PF002 BOB BUCKO JR – Greet Death With Love

Bob Bucko Jr: “In the summer of 2017, I decided to focus on saxophone as a solo instrument. After three-and-a-half years touring solo guitar, I wanted to switch things up a bit, in an effort to avoid complacency. I booked a three month-long solo sax tour and spent August of that year wood-shedding in a sweltering garage. Along with redeveloping a love of the horn, I further explored drones and the relationships created by layering sustained pitches. The tour went well, and I learned a lot along the way. Once I was home, with winter settling in, I was free to work on a new album integrating some of these lessons, musical and otherwise.

Greet Death With Love is fundamentally about loss and adaptation. Years prior to the recording, a dear friend passed away. In shock and grieving, I devoted nearly a decade of my life to suffering. By the time of this recording, I had put serious work into retrieving what I had lost of myself, and set to practice being a human in a body. Two strategies I enlisted in this exploration included psychedelic introspection and reading Buddhist philosophical teachings. These two techniques in particular taught me to “greet death with love.” The music is an aural encapsulation of both the swirling unsureness of living and the calm repose of greeting death. In trying to represent these notions, I have made my purist attempt at a meditation album.

Side A was recorded to a Tascam 424 that had begun to quit working properly by the time I got around to recording side B. Duo For Three Reeds was recorded on a Tascam 414, which required being leaned on its side to function. These technical difficulties are evident on the tentative sputter of the deck replaying the first organ note on the piece.

The first side was recorded in late December 2017. Three Reeds features two reed organs with a tonal center of C (one playing in C Major, the other in F Lydian). The major key feel of the reed organ is offset by the uncertainty the B produces as the flat 5th when contextualized within the Lydian mode. Three Reeds Reciprocal is a simple drone in D minor, upon which two saxophones expound. There is movement is one horn track, while another uses electronics to simulate the static drone of the reed organ.

The second side was recorded in May of 2018. I set up gear and instruments outside, recording the reed organ at sunrise and tenor saxophone at sundown. A single note under-girds the music, though this note shifts in significance from the root note of an F minor chord to first inversion of the relative major.”

Polyfonal: “I first met Bob in the Midwest via many house and underground shows, and through his label Personal Archives. He was the hardest working musician I knew then: constantly on tour (a seemingly completely peripatetic fellow) and perpetually booking and fomenting shows whenever finally home. When I was thinking of commissioning a meditation suite for Field Hymns, he was the first person I thought of. Things happen as they will (not as you wish) and now finally released is that album. There is no better time than this moment for the deep harmonic immersion of Greet Death With Love and I hope you love it as much as I do.”

Bob Bucko’s label Personal Archives • Bob Bucko’s Bandcamp

Scott Scholz: mastering
Tiny Little Hammers: art & design