a claire rousay imprint
claire rousay & Jacob Wick anything you can do...
claire rousay and Jacob Wick met in 2017, in the backyard of a bar in San Antonio. Jacob Wick says:
We went on a west coast tour together the next year, having never played together or spent more than 12 hours together. We never talked about it, we just did it.
It's similar when we play together. We just do it. We set limits but don't really talk about them. For our first tour, claire ditched the cymbals of her drumset. A few years later, she had pretty much ditched the drumset. After years of avoiding playing melodies, stubbornly and obsessively, I now play them, stubbornly and obsessively.
We play trashy music I think. Improvised music, free jazz, whatever, is usually very serious. Very abstract expressionism. Lots of free jazz musicians still love to visit Jackson Pollock at the MoMA in New York and make a post to Instagram. I don't think that's what we're after. We're more into being sad, being funny, being frustrated, being sentimental. People used to go to jazz shows and get drunk, cry, dance, fuck. They still should. Not that we're playing jazz (maybe I am).
We recorded this duo at claire's house in San Antonio in June 2021. The Omicron wave - or was it Delta? - was raging through Texas at that time. We kept getting text messages about hospitals being full of unvaccinated people. I thought of my brother, in Dallas, who says he'll get vaccinated "after everybody else." We recorded and then listened and claire was like, what if we split this in half and overlay the second half on the first half. That's what we did, and it worked.
released December 16, 2022
Recorded and mixed by claire rousay in San Antonio.
Mastered by Andrew Weathers.
Loose sheets for a book
China ink on cotton paper
21.5 x 16.5 cm
claire rousay & Anne-F Jacques
a very busy social life
recorded in san antonio / montréal, april - may 2021
released October 28, 2022
by Anne-F Jacques & claire rousay
mastered by Andrew Weathers
cover art by joanni grenier
All physical media comes with a digital download card
claire rousay wouldn’t have to hurt
Los Angeles composer and improviser claire rousay plucks sounds and words from daily life and inner monologue, recontextualizing them into something palatable - at times pleasant and meditative, at times scathing and bleak. On her new album wouldn’t have to hurt, rousay spotlights her own struggles with mental health, having battled depression and panic disorder for the majority of her life - “I go long periods feeling numb or empty, managing panic attacks and severe anxiety,” she explains. wouldn’t have to hurt is a benefit album with all proceeds being given to the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people - it’s rousay’s effort to give back to resources that have helped her in the past.
wouldn’t have to hurt collects three suites that showcase rousay using field recordings, midi instruments, guitars, piano. It also features guest piano and strings from Theodore Cale Schafer. The album begins with side long composition “beth,” a reinterpretation of the Biblical account on Lazarus of Bethany. “This account refers to a restoration to life or some sort of ‘saving,’” rousay explains, “and while I am no longer religious, this story stays with me and maintains - a different but important - application to life.”
The album’s other two songs are more concise, but equally stirring. The shortest song on the album is also an instrumental - “soft as i can” clocks in at just over seven-minutes long, boasting muted guitar plucks backgrounded by Schafer’s lush string and piano contributions - it’s a plaintive musing that evokes hurt and cautious hope. The title track samples YouTuber Madison Van Dine discussing her mental health - “This is not going to get better - what’s the point of living?” she asks. The relation to rousay is palpable.
Van Dine’s painful words eek out between tense strings and electronics - she sounds exasperated, but even a cursory google search yields unexpected, optimistic results - she’s still here, a nurse - willing herself through adversity- and now healing herself and others. On wouldn’t have to hurt, it’s clear rousay is trying to do the same.
creditsreleased September 14, 2022
Music by claire rousay
Additional piano and electronics on 'soft as i can' by Theodore Cale Schafer
Spoken word by Madison Van Dine on 'wouldn't have to hurt'
Mastered by Andrew Weathers
Photography by Katherine Squier
Design & Layout by Jordan Reyes