"The story of Thunder Lay Down in the Heart begins with the poem “A Boy” written in 1956 by John Ashbery, well before he became the world renown, Pulitzer Prize winning poet we know him as today. In a rare collaboration, Tignor recorded Ashbery reading the work in his Chelsea apartment, surrounding it with his own original musical setting for strings that opens the record. A line from this poem became the title of Tignor’s twenty-minute work for string orchestra, electronics, and drums, featuring eminent Boston-based ensemble A Far Cry. The album’s B side continues the process of reinterpretation as Tignor electronically reimagines and remixes the title piece into “The Listening Machines” and “To Draw a Perfect Circle”, creating spellbinding ambient adventures derived directly from the tapes of this ensemble’s gut-wrenching virtuoso performance. Ending as we began with collaboration, the record’s final remix, “First, Impressions”, was created with composer / pianist Rachel Grimes (of Rachel's).
In the 90’s Christopher Tignor immersed himself in minimalism, working as an assistant for LaMonte Young while learning sound engineering on the job at a New York contemporary music festival produced by Philip Glass. He went on to refine his skills mixing live sound for bands at two of New York’s seminal clubs, CBGB’s and Brownies. During this time Tignor also studied computer science, developing his unique software instruments for processing sounds. He released, composed, and produced 3 albums with his band Slow Six, and two albums with his high-energy duo Wires Under Tension. Tignor has also contributed his skills as violinist and string arranger both in the studio and on tour to This Will Destroy You, John Congleton’s Nighty Nite, and Lymbyc Systym.
“Thunder Lay Down in the Heart” is Tignor’s second LP released under his own name following his much acclaimed 2009 Core Memory Unwound. This album explores the natural link between numerous musical disciplines including contemporary classical, ranging from John Adams to Aaron Copland to John Luther Adams, melodic rock, ambient drone music, and electronic experimental artists such as William Basinski."
released March 18, 2014
Megumi Stohs Lewis
and A Far Cry string orchestra
MIXING Christopher Tignor and Tyler Wood
MASTERING Joe Lambert
ARTWORK Jared Bell
Track Name: Christopher Tignor & John Ashbery - A Boy
I’ll do what the raids suggest,
Dad, and that other livid window,
But the tide pushes an awful lot of monsters
And I think it’s my true fate.
It had been raining but
It had not been raining.
No one could begin to mop up this particular mess.
Thunder lay down in the heart.
“My child, I love any vast electrical disturbance.”
Disturbance! Could the old man, face in the rainweed,
Ask more smuttily? By night it charged over plains,
Driven from Dallas and Oregon, always whither,
Why not now? The boy seemed to have fallen
From shelf to shelf of someone’s rage.
That night it rained on the boxcars, explaining
The thought of the pensive cabbage roses near the boxcars.
My boy. Isn’t there something I asked you once?
What happened? It’s also farther to the corner
Aboard the maple furniture. He
Couldn’t lie. He’d tell ‘em by their syntax.
But listen now in the flood.
They’re throwing up behind the lines.
Dry fields of lightning rise to receive
The observer, the mincing flag. An unendurable age.
-- John Ashbery, from Some Trees (1956)
"A Boy," from Some Trees. Copyright (c) 1956, 1985, 1997, 2008 by John Ashbery. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. for the author.