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Knitting By Twilight
An Evening Out of Town

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"...A beautiful album, full of light and shade and shifting, dreamlike atmospheres, “An Evening Out of Town” is highly recommended to everyone with an interest in contemporary classical/chamber music, as well as to lovers of electronic/ambient and world music - while devotees of the more ‘conventional’ forms of prog might find it somewhat heavy going..."
-- Rafaella Berry, Progressor Magazine
Read More >>

 

"...The superb "Evelyn's Glen" matches a pretty, pulsing drone with John Orsi's multi-percussive improvisation, producing a decidedly bleak atmosphere that might accompany a film's opening credits superimposed on shots of a menacing, snow-covered Midwest town..."
-- Matt Shimmer, Indieville
Read More >>

 

"...An Evening Out of Town is jazzy and folksy, it’s minimalistic and abundant, it’s psychedelic and monochrome, it’s as equally entrancing as it is off-putting. It’s an aural trip where every percussive move has been strategically placed, every part specifically arranged, and only Orsi knows the destination. The instrumentation utilized to create this masterwork is decidedly more imaginative than your common drum kit, including roto toms, glockenspiel, keyboards, chimes, snares and all manner of idiophones..."
-- Charley Lee, Performer Magazine
Read More >>

 

"...An Evening Out of Town is a devious enlightened and enlightening work from a group I love to hear more from. John Orsi is also the man behind the group Herd of Mers, as well as several solo projects, so there should be much to pick from..."
-- Richard A. Toftesund, Tarkus Magazine
Read More >>

 

"...Though the tracks can vary significantly, there's always a consonance of integrity, instrumental coloratura, and silky invention. Suited for contemplation, active listening, backdrop ambience, and candlelight wistfulness, KBT is always a remedy for whatever might be provoking vexations with the world..."
-- Marc S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Read More >>

 

"...Compelling, taut, and boasting a restless calliope of magical inventions... "
-- Mitch Lemay, KFJC 89.7 FM
Read More >>

 

"...John Orsi is here, offering up new worlds of modern sonic texture again. Most bands offer square peg into square hole genre comforts. But the out-of-time instrumentals KbT offers are like new attitudes all around..."
-- Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover
Read More >>

 

"...On their latest effort An Evening Out of Town, keyboardist-drummer-songstylist John Orsi, guitarists Manny Silva & Mike Marando and guitarist Karen Orsi expound on their trademark, mesmerizing rhythms with curiously dark keyboard lines, jangling string passages and haunting sound bytes. They've truly created an original entity that's both commercialy viable and musically progressive..."
-- Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine
Read More >>

 

"...It’s simple in its complexity, and it’s complex in its simplicity, which means they pull their music in every direction in order to find new things in their creative minds. Even when a discovery is made, they set off on the next journey, and that is what makes listening to Knitting By Twilight an enjoyable experience..."
-- John Book, The Runoff Groove
Read More >>

 

"...The keyword on all the Orsi projects has always been "creative"... think of this as 21st Century "head shop" music - some beautiful synth works, but the percussion on the opening track, "Jaunt To Dreamland" (my favorite piece on the album) will TAKE YOU THERE... for something REALLY "out there", try "Bell Weather" (excellent use of sonic space, yet fully accessible)!..."
-- Rotcod Zzaj, IMPROVIJAZZATION
Read More >>

 

"...This album is all about tonality and texture -- seductively serene but not sleepy, pensive and challenging but not irritatingly so..."
-- John Collinge, Progression
Read More >>

 

"...These songs have lots of layers, and lots of things going on. It’s cool. The first track is called Jaunt to Dreamland and I’d say that’s a apt title. It actually sounds like a dream..."
-- Amy Lotsberg, Collected Sounds
Read More >>

 

"...Mainly an instrumental outing, the moody and droney numbers beckon me in and there I sit transfixed...."
-- Don Campau, No Pigionholes
Read More >>

 

Progressor Progressive Rock Pages | Uzbekistan
Music Review by Rafaella Berry

Prolusion. KNITTING BY TWILIGHT (KBT from now on) is a music-and-art collective formed in 1994 by musicians/composers John Orsi (an extremely accomplished percussionist and the only constant member of the outfit) and Michael Watson. Over the years, the project has expanded and come to feature a number of guest musicians, notably guitarists Manny Silva and Mike Marando. “An Evening out of Town” is Knitting By Twilight’s fourth release on the independent label It’s Twilight Time, based in Providence, Rhode Island (USA) – incidentally, the home town of great horror writer HP Lovecraft.

