Breath Fractals

Breath Fractals by Xuan Ye/Chik White

Initially, the music of Chik White (Darcy Spidle of rural Nova Scotia) and Xuan Ye (Toronto) are drastically different. Spidle improvises using the jaw harp, one of the world’s most ancient instruments, on a series of stimulating and freshly invigorating releases, including two recent tapes on Notice. Xuan Ye has developed a dense, fascinating, radically cutting edge synthesis of video and aural performance, somatics, and computer programming, engaging acoustic instruments, voice, field recordings, and strangled frequencies. Spidle has a deep and intense relationship with the ocean; its many guises and characteristics have provided a catalyst for a personal and unique body of work, one that is devoted to his oceanic surroundings and the natural phenomena inherent to its existence. Both artists reference not only outsider folk traditions, but also esoteric strains of the avant-garde, noise, field recordings, and sound collage.

This intimate release reveals their strong musical interplay, evident in the physicality and palpability of the tracks presented. Both are dedicated to the generation of raw sound, while reducing language into its constituent physical parts, as if dramatizing the struggle of human expression. They explore instrument and voice along what feels like very short and concise distances. At times, they branch out into explorations of spaces and objects that feel curious and almost narrative, with the “voice” often present but never remotely understandable. Both artists’ boundary-pushing of physical performance finds a new route in this collaboration.


XY: voice, Toronto ON, 2017


CW: jaw harp and voice, Chezzetcook NS, 2018

as if by a bell

XY: voice and percussion, Long Island NY, 2016

long may I sleep

XY: voice, CW: jarp harp, Toronto ON / Chezzetcook NS, 2017

homing hymn

CW: jaw harp and voice, Cheezetcook NS, 2018

polyphony of breath fractals no.2

XY: voice, CW: jaw harp, Toronto ON / Chezzetcook NS, 2017

polyphony of breath fractals no.1

XY: voice, CW: jaw harp, Toronto ON / Chezzetcook NS, 2017


CW: jaw harp, Chezzetcook NS, 2017

escalate, escalate

XY: field recordings, various, 2017

omnivore machine

XY: field recording, CW: vocal noise, Toronto ON / Chezzetcook NS, 2017


XY: field recordings, various, 2016

Recorded by Xuan Ye and Darcy Spidle
Mastered by Kyle McDonald
Videos & Source artwork by Xuan Ye
Layout by E. Lindorff-Ellery
Letterpress printed by Small Fires Press, New Orleans
Duplicated by Cryptic Carousel