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Black Mountain

by Polyorchard

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A compact disc in a gatefold sleeve featuring two additional remixes by Laurent Estoppey and David Menestres that are not available digitally.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Black Mountain via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 100 

      $10 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 7 Polyorchard releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of An Excess of Primary Forms, ink, Sommian, Black Mountain, sextet | quintet, Red October, and Color Theory in Black and White. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $69.60 USD or more (20% OFF)


palimpsest 09:11
Free Gatha 1 05:29


All music by Polyorchard was written for and first performed at the 8th {Re}HAPPENING at Black Mountain College on March 31, 2018. This album is a studio recording of that music.

1. flux-im-mo-bi-lay/lie (in memoriam Merce Cunningham) - Michael Thomas Jackson
2. non-imaginary landscape - Laurent Estoppey
3. 1st Milarepa Gatha (1976) - Jackson Mac Low
4. palimpsest - Dan Ruccia
5. Dream Meditation 1:35PM 6/11/80 (1980) - Jackson Mac Low
6. signal under study for removal (for Liam O'Gallagher) - David Menestres
7. Free Gatha 1 (1978) - Jackson Mac Low
8. flux-im-mo-bi-lay/lie (in memoriam Merce Cunningham) - Michael Thomas Jackson

The CD version contains two exclusive remixes by David Menestres & Laurent Estoppey that are not available digitally.

Download as FLAC for high-resolution at 24/96.

For international fans, shipping is cheaper if you order from SquidCo. Sorry that our government continues to severely under fund our postal system. Email a copy of your invoice to polyorchard (at) gmail and I'll send you a download code.


Sammy Stein, writing for The Free Jazz Collective:

Black Mountain is a quartet of David Menestres on bass, Laurent Estoppey on saxes, Michael Thomas Jackson on clarinet and Dan Ruccia on viola and piano and is out now on Out and Gone Music. It is an ever evolving thing.

Track 1 'flux im mo -bi-lay/lie (In Memoriam Merce Cunningham) is a like climbing a sound mountain - something akin to staring an abyss in the face - and taking the plunge - full on, head first into annihilation thrumming bass, shouts and sax. All good so far. Track 2 ' non imaginary landscape' is a gentler start - for about 5 second before the group contrive to produce a plethora of interacting sounds, led by gorgeous lines for the viola over and under which the other instruments dip ,dive and weave to create a narrative which is driven by the grinding voice of the bass. Some very subtle interchanges occur where the sax line is forceful at the front but undermined by the searing, exotic notes of the viola piercing over the top. Track 3 '1st Milarepa Gatha' (1976) begins with woodwind, spacey and subtle before gradually the rest of the musicians add their dialogue to the conversation which ends up as a dynamic, evolving piece. Mid point is intriguing with deep bass notes echoed perkily by the viola which picks up the mid-note from the bass and takes its own little journey with woodwind adding their take on things as well. The final part of this track has bass leading with viola following in the spaces. Not only clever but intuitive as a chord is built and re-built, scaffolded by each instrument before. Track 4 'palimpsest' is created around undercurrents, each instrument setting out their own journey but gradually it all melds into a rather gentle helter-skelter, sliding up, down and around the root chord of the bass key. Quite lovely with as many rhythmic diversions as you can squeeze into a single track and the finale is excellent. Track 5 ' Dream Meditation 1.35PM 6/11/80 (1980)' is surreal, esoteric and atmospheric - strings maintaining a background song whilst the bass and other instruments wind up the atmosphere into a narrative interlude of colours, visions and strange landscapes. There is a beautiful section with deep ,moving lines over which the strings shift patterns in waves. The track builds in dynamics and intensity until the end section when the energy is pervasive, menacing and profound before it is taken down again to become softer, gentler and serene. Track 6 ' signal under study for removal ( For Liam O'Ghallager) ' begins with creaky, rasping sounds created on who knows what before instruments make their presence known and force their melodic way in. Very squeaky, atonal and not pleasant on the ear to begin with, this experimental and intriguing track of sounds sets the listener up for the melodic harmonies and rhythms which follow. First, the piano deftly adds little rivulets of melody, then the bass works up a storm and finally, everyone is in. The annoyance is banished and we are a band in every sense - with the sounds a part of the whole. What the track does is show how changing dynamics, different noises, not necessarily from instruments, can be used to create a sound picture which conjures up different visions with each listen - and creation. Even harmonies at the end add to the overall sense of searching in this track. Track 7 ' Free Gatha 1 (1978)' is free flowing, conversational and contains some great disparities of sound with string versus wood. The dynamics change on a pin-top creating waves of sound which echo and roll in order. The final track - a return to 'flux im mo -bi-lay/lie (In Memoriam Merce Cunningham) but without the vocal interaction is huge, loud and verges on exquisite.

Read the full review: www.freejazzblog.org/2019/03/polyorchard-black-mountain-and.html

Patrick Wall, writing in The Free Times (Columbia, SC):

...a continuously evolving suite of sounds marked by subtle, intuitive interchanges and searing, exotic flourishes that thrum into obliviating peals.


released March 20, 2019

Laurent Estoppey - saxophones
Michael Thomas Jackson - clarinet, radio
David Menestres - double bass, objects
Dan Ruccia - viola, piano

Binaural recording by David Menestres with equipment loaned by the estate of Dan Lilly.

Mastered by Andrew Weathers.

Cover image by Emily Leon.
Produced by David Menestres.

A waveform alphabet production for Out & Gone Music.
OG 010


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Polyorchard Durham, North Carolina

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