Playlist: Stuart Dahlquist

Stuart Dahlquist is a bassist who has previously been involved in Burning Witch, Goatsnake and Sunn O))). He is currently the man behind Asva, in which he plays bass, guitar and organ. Asva has released records through Web of Mimicry and Southern Records. Their new record, Presences of Absences, is coming out this month via Important Records. He is also working on collaborations with Philippe Petit, Nick Hudson, and The Poisoned Glass, his project with former Burning Witch vocalist, Edgy 59. For more information, please check out

Joseph Albers - Interaction Of Color
Albers' work has always interested me, his line drawings were his introduction some years ago. I bumped into a small book of these drawings while working in the basement of a library, killing time in the art section of discarded books. The book immediately struck me as being musical, the drawings angular but flowing easily, in many cases total mind benders... I responded. Following up I eventually found Interaction of Color. The book was put together by Albers and his students and describes- through text and color plates- how our perception of color can evolve and contradict dependent on varying surroundings. The music I've been working on the past several years is almost entirely based upon the premise exemplified in this book which (for me anyway) in a nutshell is: You can alter the quality of any constant sound/melody (color) by altering the surrounding sound/melody (color) and vice versa.

Arvo Part - Litany
I was turned onto Part much later than I would care to admit and have, since my late introduction, spent an extraordinary amount of time figuring out what it is about his music that works so well. Sitting at the piano and listening carefully to the interaction of various notes played in unison and how they react against one another I thought 'Holy crap! This is what I do, he's just so much better at it.' And much better he is... Litany is to my knowledge his densest, most complex work and mind numbingly beautiful.

Charles Reznikoff - Testimony
My brother Michael heard Reznikoff read while he was studying at the Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado. The venue was a large church with a very high ceiling... Michael described the event as giving him understanding of why those rooms need to be so large; the energy of Reznikoff was so extraordinary Michael felt that without the space that church provided the building would have surely blown apart. Testimony is a collection of poems reflecting his research as a court clerk and is written in the same dry, matter of fact, unemotional language you would find in legal documents. For me that complete lack of emotion becomes very emotional after a scant few pages.

Franz Marc - The Blue Pony (Childs)
I'm not sure of the title... I'd been in Amsterdam, alone, nearly broke and wandering for about a week and found myself in the contemporary art museum one afternoon for some much needed contemplation. Dix, Picasso, Bacon... all my favorite artists. Everywhere I turned something else was jumping off the wall and stopping me dead in my tracks. This simple little painting on a shingle was the one I kept coming back to. I wanted it, to live with such a treasure. To this day it stands as the most beautiful painting I have ever seen.

Acoustic 360/361 bass amplifiers
This amp has defined my bass sound (and more recently my organs pedal section) for 20+ years. I first started using these before the recent resurgence in popularity (and reflected price) they've enjoyed and through a lot of experimentation have figured out how to pull just about every shred of sound out of them that can be produced. I use them differently than most players and to different ends of course.

Krzysztof Penderecki - Polish Requiem
This piece of music has done more to spark my imagination and provide a seemingly endless wealth of ideas than any other. If there's a mental block of some kind its where I'll go for inspiration and frequently come away with a new approach that had yet to cross my mind. I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the home of Bruce Pullan (music director of the Vancouver Bach Choir) who kindly explained the score and invited me to stick around for the rehearsals and see the performance. I was absolutely riveted by the whole experience.

Guy Anderson
Guy Anderson was a friend of my Father's who I knew as a boy and young man. My Father belonged to a tight knit group of Pacific Northwest artists; Anderson, Tobey, Wehr, Graves, Callahan... a fairly elite group to say the least. Of the bunch Guy Anderson was the one who's work really had an impact on me. Earthy tones, isolated figures, barren or rocky landscapes; frequently painted on whatever he had laying around. Boards, driftwood...

Angie and I spent one of the finest days of our lives trying to visit him at his home in Laconnor, Washington. He has getting on in years and had been moved into a caretakers home and his house sat empty, the grass knee high in the yard. We sat on his back porch in the sun, breaking bread and drinking wine, surrounded by beautiful huge screens he'd painted (these in fact were the largest of his works I'd ever seen) and left outside in the elements to slowly decompose.

I'm not 100% sure but I believe my Father took the photo of Guy featured in this link.

My wife. She and I have been married twice, the first ending in an alcohol fueled state of disillusion, adultery, and finally divorce. Through it all we remained friends and supportive of each other and also we remained deeply in love. Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out and discover where personal happiness really exists and over the span of our long separation we grew up and learned about ourselves, what makes us tick as individuals and what doesn't, what we want out of our lives and who we want to spend that life with. She's critical of my work, knows what she's talking about, and supports my best efforts 100%... my not so best efforts are roundly called out. Because of Angie and our daughter Ava I can state without qualification of any sort that I am, truly, the happiest man alive.

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