Analysis. Unlike so many other recent releases, “An Evening out of Town” is only 42 minutes long – which, especially given the kind of music it showcases, is the perfect running time, allowing the listener to fully appreciate the music without any need for extra padding. The 10 tracks, all around the 4-minute mark, give the impression of being pieces of a larger musical mosaic, though at the same time each of them can stand on its own. Depending on the listener, the music can come across as monotonous or else as haunting and mysterious, something to be enjoyed at the close of the day, that twilight hour mentioned in the band’s name. The very titles are suggestive of peace, quiet and sleep, though I would refrain from calling KBT’s music soporific. Some of the more structured tracks on the album can be vaguely reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles, though not as rambling, or even of Dead Can Dance or David Sylvian’s solo output – sophisticated, evocative mood music with some exotic, world-music spicing. Other tracks, however, are decidedly on the sparse, experimental side and may therefore not be everyone’s cup of tea – especially as regards those who like their music to have some ‘bite’ and have no time or patience for subtleties.

As John Orsi has been the only constant presence since the project’s inception, it is not surprising to find out that he plays most of the instruments on the album. The majority of the tracks are a veritable aural feast for lovers of every kind of percussion, while the three other musicians provide some intriguing guitar effects (such as Karen Orsi’s ‘sleepy bird’s guitar’ on Bell Weather). Interestingly, most of the tracks seem to have a sort of multilayered structure in which one instrument is pushed to the forefront, while the others (generally the keyboards) provide a steady background, and the occasional vocals (in the shape of chants or whispers) seem to float to the surface from a great distance. Water Pumps from Cloudland, a strongly percussive offering that reminded me of Dead Can Dance’s later albums, is the only track that features a brief snippet of actual singing. While the first three tracks, with their ethnic drum patterns and regular, almost repetitive structure, are undoubtedly the most ‘conventional’, the tone of the album becomes increasingly more experimental and atmospheric, culminating with such tracks as Oblivion’s Poppied Slope - a loosely structured, free-form percussive jaunt held together by droning synths – the haunting, keyboard-led Audrey, and the aforementioned Bell Weather, a gorgeous, peaceful piece oddly reminiscent of the sound of wind chimes. Keyboards are mainly used to create spacey soundscapes over which John Orsi’s impressive array of percussion is left free to emote – much in the way of Pink Floyd circa “A Saucerful of Secrets”, though they occasionally take centre stage, as in the case of Venus for Everyone, the last ‘official’ track, whose middle section may bring to mind the likes of Vangelis. Now, on the basis of this review, it would be easy to dismiss “An Evening Out of Town” as a slightly more upscale version of new-age/ambient music, meant to be unobtrusive and fade into the background – and indeed this is the impression it can leave at first listening. However, this is an album that needs to be actually listened to in order to appreciate its many nuances and moods, as well as the top-notch performances of all the musicians involved.

Conclusion. A beautiful album, full of light and shade and shifting, dreamlike atmospheres, “An Evening Out of Town” is highly recommended to everyone with an interest in contemporary classical/chamber music, as well as to lovers of electronic/ambient and world music - while devotees of the more ‘conventional’ forms of prog might find it somewhat heavy going. In any case, more adventurous, open-minded prog fans will find this album a rewarding listening experience.

~~


Indieville | Canada
Music Review by Matt Shimmer

Knitting By Twilight lurks in the fringes between instrumental rock, electronic composition, and avant-garde music. A film-score-esque headtrip, An Evening Out of Town has the propensity to be remarkably beautiful and utterly bewildering -- which, as you might imagine, makes it an engaging if somewhat frustrating release.

Although the record is broken into distinct compositions, it's difficult to conceptualize this as a collection of songs instead of one extended composition. Clearly, this is somewhat related to the cinematic nature of the release. Still, independent moments on this disc are worthy of mention. The superb "Evelyn's Glen" matches a pretty, pulsing drone with John Orsi's multi-percussive improvisation, producing a decidedly bleak atmosphere that might accompany a film's opening credits superimposed on shots of a menacing, snow-covered Midwest town. Meanwhile, "Venus for Everyone" snags its synths from eighties film soundtracks but gives them a defiantly dystopian spin, whereas "Jaunt to Dreamland" is all mystery and wonder, and "Bell Weather" is dark catacomb music.

