Sir Richard Bishop (of Sun City Girls and a ton of solo work) and W. David Oliphant (of Life Garden, Maybe Mental, and a ton of solo work) have been friends forever. This is assuming that you live in a reality that began in 1981, the year the two met through Phoenix, AZ’s experimental music scene. Though the two have worked together before, they have never collaborated directly as a duo. UNTIL NOW. Feign surprise as if you have not read the headline of this story.
On August 21, the duo will release their first collaborative album Beyond All Defects through their own ChodpaMedia label. The set was recorded last December in Phoenix, with Bishop playing acoustic guitar and Oliphant producing sounds through computer software and a MIDI controller. Bishop’s guitar on the record was frequently detuned, bowed, and beaten, as “treated” by Oliphant. Though no specific plans for future releases have been announced (because let’s not get ahead of ourselves here), the album is meant to be the first in a series of records from the duo.
The songs on Beyond Defects were inspired by the concepts of Tibetan Buddhism, in particular the Dzogchen body of teachings. Additionally, many of the musical ideas presented on the record derived from dreams the duo had the night before recording. If this all sounds a little too high-minded for you, keep in mind that the impetus behind the collaboration was Bishop’s desire for “big-ass Tibetan horn sounds.”
Interested parties may pre-order the record here. The first 200 pre-ordered copies of the album will be packaged with a limited edition set of 4” x 6” cards inside a stamped cloth bag. Eight of the nine cards feature images that influenced the duo in creating the album, while the remaining card features hand-signed signatures from Bishop and Oliphant. If you’ve been looking to complete your “Arizona Experimental Musicians Autograph Collection,” then your day has come.