Euphotic
Isopleths (CD)
Public Eyesore 2020

1. Sulfolobus
2. Histioteuthis bonnellii
3. Pluton
4. Lithotroph
5. Bristlemouth
6. Echolocution
7. Flinch Flies

Cheryl Leonard: driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells
Tom Djll: trumpet and electronics
Bryan Day: invented instruments

Recorded in San Francisco (2018), and Betalevel, Los Angeles (2019)
Mastered by Thomas Dimuzio
Photos by Cheryl, Design by Bryan

Reviews:
(Downtown Music Gallery) At first glance, it appeared that both the name of this trio and its album title resembled invented computerese whipped up for a bootleg Autechre issue. Boy, what a simple, quick brush through a dictionary will do. Euphotic is defined as, “of, relating to, or constituting the upper layers of a body of water into which sufficient light penetrates to permit growth of green plants.” An isopleth is "a line on a map connecting points having equal incidence of a specified meteorological feature.” Whew. Well, this trio of expert knob/object twiddlers do their damnedest to render in analogics the etymologies of their chosen names. Lofty ambitions inform the process behind this recording, most of which is successful by dint of the instrumentation alone. Cheryl Leonard is credited with utilizing such unusual acoustics as driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles, and oyster shells. Trumpeter and electronics maven Tom Djll frequents the other end of the spectrum, his digital glossolalia operating as the ideal copy counterpointing Leonard’s earthen wares. Bryan Day works within this matrix via his invented instruments, whatever those are. So the entire recording is one of some errant mystery, an obscurantist music that is at once puzzling and fascinating. Track titles—“Sulfolobus”, “Pluton”, “Bristlemouth”—are undoubtedly corporeal in origin, the trio continuing their ‘organic’ motifs throughout. The results are electroacoustic improv that more than anything resembles what you would hear if microphones were placed in some dense forest underbrush, capturing the musings, mutterings, and meanderings of various flora and fauna. The minimalist patina and choice aural enablers are similar to works by Loren Chasse, Steve Roden’s in between noise project, and many other arch onkyo artists who intensely explore the minutiae of sounds operating at the molecular level. But lest you think this is a glib enterprise in sound versus silence, think again: the aforementioned “Pluton”, all synthetic proteins and shuddering organisms flexing their ones and zeros, wrestles with waves of controlled feedback and sculpted distortion the better to describe the trio’s dissection of numerous warm worlds & otherwise. Ear-rational, psyche-altering stuff, full of constantly shifting ideas that wrap themselves around your cerebral cortex and don’t let go. Headphones recommended. - Darren Bergstein

(Vital Weekly) The previous time the name Euphotic appeared in these pages was not about a work for a trio of musicians who now deliver 'Isopleths', but as the title of a release by Chihei Hatakeyama and Corey Fuller (Vital Weekly 1033). The word means "noting or pertaining to the layer or zone of seawater that receives enough sunlight for photosynthesis to occur, varying greatly with season and latitude, from 0 to 1,200 feet (0–360 meters)". The trio here is Bryan day on invented instruments, Tom Djll on trumpet and electronics and Cheryl Leonard on driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells. That is three quite different approaches to creating sounds, ranging from natural objects, a real instrument and whatever Day uses (I believe something with strings and wood). The seven pieces on this release were recorded in 2018 and 2019 and are pieces of improvised music. Here too they deliver quite the variety of approaches. 'Pluton', for instance, starts out with some heavy noise with much distortion on the electronics, while in other pieces the emphasis lies on the use of 'small' sounds, at times touched upon carefully and at other times hectic and chaotic. Like a jazz trio, it seems that sometimes an instrument takes the lead, such as the trumpet in 'Bristlemouth', but that too isn't the principle idea of these improvisations; just as easily everything appears on an equal level, with nobody leaping out, such as in 'Echolucation', which also uses quite a bit electronics on Djl's part. Sometimes, this comes across as very traditionally improvised, albeit with less non-conventional sound devices, and sometimes not all, working from a microsound level, exploring small sound events. In the time-span of forty-eight minutes they cover a lot of ground and there is plenty to discover on the grounds. This is quite a beautiful release. - Frans de Waard

(Nettavisen)Den viktige tredjerunden, som det jo heter på skøytespråket, er litt i samme gata. Djll er med også her og trakterer elektronikk i tillegg til trompet. Han får reisefølge av Bryan Day på instrumenter jeg vil tro han har skapt sjøl og Cheryl Leonard på alt fra drivved, sand, steiner, fjær, skjell og ymse annet hun har funnet i naturen. Her snakker vi nesten sjølsagt lydeksperimenter av sjelden klasse - eksperimenter som skaper fascinasjon, spenning og nysgjerrighet. Vi blir tatt med til en lydverden ingen av oss har opplevd tidligere og, sjøl om det ikke kommer til å bli spilt hver dag, så er det fascinerende landskap som blir åpna opp. - Tor Hammerø

