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Chris Schlarb

Though most frequently involved in free-form, free jazz, and experimental rock projects, Chris Schlarb does not have an easily defined career. Hailing from Southern California, Schlarb is a musician, writer, and producer, as well as the founder and owner of Sounds Are Active, a label specializing in progressive jazz, experimental, and electronic music. Schlarb is also a frequent collaborator, working with Sufjan Stevens, Ikie Owens, Lynn Johnston, and Castanets, among others. In 1999, Schlarb co-founded a free-form group with Orlando Greenhill and Steve Richardson called Create (!). The ensemble, which has grown to become a collective of over 50 musicians, performs at jazz festivals and also hosts Create (!) workshops throughout Los Angeles County. Four years later, Schlarb created and curated NOTICE, a series of improvisational performances that attempted to combine jazz, electronic, classical, noise rock, hip-hop, and other modern music.

After the last NOTICE production in 2004, Schlarb turned his attention to performing and collaborating with two installation artists, Megan and Murray McMillan, for an event called 27 Acknowledged and Sanctioned People. During the same year, he joined Tom Steck to form I Heart Lung, a free jazz outfit that toured the United States with Castanets and Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice in 2005. In addition to his work with I Heart Lung in 2005, Schlarb also released a solo album, Ideas Without Numbers, under the name Xn. Schlarb would also go on to expand his résumé in 2006 when he produced and released 40 BANDS/80 MINUTES, a documentary about Los Angeles' underground experimental rock scene directed by Sean Carnage. In 2007, I Heart Lung released their first full-length album, Interoceans; Schlarb released his second solo album (though the first under his real name), Twilight & Ghost Stories, the same year. In 2010 he gathered together a 29-musician ensemble to do his bidding on the ambitious Psychic Temple album. Schlarb cited Bill Laswell's collective group Material as his inspiration for bringing together unlikely combinations of musicians such as legendary punk bassist Mike Watt and ethereal experimental vocalist Juliana Barwick to work together on his long-form compositions. He followed in 2013 with Psychic Temple II, a more pop-friendly follow-up that included covers of Joe Jackson, Frank Zappa, and Brian Wilson scattered among his original works. In 2014, the comparatively subdued Making the Saint, appeared, an album of drony guitar meditations recorded in a remote cabin. ~ Katherine Fulton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Dropsy (Original Video Game Soundtrack)

1. Kierkegaard's Umbrella

2. Mothersbaugh on the Beach

3. Clown Breath (Variation #2)

4. In the Court of the Junkyard King

5. Last of the Lonely Tumbleweeds

6. Kierkegaard's Neon Lights

7. Home Is Where the Ground Is

8. Waltz of Urban Blight

9. LF/HF in Four Dimensional Bossa Nova

10. Low Fiber/High Fructose

11. Sneaky Snacky

12. Clown Breath (Variation #3)

13. 144 Gears Marching in 14/4

14. Slightly Ominous Theme Heard While Waking from a Dream

15. White Dub in the Psychic Temple

16. Lee's Vampire Dub

17. Clown Breath (Variation #4)

18. The Unmistakeable Scent of Clown Breath

19. Home Is Where the Pulmonary Artery Is

20. Eric Dolphy Memorial Hospital

21. Fugitive Foxtrot

22. Kierkegaard's Fire

23. Waltz of Impending Doom

24. Home Is Where the Hurt Is

25. These Clown Shoes Are Made for Walkin'

26. Tres Monolitos de las Llanuras

27. Kierkegaard's Columnated Ruins

28. Obelisk Strategies

x

Track List: Making The Saint

1. Making The Saint

2. Great Receiver

3. The Fear Of Death Is The Birth Of God

4. My Foolish Heart

x

Track List: Psychic Temple Ii

1. Seventh House

2. The Starry King Hears Laughter

3. Solo In Place

4. Bird In The Garden

5. Til I Die

6. She Is The Golden World

7. Steppin Out

8. All I Want Is Time

9. Sofa No. 2

10. No Tsurai

11. Hyacinth Thrash Quarter

x

Track List: NightSky Soundtrack

1. A Sense Of Place (Harara Mountains)

2. Circuitous Path (Harara Mountains)

3. Upright Detour (Harara Mountains)

4. A Sense Of Place Reprise (Harara Mountains)

5. Squeak And Bubble (Skymning)

6. Follow Me (Skymning)

7. Valves (Skymning)

8. Squeak And Bubble Reprise (Skymning)

9. Transmission (Old Ruins)

10. A Memory (Old Ruins)

11. No Waiting (Old Ruins)

12. Cold Hope (Old Ruins)

13. Tweleve And Sixteen (Perpetuum Factory)

14. Question Number Eight (Perpetuum Factory)

15. Gear Dance (Perpetuum Factory)

16. The Engineer's Dream (Perpetuum Factory)

17. Brass Echo (Ranna Caverns)

18. Far From Home (Ranna Caverns)

19. Lament (Ranna Caverns)

20. Moon Craters (The Void)

21. Wide Open (The Void)

22. Meteor Shower (The Void)

23. Satellite Dust (The Void)

24. When Morning Comes - Electric (Murky Depths)

25. Distance And Desire (Murky Depths)

26. Spinbow Pinwheel (Murky Depths)

27. When Morning Comes - Acoustic (Murky Depths)

28. Another Verdant World (Giant Leaf)

29. Moog Canopy (Giant Leaf)

30. Bug March (Giant Leaf)

31. Guitar Canopy (Giant Leaf)

32. Falling Lights (Auroras North)

33. Wood And Ice (Auroras North)

34. Arco Intermission (Auroras North)

35. In A Circle (Auroras North)

36. Southern Wind (Auroras North)

37. A Sense Of Place (Slightly Nonsense)

38. Cold Hope (Slightly Nonsense)

39. When Morning Comes (Slightly Nonsense)

40. Falling Lights (Slightly Nonsense)

x

Track List: Psychic Temple

1. I Can Live Forever If I Slowly Die

2. Dream State > Police State

3. Daughters of Ursa Major

4. White Dove In The Psychic Temple

x

Track List: Twilight And Ghost Stories

1. I

2. II

3. III

4. IV

5. V

6. VI

7. VII

8. VIII

9. IX

10. X

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Acoustic Zen. Progressive re-Mix!

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