Like anything that's worth a dime, An Evening Out of Town takes a fair amount of time and effort to appreciate. It doesn't jump out at you, but instead slowly reveals its rays of sunshine as one carefully explores its nuances. Given a chance, however, it makes for a strangely captivating soundscape.

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Performer Magazine | USA
Music Review by Charley Lee

Recorded at In A White Room in East Providence, RI | Produced by John Orsi for It’s Twilight Time | Engineered and Mixed by Karen and John Orsi | Mastered by The Mastering Lab at Discmakers

An Evening Out of Town marks the fourth album and first full-length in an ongoing series from works from the music and art collective Knitting By Twilight, featuring multi-instrumentalist, composer and mastermind John Orsi and guitarists Mike Marando, Karen Orsi, Manny Silva. An Evening Out of Town is jazzy and folksy, it’s minimalistic and abundant, it’s psychedelic and monochrome, it’s as equally entrancing as it is off-putting. It’s an aural trip where every percussive move has been strategically placed, every part specifically arranged, and only Orsi knows the destination. The instrumentation utilized to create this masterwork is decidedly more imaginative than your common drum kit, including roto toms, glockenspiel, keyboards, chimes, snares and all manner of idiophones.

An Evening Out of Town shuffles between aerie psychedelic folk, classic progressive rock and experimental new age, taking the listener on an enigmatic spiritual journey that professes emotion without having to say a single word. Though each track is really a mood and movement that’s part of a greater work, some “moods” do stand out. “Jaunt to Dreamland” is one such number, and most likely the most accessible song on the CD. “Oblivion’s Poppied Slope” is probably the most eerie, a track that descends into the darkness of space with only the occasional chime to lead you into the light before pummeling you with what must be a incoming airplane. The final result is an album that should have been the soundtrack to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, one that’ll take some on a journey, while leading others nowhere. (It’s Twilight Time Records)

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Tarkus Magazine | Norway
Music Review by Richard A. Toftesund

A quartet originating from an art cooperative centered around John and Karen Orsi, who treat keyboard, sampler and tape recorder, percussion and guitar. This is also the primary instrumentation in these sparse but expressive pieces, which all seem to build on the basic principle of how totality is maximized by simple shades.

KbT retrieves their ideas from the research stage of the ambient art (Eno, Tietchhens, Harmonia), as well as from the European wave of so-called naivistic instrumental music that rallied around companies like AYAA and Crammed in the 80s (with artists like the Look de Bouk, Hector Zazou and Toupidek Limonade). It is also tempting to draw parallels with the loose genre New Weird America (NWA), in itself an unstable class of newer artists that originally stood out in the underground scene in the western United States and again anchor a number of different styles like folktronica, neokraut and artwave. Like many artists who for various reasons have sorted under NWA - eg. Flaming Fire, Alec K. Redfearn, Faun Fables, and the ever higher profiled Animal Collective - much of the analytical value of the attraction value of KbTs music lies in the fact that it provides a retro active function in our contemporary understanding of pop/rock as a conceptual medium. What does current thinking on the creative process mean for the study of similar former processes?

In the extension of this, a number of core issues related to the formation of art are problemised, including the meaning of and mission with the "experimental". Instead of asking questions with open answers, it seems that the message of a band like KbT is that the question in itself is redundant. You hear what you hear without any strange ideas about sound's underlying motive, and what is left are a number of perceived image motions that occur solely in your "pure" association frame as a listener. Although the historical-musical references exist, the inner experience of such installation-like tone sculptures enable a Tabula Rasa-mechanics. Meditation is not a passive business, nor is concentration!

An Evening Out of Town is a devious enlightened and enlightening work from a group I love to hear more from. John Orsi is also the man behind the group Herd of Mers, as well as several solo projects, so there should be much to pick from.

~~

 

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Marc S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

This is the latest in a long, productive, and very satisfying menu of progfusion from John Orsi's oldest ensemble, a group with an Impressionistically slanted bent for oft gentle, sometimes eruptive, intelligent songs slowly massaging some of the subtler aspects of the genre into new configurations. This time out, save for one highly moody quartet cut, "Oblivion's Poppied Slope" with three—count 'em, three—guitars, it's all solos or duets between John and a trio of others (highly talented wife Karen, stalwart Manny Silva, and the ever-welcome Mike Marando). Everything's based in percussives accentuating frequently tribalistic beats sometimes underlying clever time/rhythmic shifts (Jaunt to Dreamland), other times frenetically offsetting slow melodics (Soothing Stars), but always accenting in ways that draw attention to the floating nature of Orsi's compositions.