(Bad Alchemy) Halt, da wäre ja schon wieder Isopleths (PE146) von EUPHOTIC, mit wieder Bryan Day mehr oder weniger perkussiv und klangskulptural an invented instruments (wie Displacement Rails, Rotowhisker, Sonic Marionette, Sound Mouse, Junk Kalimba oder Zithselqier), die er solo einsetzt als Eloine, für elektroakustische Improvisationen mit Bad Jazz, für toben­des Gedröhn und metallischen Krach mit Collision Stories oder freie Improvisationen mit Shelf Life. Dazu wieder Tom Djll an Trompete & Electronics und Cheryl Leonard, die Treibholz, Sand, Steinen, Federn, Schilf, Pinguinknochen, Kiefernnadeln und Muschelschalen Geräusche entlockt. Für elektroakustische Surrealismen, zum Borromäischen Kno­ten geschlungen aus natürlich, physikalisch und imaginär. Wer kann, der mag sich da an Anomalous Records erinnert fühlen, an Eric Lanzilotta, Richard Lerman, Points Of Friction, Dave Knott... mein Gott, auch schon wieder über zwanzig Jahre her. Djll würgt, saugt und pustet aus der Trompete rück- und querwärts die unmöglichsten Klänge, stöhnend und gurgelnd, dumpf oder brodelig und oft so, dass man außer der Trompete auch noch das Mundwerk bezweifelt. Und die sirrenden, zwitschernden, irrwischen­den Impulse, das ist ja wohl auch er? Beidseits bekrims­kramst, sind Day die metallischen Akzente, Leonard die raschelige Finesse zuzutrauen. Die Stichwörter 'Sulfolobus' und 'Lithotroph' evozieren Archaebakterien, Prokaryoten und brodelige Smoker am Meeresboden und jene natürli­chen Tiefen, in denen sich auch der 'Histioteuthis bonnellii', der Segelkalmar, rumtreibt, ominös überrauscht, dumpf umraunt und beblubbert. Die imaginäre Unterwelt, in der 'Pluton' herrscht, ist gleich um die Ecke, da wo's Steine gibt und wenig Brot. Da, wo man vielleicht nicht 20.000 Meilen, aber doch tief unter dem Meer ins Dunkle staunt und das mit stammelnden Funksprüchen nach oben meldet. Heute noch der Lebesraum Bosch'scher Bizarrerien, vor 3,77 Milliarden Jahren aber die Ursuppe, aus der dann ein Klümpchen Schleim in einem warmen Moor hervorgehen würde. Und etwas später Borstenmäuler ('Bristlemouth') wie Sigmops bathyphilus oder Groucho Marx. In diesem submarinen Phantasia werden Kakteenstacheln gepluckert, Seepferden galoppieren, Djll nöckt Wassermusik, Day klap­pert und dongt als Blechmann sehr weit weg von Kansas. Alle drei verheddern sich in kakophoner 'Echolocution', ja, EK oh lo koo shun. Tropfen plätschern, Steinchen scharren, ein Gong dongt, der Kraken schnarcht. Ich würde ja gern mit ihm träumen, wenn nur nicht die euphotische Zone in den USA so mit Jauche besudelt wäre. - Rigo Dittmann

(Sands-zine) S’è appena pubblicata la recensione a un disco del quartetto formato da Kyle Bruckmann, Tom Djll, Jacob Felix Heule e Kanoko Nishi-Smith ed eccoci qua con un gruppo che vede coinvolto uno dei quattro, esattamente il trombettista Tom Djll. Se in “Brittle Feebling” gli strumenti erano tutti di tipo tradizionale, seppur suonati con tecniche inusuali, negli Euphotic l’unico strumento di quel tipo è la tromba. Bryan Day è infatti un costruttore-inventore di strumenti musicali, per l’esattezza di intonarumori di tipo meccanico che hanno a che fare con concetti di elettronica artigianale e primitiva.
Quanto a Cheryl Leonard, si tratta di una naturalista sempre alla ricerca di nature morte alle quali ridare vita attraverso i suoni che sono in grado di emettere. Tre approcci al suono che partono da punti diversi – un negozio di strumenti musicali, un laboratorio artigianale, una passeggiata in un ambiente naturale – per confluire in un suono unico. Il tutto è naturalmente filtrato attraverso quella meravigliose invenzioni che sono i microfoni, le amplificazioni e le registrazioni. Senza di ciò nulla di tutto questo sarebbe possibile. La musica del trio, che definirei maximalista per la sua ricchezza di suoni, colori e volumi, si sposta dalle fragili sinfonie di un Jeph Jerman alle tempeste di suono di un Francisco López. Deep listening. - Mario Biserni

(KFJC) the bells ring for no one. over what was once dry land, Orion reaches farther into the void. as you reach the apex, squirming, the crickets pound tin cans and penguin bones. no way down, no way out, no one there to hear your cosmic whimpering. softly fading, obscured, then gone. noisters cheryl leonard on driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds,penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells; tom djll on trumpet and electronics; and bryan day on his own invented instruments. excellent easy-to-listen-to-and-drift-away noise from those who know best. DO NOT MISS.