Claire Rousay sitting on rocks in the woods
Credit: courtesy of the artist

Prolific experimental percussionist and electronic musician Claire Rousay has created a sprawling body of work that clunks and patters somewhere between noise and silence, music and abstraction. Her new release, Everything Perfect Is Already Here (out April 22 on Shelter Press), consists of two 15-minute ambient explorations that rustle and dissolve in gentle lyrical spasms. She’s joined by the marvelous Marilu Donovan of New York duo Leya on harp, Theodore Cale Schafer on piano, Mari Maurice on electronics and violin, and Alex Cunningham on violin. Rousay previously collaborated with Cunningham on 2020’s clattering and abrasive Specifically the Water (Astral Spirits), but Everything Perfect occupies the opposite end of her sonic palette—it’s a mixture of classical and new age. Romantic sections that recall Debussy lilt and dream and then give way to quiet thumping and muttering, as if the performers had grown tired of playing and decided to get up and drag their instruments around the loft for a while. Rousay treats conventional music and its absence as indistinguishable and equivalent in a way that’s reminiscent of John Cage; you almost don’t notice when the album ends. I found myself listening to a neighbor hammering and a car passing in the street before I realized they weren’t part of the music. Like the title says, Rousay makes music of everything perfect that is already here.

Claire Rousay’s Everything Perfect is Already Here is available through Bandcamp.