SNEAK PREVIEW A Track From Áine O’Dwyer’s “Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II”

My dad plays guitar a couple times a week at a Catholic church. I never liked being in that church—it was solemn and drafty, the pews bare and uncomfortable—but it wasn’t so bad the few times I got to spend the service up in the organ loft, watching the old organist Joe play with my father. What an incredible instrument that organ was! Watching this that giant, unwieldy thing being operated was like watching someone pilot a spaceship… it truly made me wish that I loathed less of the central accepted tenets of Christianity (a feeling not dissimilar to the one I would get listening to black gospel records would later in life).

Never that twain shall meet, methinks, but Áine O’Dwyer‘s new double LP Music For Church Cleaners Vol. I and II affords me much of what I’ve missed, minus the dogmatic overhang. O’Dwyer, primarily a harpist, was given access to the organ at St. Marks Church, Islington over the course of several months, during which she recorded several extended improvisations in the church’s cleaning hours. Rather than try to isolate the organ sounds from that of the cleaners, O’Dwyer decided to let things run their Cageian course; as a result, the recordings here are peppered with the squall of vacuum cleaners, distant echoes, children’s shouts, even gentle admonishments from the cleaners for lingering too long on one note. The combination of emotional, inventive playing and the dramatic tension between O’Dwyer and her captive audience is truly something to behold.

Music For Church Cleaners was originally released as a single cassette on Fort Evil Fruit. An expanded double LP version, limited to 500 copies, is available for pre-order now from MIE (the same label that brought us Important Picnic, the most recent album from FM DUST fave raves Gang Wizard). It comes out January 15th.

FM DUST is very pleased to host a preview of “The Little Lord of Misrule”, one of the tracks from O’Dwyer’s album (I was given my pick of tracks, and The Good Christ knows I can’t resist the sounds of children). Enjoy!

Dustin Krcatovich is a cartoonist, writer, designer, founder of FM DUST, and a collector of certain curios and ephemera (with a focus on 20th century "junk culture"). His writing and illustration work appears frequently in The Quietus, Tiny Mix Tapes, and Esquire's Culture Blog. He is also a former editor and contributor to Secret Zen Garden,Saagara's illustrated mindfulness/wellness blog for young people. He currently resides in Portland, OR.

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