(1) The artist may construct the piece.(2) The piece may be fabricated.(3) The piece need not be built. Each being equal and content with the intent of artist, the decision...
Dickie Landry & Lawrence Weiner
Having Been Built on Sand
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In 1978 Having Been Built on Sand was conceived as a vinyl edition and released by the Rüdiger Schöttle gallery in Munich with sleeve design by Weiner. The piece consists of eight untitled tracks. Lawrence Weiner, Tina Girouard, and Britta Le Va recite text with Dickie Landry’s woodwinds, all recorded in the natural reverb of Robert Rauschenberg’s studio, a former mission and chapel in Lower Manhattan. Layering Girouard in English, Le Va in German, and Weiner in English and German blocks of related or physically proximal texts repeat, invert, and intersect with Landry’s music as a constant. The layers of text and sound have meanings that fluctuate in complexity and scope, and like much of Weiner’s work, beyond mere facts.
The first piece is a trio for Landry’s keening tenor, repeating winnowed but breathy lines that contrast with and buoy Le Va’s clear, husky phrases, building in intensity as Weiner, in English, offers statements that are caught just off mic. The third cut adds Girouard, and one can hear woven parallels in the two women’s voices, cadences, and pitches, with Weiner’s cutting inflection dancing amid them. Landry’s bass clarinet is rich in its warble, full and gentle with woody footfalls that demarcate shapes through the chorus. Vocal rhythmic cycles, wordless in nature, are the energy that courses through the fourth song, urgent and sweaty as Weiner recites statements of political position in the Middle Ages, Le Va declaiming alongside in German. On soprano saxophone for the fifth tune, Landry pierces and darts in a bright manner in a private dialogue with himself, echoing Steve Lacy as female voices nearly bury one another in closely valued hues. Weiner, meanwhile, volleys between the LP’s title phrase and cornerstone proclamations such as “the artist may construct the piece. The piece may be fabricated. The piece need not be built.” The closing cut makes curious use of delay and alto flute, Landry’s breath and the inherent percussiveness of the instrument’s keys creating a slick rhythmic support that courses through overlapping vocal phrases, advancing and receding declarations of presence and intent.
Wire Magazine 465, multi-page feature by Julian Cowley, November 2022"Perhaps Landry was signaling his liking for spontaneity and active engagement, his distaste for archives of recorded artifacts. Despite his reputation as a virtuoso, and his appearance in credits to albums by the likes of Talking Heads and Laurie Anderson, Landry’s own discography remains astonishingly slight… Maybe all three of these reissues should be heard as innovative sculpted forms rather than routine musical documentation.”
LP TRACK LISTSide A
- Song 1
- Song 2
- Song 3
- Song 4
- Song 5
- Song 6
- Song 7
- Song 8
Born in Cecilia, Louisiana in 1938, Richard “Dickie” Landry began his musical training at the age of six when he joined the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir singing Gregorian Chant for six years seven days a week. Landry picked up the saxophone at age ten and continued the journey that would take him places far removed from the small town in St. Martin Parish where he was raised.
In 1969 he was a founding member of the original group that formed the Philip Glass Ensemble and performed with the ensemble till 1981. Landry’s first concert of his own in New York was in 1972 at the Leo Castelli Gallery. That same year he began presenting his work in solo concerts on tenor saxophone, pioneering the use of a quadraphonic delay system that allowed him to form a live quintet of his own voicing (his original sound plus four timed delayed repeats). From there, Landry went on to work with artists such as David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Robert Rauschenberg, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Serra, and more.
After moving back to Louisiana in 1995, Landry, along with C.C. Adcock and Steve Riley, formed an all-star Swamp-Pop band, Lil’ Band o' Gold, with legendary Swamp-Pop singer and drummer, Warren Storm. He continues to tour and contribute music to Robert Wilson productions.