review by Doug Mosurock
on Still Single (Jan 2015)


Kraig Grady continues on with this project, promulgating brassy drone, deftly hammered strings and delicate chiming within the guise of ethnomusicological experiments (apparently Anaphoria is the artist’s autonomous nation of choice) with remarkable depth and tonal grace outside of the exercise of it all. Semantics shouldn’t let one deny themselves the opportunity to feel this music (particularly the longform exercise “Headwaters, Cascades, Torrents” that takes up all of side B) as it rushes past their face like a changing wind. 250 numbered copies; comes with postcards from the land itself. ( ) 
(Doug Mosurock)



review by Nick Cain
on The Wire 365 (Jul 2014)


review by James Wyness
on Fouter & Swick (Jun 2014)


I want to begin this review by offering some statements of meaning about Kraig’s work, about the communicative power of his work, bearing in mind that I’ve known of Kraig and his work for around fifteen years and that recently we were fortunate to meet up in person after many years of correspondence on microtonality and other musical topics.

I’d say then that I’ve found much of Kraig’s research and creative output over the years to be consistently compelling, evocative, unique and memorable. What I find compelling is his dedication to an art which is fundamentally complex, requiring an investment of high levels of both time, energy and resources. Grady’s work combines the required practical craftsmanship (to design and manufacture instruments) and the well-honed mathematical skills (in the design and understanding of a range of tunings and their musical applications). Yet we the listeners are rewarded by an accessible and easily understood sound world.

Because of the underlying Anaphorian context, this half-real, half-imaginary continent with its own ethical and musical codes, the music is always evocative in its reference to aspects of this hidden place with its various spaces, qualities and attributes. The fact that shadow puppetry and other hybrid theatrical and movement forms have provided containers for Anaphorian music over many years enhances its evocative powers. It is all of these details taken together which make the music unique and memorable in my view. Although there is plenty of microtonal music out there, both old and new, perhaps even played on hand-made instruments which resemble those of Kraig Grady, there’s nothing which blends the old and the new so seamlessly and which binds the instruments and their tunings together into such a tight and accessible creative output– even the music of Harry Partch runs so fast at times that the powers of the tuning can be lost on the listener and the instruments cannot sustain long enough to let the tuning work its magic.

Our short dialogue might help the reader/ listener to understand Grady’s intentions and creative output.

To what extent is the Anaphorian world view a prominent element in your musical aesthetic? Perhaps you could tell me a little about what Anaphoria represents.

I appreciate this question as it is quite misunderstood. Anaphoria should not be envisioned as an appendix to its music as much as music being just one element immersed inside of it. It is an extension of the installation that includes virtual space, performance practices, recordings, live performance and shadow theatre and installation. The most comprehensive view is presented on the website ( It is the world folded into itself.

As much installation can be traced to theatre, this work began from a musical perspective, so the question is a logical one. Possibly seeing Partch’s instruments on stage as a presence coming from some unknown land would be a germinal seed.

Anaphoria allows for a more truthful representation of myself, being as I am of nine known nationalities, an exile from many societies. This mixture makes the possibility of any single mundane geography inadequate to represent a point of orientation, so a model became fruitful in which they could each communicate contrapuntally, and manifest the type of creolization that results. This is similar to what one often finds on islands inhabited from many different directions. All these backgrounds are folded into one place. As more and more people become more and more mixed, hopefully such a model might be useful in the future to deal with the dilemma of such situations. Music is a wonderful medium by which to represent such a space as my favorite music always implies the space in which it is heard. It is as much a way of hearing as what is heard and it gives us a context for who is hearing the music and where they are.

I can’t tell at times what is improvised and what is composed. Can you tell me something about the relationship between the two in your work?

I am glad to hear that. I have a strong compensatory nature so that in the presence of composers I speak about the importance of improvisation, and among improvisers will point out the strengths of composition. For the most part there is always a score for my acoustic music. The purpose of the score has always been an interactive guide for performers, often in conjunction with oral instructions or dialogues.  Rarely do two pieces share the same type of score and different sections too might require a new form of placing the material.

I am interested in what humans can do and do together as opposed to exploring just how well they can take orders together. Electronics provides us with precision and the ability to work directly with the sound when strict order is required. Acoustic and/or live music allows us the opportunity to explore more human freedom and collaboration since the demands of the past can be accomplished elsewhere.

I should also point out though that the instruments themselves act as a part of the score in that what freedom is given to the performer is still shaped by the layout of the instruments. This is an element that might develop over a long period of time where the same set of bars might undergo as many as four different layouts before one alone is decided upon. The tuning of the scale also predetermines much as we can see how impossible 12-tone equal temperament has been able to move beyond atonality or regress into past practices. Different scales involve completely different sonic worlds which are ripe for exploring as soon as one no longer feels an obligation to make concessions to past practices.

Finally, can you say something about the connection between the elements of landscape in ‘Escarpments’ and the music? Are these impressionistic or is the music analogous to the textures and rhythms of the landscape.

