Home Music artist Claire Rousay, acclaimed musician and sound artist from San Antonio, has a new album and a new band

Claire Rousay, acclaimed musician and sound artist from San Antonio, has a new album and a new band


Musician and sound artist Claire Rousay inhabits a realm where traditional instruments such as the piano, harp and violin are juxtaposed with everyday sounds such as, for example, a washing machine or the noise of traffic or ice. jostled in a plastic cup.

His music, on albums such as “A Softer Focus” and “Never Stop Texting Me,” a collaboration with Austin musician More Eaze, is quietly exciting, enigmatic, and thought-provoking. A 2021 profile in T:The New York Times Style Magazine titled ‘A Softer Focus’ was impressive, and music website Pitchfork included the album on its list of the best jazz and experimental music of 2021.

Musically, Rousay says, she is not ironic. Contradiction and sly humor? Yes.

“It’s almost like making an album,” Rousay said. “It’s almost like a snapshot of, like, ‘These are the last months of my life.'”

Rousay has a new album, “Everything Perfect Is Already Here,” coming out in April, and she was in Austin this week to play some showcases at the South by Southwest Music Festival. She also recently joined the San Antonio band Buttercup, which has its own new album.

What: Record release show for the San Antonio band’s new album, “Specks: An Autobiographical Record”

When: Doors 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 23

Where: Japanese Tea Garden,

Details. Free entry. The event will also include a pop-up art exhibit by Jeff Wheeler and food for sale by Cherrity Bar and food truck La Tienda de Birria. Facebook: @buttercult

As a solo artist or collaborator, the avant-garde electronic musician is hard to pin down. His music may be intimate, but it’s not particularly revealing in a biographical sense. But that’s not to say 20-something Rousay doesn’t strike a chord.

“It will be a different experience,” she said. “Something that isn’t necessarily concrete maybe lends itself to becoming a more malleable thing over time…giving you more by giving you less.”

She is as much a curator of found sounds, field recordings and rejected noises as she is a producer or composer of chamber laptops.

“Curator is a good word to use,” she said. “Everything is made of fragments. The whole disc is made up of about 600 samples, or recorded pieces… and all put together. I just like doing things.

The songs are at times as tricky as an emo singer-songwriter and at others as shocking and choppy as a hip-hop star. The melodies come in flashes and sound like they could have been created by a team of Swedish songwriters for Katy Perry.

In addition to her solo and gigging successes — she recently opened shows for Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy — Rousay is the newest member of art-rock band Buttercup. It’s the thresher.

Erik Sanden, Buttercup’s managing light, said it wasn’t that hard to bring Rousay into the quirky fold, which includes guitarist Joe Reyes and bassist Odie.

She’s a friend who’s been on drums over the years for Buttercup as well as the Demitasse duo with Sanden and Reyes. She officially joined Buttercup in January 2021.

“We’ve never done anything like this with a drummer before,” Sanden said.

“I love playing the drums,” added Rousay, noting that her mother was a piano teacher and the piano was her first instrument.

Buttercup, with Rousay on drums, has a new album, “Specks: An Autobiographical Record.” The group will perform a record release show on March 23 at the historic Japanese Tea Garden.

Sanden and Rousay met years ago at 502 Bar when Rousay was playing drums with the musician who now performs as More Eaze and remains Rousay’s sounding board and closest collaborator.

“She has this delicate ability as a musician,” he said. “She has such dynamic range. It’s quite remarkable to me.

“What she does is quite challenging and quite minimalist and quite cutting-edge, and it resonates with people. That works. He has an attraction for him. She’s on a hell of a ride right now.

On stage, Rousay relies on a laptop and a microphone — like a DJ, rapper, or mixtape artist — to perform. As she plays bigger shows, sometimes with other musicians, she hopes to modify the number.

“I really hope the laptop doesn’t necessarily go away, but kind of takes a back seat in the future,” she said. “I think it’s an amazing tool. And I think minimizing music made on a computer is like closing your mind to a lot of possibilities. But honestly, it’s not the same as playing guitar or playing drums.

But playing a recording of walking in the grass is also not typical of most concert acts. Rousay manages to captivate and cope.

She interacts with the audience by pressing buttons and asking questions: “Like, wow, that’s really interesting. Is that music? I don’t really know what that is.

“It’s about interacting more like a human being, on a one-on-one personal level,” she said.

For Sanden, it’s clear why Rousay can command a room.

“She shows that all sounds can be beautiful or interesting if you frame them correctly,” she said.

Hector Saldaña is the curator of the Texas Music Collection at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.