Perhaps the most surprising ingredient this time out is the employment of a guitar by John himself, heard in coolly wah'ed lines in Soothing Stars. Normally, the guy favors keyboards alongside his skins, bringing in burningly competent axemen (and women) for string duties, but this time he hefted the instrument and went to work. Then there's Evelyn's Glen, a strongly Enoidal piece drenched in muscular authenticity...and apparently a reference to Evelyn Glennie, classical percussionist. Audrey, however, is one of the most experimental cuts KBT has ever done, a killer piece of reversed envelopes and oil can ostinato with warp outs and vaporous keys.

Though the tracks can vary significantly, there's always a consonance of integrity, instrumental coloratura, and silky invention. Suited for contemplation, active listening, backdrop ambience, and candlelight wistfulness, KBT is always a remedy for whatever might be provoking vexations with the world. Just slip this disc into the player and sit back as your frontal lobes are caressed and cajoled. In closing, though, I suggest the listener check out the entire It's Twilight Time catalog as this is a consistently quality label, home to a number of refined ongoing entities, including one of my fave dreampop combos (manned by the Orsis and Bouchards): Overflower.

~~

 

 

KFJC 89.7 FM Los Altos Hills, California
Music Review by Mitch Lemay

Composer/percussionist John Orsi is the mastermind behind Rhode Island music collective KNITTING BY TWILIGHT, a studio project with a resume of prior topnotch EP releases; An Evening out of Town is the debut full-length. The core elements of these imaginative instrumental creations are analog+ digital keyboards, a dozen or so drum variations, guitars (courtesy Karen Orsi, Manny Silva, and Mike Marando), sketched occasional (spoken word) voice sample, and a decidedly proactive imagination, responsible in the main for tribal sparkle/shimmer on # 1, port ‘o call ( # 2), somber imagery ( # 6), playful mallet refraction ( bonus track untitled # 10), and heady exit flight ( # 9). Not jazz, not pop yet superb with improvisatory embellishments and a secret sense of melodic wisdom befitting an astonishing catholicity of qualitative inspirations and influences. Other Providence projects from Orsi include the OVERFLOWER and BLUESHIFT SIGNAL trios, and the INCANDESCENT SKY quartet. KNITTING BY TWILIGHT also scored the Alexandra Meljer-Werner movie “Mudra”. Compelling, taut, and boasting a restless calliope of magical inventions.

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The Big Takeover
by Jack Rabid


knitting by twilight
an evening out of town (
it’s Twilight Time)

Promised three years ago in the wake of 2005’s Someone to Break the Silence EP, the fourth album from this always out of the ordinary, 14-year-old Providence, RI art collective led by John Orsi is here, offering up new worlds of modern sonic texture again. Most bands offer square peg into square hole genre comforts. But the out-of-time instrumentals KbT offers are like new attitudes all around. Having used The Cure’s Pornography as the barest hint for the EP (whose “Audrey” is repeated here in remixed form), given it’s occasional bouts of tribal percussion (appearing again here on occasion), one would have to vastly expand the referencial base to include ambient Brian Eno records, both on his own and with other collaborators (Robert Fripp, David Bowie, David Byrne, Phil Manzanera, etc.), as well as space-oriented film soundtracks, folk, progressive rock, new age, and lots of artistic electronica. The repetitions just drive the spare, moody dreamscapes deeper and deeper into your skull, full of light and airy tones kept bare of ostentation or bombast. It all adds up to 40 minutes of soft-lit reflection, the feeling that your body is floating in an Apollo spacesuit, weightless, through the mesosphere or thermosphere, never to return to earth.

~~

 

Metronome Magazine
by Douglas Sloan

Just when you think you've heard everything the Rhode Island based Knitting By Twilight has to offer, they turn around and surprise you with something completely fresh and relevant. On their latest effort An Evening Out of Town, keyboardist-drummer-songstylist John Orsi, guitarists Manny Silva & Mike Marando and guitarist Karen Orsi expound on their trademark, mesmerizing rhythms with curiously dark keyboard lines, jangling string passages and haunting sound bytes. They've truly created an original entity that's both commercialy viable and musically progressive.

