November 29, 2023
Nov 29, 2023
Tim Gormley is co-founder and co-owner of Burial Beer Co. and VISUALS Wine. In addition, he owns and operates Ceremony of Seasons, a small record label focused on releasing experimental music by Asheville artist. What little free time he has finds him enjoying quality time with his wife Anneliesse, his dogs Crow and Dune, mother nature, and, of course, his record player.
What’s one of the first records in your collection? Where did it come from?
While attending college at Penn State in the very early 2000s, I took a few elective classes on film and music history that got me thinking about these mediums in a very different way. I remember being especially intrigued by the experimental work of Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky and John Cage.
It was likely Cage’s 4’33” that allowed me to appreciate that music, especially live music, is made by imperfect humans in imperfect spaces and that experiences with music are about much more than the will of the musician(s). Having come of age in the era where the CD took the place of tape (where much of the argument for its superiority was digital crispness, or essentially its lack of imperfection), this felt like a revelation.
At the time, I was getting really into post rock, which kind of felt like the classical music of the modern-rock era to me. The music was so dynamic and emotional despite its lack of lyrics. It was long-format music that seemed to beg for a more intentional listen. I felt as though any imperfection of analog would simply add more texture and beauty to music that was already full of complexity and nuance. It was time to buy vinyl.
My first record was Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. More than 20 years later, this record remains one of my favorites of all time. It took me a little bit of research to find the name of the record store that I got it from in State College, Penn., but I’m fairly confident it was City Lights Records, which was open for more than 25 years before it closed in 2010.
Which record means the most to you, and what’s the significance?
I think there is a pretty good argument for the previously mentioned Godspeed record but, honestly, the first place my mind went was to The Bees Made Honey in The Lion’s Skull by Earth. I have the first edition “bible” from Southern Lord. The packaging is crazy! It’s a hard-bound, faux leather, gold embossed triple gatefold with honey-colored vinyl. I know that they have re-pressed this, perhaps multiple times now, but it always felt really special to me, aesthetically. And to have the first edition. Also, the music!
I discovered Earth a bit late, shortly after Hex came out. I was living in Seattle at the time, which is their home base. I really fell in love with them, and they are a massive reason for my deep love of drone music. I don’t do a good job of tracking how many times I’ve seen certain bands live but I’d venture to say that Earth holds the crown for me, especially considering we lived in the same town for five years. I doubt I missed a single show in that time. I would put them in my top-10 bands of all time and Bees is my favorite album of theirs.
How do you organize your records? Alphabetically, by color, date… or utter chaos?
I organize my records loosely by genre or vibe. Most of the time I pick music to either fit my headspace or shape my desired headspace. I’m fairly predictable at this point so most everything I put on the shelf fits into either ambient/drone/experimental, psychedelic/space/krautrock, or (increasingly) jazz.
I still have a sizable collection of post-rock, electronic, and metal records that I spin periodically but in the last couple years I’ve tried to limit my purchasing to records that facilitate a creative atmosphere in the listening room.
What artist has the most records in your collection?
I do tend to take a completist angle to my collecting, so this is actually a fairly hard question for me. Though this may be a loose interpretation of the question, I would say that Barn Owl and the various side projects of its members, Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras, is my answer. By my count, I have 26 records that cover pretty much everything that those guys have ever pressed onto vinyl including records by Elm, Gärden Söund, Higuma, Painted Caves, Portraits and Evan’s recent collaboration with Jake Muir. Those guys can do no wrong in my book. Total visionaries.
What’s your most valuable record?
I honestly don’t pay attention to the value of any of my records. I don’t really collect classics so I doubt that I have anything that someone else would pay big money for. Of course, many of them have great significance to me, personally. In this moment, the records that I’ve pressed for my own label, Ceremony of Seasons, are about as significant as they get. Ross Gentry’s September and Brett Naucke’s Cast A Double Shadow are my first two releases and I’m in awe of them.
Bonus Question: Top Five Vinyl Releases in 2022?
• Caterina Barbieri – Spirit Exit
• London Odense Ensemble – Jaiyede Sessions, Vol. 1
• Kombynat Robotron – Dickfehler Studio Treffen 2
• Action & Tension & Space – Tellus
• Oren Ambarchi – Ghosted / Shebang
Thanks for sharing your collection with us, Tim!