I think our relationship to nature is at least twofold. There is the ‘observational’ view of it as seen from a scientific perspective, which is useful but risks saying more about the observer and the method of observing than about what it is they are observing. Are we observing nature or are we just engaged in a form of aesthetic scientism? The second relationship could be described as psychological – how does our soul react to nature? Here I believe that the observer is less hidden. The question of the titles also brings up the question of music expressing ideas in which I think we have to also entertain the possibility of the opposite as being also possible, where music generates ideas that wouldn’t occur otherwise. There is a danger of taking what an artist says about their work as being methodical. We might argue against music altogether and just relay the idea, but art strives more for reflection than knowledge. It keeps us in suspense, avoiding any resolution. Knowledge on the other hand allows us to leave it behind us, as James Hillman pointed out, since we move on once we know. In the case of Escarpments the titles mostly followed the music depending on the piece but they also reflect poetic fragments drifting in synchronicity.



on Textura (May 2014)


The always interesting ini.itu label returns with three new vinyl releases whose musical terrain extends from the “dystopic lounge ambiance” of David Ross and Clive Bell and the “serenity and alienation” of Anla Courtis to the imaginary landscapes of Anaphoria. Music, we're informed, is the optimal means by which the latter's unusual geographical character can be captured. With that in mind, Australia-based sound artist and so-called ‘Ethnographic Surrealist' Kraig Grady (b. 1952) follows up his earlier Anaphoria release on ini.itu, Footpaths and Trade Routes, with a fine sequel titled Escarpments. With its material supposedly collected by Banaphshu and Grady, the vinyl release backs three pieces of modest duration with a side-long setting.

One of the most appealing things about the recording is the distinctive world each piece inhabits. The opener “Sand, Dust, Relics,” for example, is characterized by soft, organ-like tones, its mood wistful and even mournful, as if one is eavesdropping on a musician translating feelings of sorrow into musical form. “Cliffs, Crags, Gravel,” on the other hand, features the Kalan, whose spidery sound resembles a hammered dulcimer or santur and which appears on the album as a dazzling series of sparkling patterns and thrums. “Grasses, Tundra, Terrains” ends side one with a return to the gentle terrain of the opener, with soft organ tones conjuring an impression of the meditative peacefulness that sometimes sets in at day's end.

Side B's “Headwaters, Cascades, Torrents” obviously parts company with the others in accentuating hydrological phenomena in its title. The Meta-Slendro metallophone serves as an apt choice of instrument, given its reverberant property and shimmering timbre. According to Grady, the composition is “a series of reflections from the water's edge that … follow the flow and nature of water more than adhere to the consuming nature of fire or the rigidity of earth.” True enough, the music unfolds with a graceful fluidity, its shape ever-changing, flexible, and adaptable, and much like the different parts of a river, some sections travel fast while others slow to near-stillness. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to decide whether to concentrate on the music alone or factor into the listening experience the Anaphoria concept Grady has developed for the project. Regardless of one's preference, the music of Escarpments holds up perfectly well shorn of its conceptual content.




description by Chris
at Toolbox Records (Apr 2014)


A variety of sounds, from yper ambient to instrumentas solos... Superb. Classious.



review by Frans de Waard
on Vital Weekly 925 (Mar 2014)


Behind Anaphoria we find Kraig Grady from Australia (although born in California of Ojibwe Indian descent) and he too had an album on ini.itu before (see Vital Weekly 699; it's great to see artists returning to this label, I guess). Here he has album under the name Anaphoria, like before, but I am not sure when he uses this name or his own name. Grady explores microtonalism with exotic instruments. They are not mentioned on the cover, but the press release mentions the Kalan, a trapezoid-shaped instrument resembling a hammer dulcimer or santur for 'Cliffs, Crags, Gravel', which reminded me of the LP by Michael O'Shea on Dome or Laraaji on Editions EG, but I believe Grady doesn't use any electronic treatment. In the two other pieces on side A it's not easy to say what kind of instruments are used, but their sustaining character made me think of an organ, or sine waves or something like that. On side B we have one long track make the 'Meta-Slendro metallophones' and has a watery feel to it, which I believe to be the intention of this piece. A minimalist outing too, with the singing and ringing of overtones working very nicely around here. An excellent record and a further expansion of the musical field of Grady.



description on Metamkine (Mar 2014)


Un projet de Kraig Grady qui comme le décrit David Toop joue à l'ethnographe surréaliste. Une palette instrumentale riche et variée pour créer des musiques imaginaires empreintes de cultures orientales, la création de paysages et de frontières imaginaires. 250 copies avec trois inserts.


by Clinton from Norman Records



Given the choice of three impossi-listen records on ini.itu this is by far the most palatable for my soft velvet ears.

Its all by a man who resides in Australia and has been described by David Toop as an Ethnographic Surrealist. Opener ‘Sand, Dust, Relics’ is some quite sweetly pitched crystalline drones like those things where a gaggle of people play a differently toned wine glass. Track two ‘Cliffs, Crags, Gravel’ comprises of random dulcimer hits and has a nice eastern flavour as in Dead Can Dance without the voice. More beautiful tones on ‘Grasses, Tundra, Terrains’, I’m sure there’s something or somebody I should be comparing this to but…having been described by David Toop as a Fucking Idiot, I just can’t think. Anyway its full of lovely smooth undulating drones, very much like the first track on offer.

The final side-long piece ‘Headwaters, Cascades, Torrents’ contain some beautiful, watery bell-like tones. I’m not sure what is being hit  - it sounds like some kind of metallic windchimes but they ring out beautifully so they do.