~~

 

The Runoff Groove #224
by John Book

Knitting By Twilight have been around for years, and each releases always reveals something new, interesting, and unique. An Evening Out Of Town (it’s Twilight Time) is a mixture of different styles and genres, where you’d not sure where you’ll be headed but you’re always pleased to reach each song’s destination. The core of Knitting By Twilight has always been multi-instrumentalist John Orsi, and he goes at it by creating mostly-instrumental pieces that could be anything and everything from jazz to new age, light electronic music, folk, to sounds that show a possible classical influence.

“Soothing Stars” is Orsi and Orsi only, and the backdrop sounds like something you might find on a Tangerine Dream album. The percussion on “Evelyn’s Glen” could easily fit on any world music playlist, but the interesting about Knitting By Twilight is that it’s hard to say which world or territory they’re rooted in. In other words, the territories they represent as a collective may be as different as their backgrounds and influences. While those cores are somewhat represented, it seems once again that this group iare more about the creation of a new borderless territory where there is no final resting place, kind of like how Duke Ellington always ended his music without a proper ending. Each piece sounds like it could continue into the next phase, with Mike Marando’s guitar work becoming a call for an answer that never comes to fruition, or Manny Silva’s ebow guitar in “Oblivion’s Poppied Slope” that helps the listener get locked into an alternate universe that the listener wishes they could explore.

It’s simple in its complexity, and it’s complex in its simplicity, which means they pull their music in every direction in order to find new things in their creative minds. Even when a discovery is made, they set off on the next journey, and that is what makes listening to Knitting By Twilight an enjoyable experience.

~~

 

 

IMPROVIJAZZATION | Nation Issue # 86 REVIEWSby Rotcod Zzaj

Knitting By Twilight - AN EVENING OUT OF TOWN:  Our (long time) musical friends John & Karen (Riendeau) Orsi have been sending music that challenges the listener for far too long for me to list here... we reviewed a CD called "Aurora Caught Napping" in issue #81 & have reviewed KBT releases for quite some time now (the last one I have record of was in issue #75).  The keyword on all the Orsi projects has always been "creative"... think of this as 21st Century "head shop" music - some beautiful synth works, but the percussion on the opening track, "Jaunt To Dreamland" (my favorite piece on the album) will TAKE YOU THERE... for something REALLY "out there", try "Bell Weather" (excellent use of sonic space, yet fully accessible)!  You can purchase the tracks/album at their DIGISTATION page, or just listen to the samples to get an idea of what I'm talking about... this is the best release I've heard from John/Karen/crew yet, perhaps inspired (in some way) by the "new aura" falling over the land now that someone with something to offer (hope) has been elected (or maybe that's just me "hoping", not sure which).  There is nothing "ordinary" about any music from these folks, and I always find it a joy to get a package from them... recording quality on this release is HIGH-end, & there are "spirit calls" abounding throughout all the tracks. especially on cuts like "Venus for Everyone" -truly unlike anything you've ever heard (but not "trash improv" that leaves you unsated, either).  A very rewarding listen that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from these old ears.  Get more information at www.overflower.com/Merchandise.htm   Tell them Zzaj sent you, of course!

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Progression Issue #55 Review
by John Collinge

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Collected Sounds Review
by Amy Lotsberg

Knitting by Twilight is actually a musical collective. Their site says that it was created by John Orsi and Michael Watson as sort of an outlet for the music that didn’t exactly match the nature of the projects they were already working on. Interesting idea. So while it started out with these two, it’s an ever rotating line up.

This record is almost instrumental. There is a little bit of singing/vocalizing here, but not much. I guess I’d label it ‘ambient’, but it’s really more rhythmic than what, at least I, think of when thinking ‘ambient’.

These songs have lots of layers, and lots of things going on. It’s cool. The first track is called Jaunt to Dreamland and I’d say that’s a apt title. It actually sounds like a dream…if that makes any sense.

When there are vocals, they’re subtle and blend in nicely.

It’s perfect background music, good for working or relaxing. But it’s also good for slapping on the headphones (like those big GOOD headphones, not ear buds) and chilling. Very pretty.

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1 Jaunt to Dreamland
2 Water Pumps from Cloudland
3 Soothing Stars
4 Evelyn’s Glen
5 Oblivion’s Poppied Slope
6 Pictures of Delight
7 Audrey
8 Bell Weather
9 Venus for Everyone
10 Apparently, A Hidden Track

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No Pigionholes
Reviewed by Don Campau

The Best of 2008
Knitting By Twilight/ An Evening Out Of Town/---CD

Mainly an instrumental outing, the moody and droney numbers beckon me in and there I sit transfixed.

 

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