many splendid players out there, and I hope to meet more of them. And better still, that they hear/feel something in the music, and would like to collaborate.

Honestly, I haven’t sought them out. There’s so much work to do in the music room. Kate and Evelyn are still working, and I keep eyes and ears open for them. Bill and Harold have retired. Most of my other listening time has been reserved for film scores and these fantastic compilations friends have made for me.

The next two projects scheduled are: with Incandescent Sky, (the other active combo I belong to) – a follow-up album to last years’ Four Faradays in a Cage (noisynoise/it’s Twilight Time) is planned. And the other going into rehearsal in two weeks time is a Knitting By Twilight offshoot project called suspiciously enough, Twilight Orchestra.

My favorite color. Blue, I mean Red…arrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! (insert Monty Python footnote here.)

Whimsy. Darned if I know. A personality trait inflicting itself on the music. Or is it the other way round?!

Our label : it’s Twilight Time CD Baby and all the usual digital platforms. iTunes. Amazon etc.

We have a digital distribution network set up through CD Baby. Although I can’t fathom how people listen to music on what is really inferior sounding (at least to me) format and gear, I also know that it’s the way of the world. In contrast, it’s Twilight Time is beginning (and ‘Weathering” is the first example) to design and lay-out interesting CD vessels for those who still very much enjoy the physical album.

It still keeps me up at night, and won’t let me out of the shower.

Completing this interview, and a good diner dinner.

Knitting By Twilight
Riding the Way Back
An Evening Out of Town
Someone to Break the Silence
Heavy Hearts & Safety Nets
Knitting By Twilight

Incandescent Sky
Four Faradays in a Cage
Paths and Angles
Glorious Stereo

Moments of Suspension
it’s Twilight Time Compilation featuring:
Knitting By Twilight/Incandescent Sky/Overflower/Blueshift Signal

Water On Mars
Flora & Fauna
Under the Ivy

Blueshift Signal

the waterside ep

Richard Bone & John Orsi
A Survey of Remembered Things

Pat Barbrie
For Anyone

Johanna’s House of Glamour
Style Monsters

John Orsi
Surface & Features CD Re-release with Bonus Tracks
The Most Comfortable – A Fair Weather Guide* cassette only release
*A compilation of selected tracks from cassette only releases by myself, The Walters and It Play.
Surface & Features cassette only release
Session work and subsequent appearances on releases my memory can’t fathom at the moment,but a lot of work was done with Spindle Shanks and Mary Ann Rossoni to name a couple of significant others.





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