May 1st, 2020


elcome to the first edition of Wet Ink Archive, an online journal of adventurous music curated by the musicians of the Wet Ink Ensemble. Archive is a space for artists to share and write about their work without restrictions, and a digital repository for Wet Ink’s twenty-plus years of live concert and studio recordings. It is also part of Wet Ink’s response to the urgent questions currently being faced by all arts organizations -- As live artists, how can we continue to present our programming amidst a national lockdown? And as community members, how can we continue to provide opportunities for freelance artists to work in their field?

The mission of Wet Ink Archive parallels that of the Ensemble: sharing the body of work generated within the group, celebrating the music of longtime collaborators, and providing a platform for emerging and underrepresented artists. Each issue will include three articles ranging from personal reflection to in-depth musical analysis, accompanied by newly released music and archival documentation. For Archive 01, we are proud to feature writing by Charmaine Lee, Mariel Roberts, and Alex Mincek & Sam Pluta.

In just four years, vocalist Charmaine Lee has made her mark as one of the most exciting artists on the NYC creative music scene. In her article for Archive 01, Reflections on Building a Personal Language, Lee traces the development of her creative practice since 2016. The article is accompanied by video documentation spanning Lee’s career, from her first solo improvised set in Brooklyn to performances aired just weeks ago (livestreamed from her home in isolation), and previously unreleased duo performances with Chris Goudreau and Sam Pluta.

Wet Ink’s newest band member/co-director, cellist Mariel Roberts, has been a close collaborator of our ensemble for over a decade. In Moments/Monoliths, Roberts reflects on her evolving relationship with creativity and authorship through the lens of three deeply personal works: Roberts’ Cara II for solo cello, Sam Pluta & Roberts’ binary/momentary iii, and Roberts’ Duo for violin and cello. The article includes the video premieres of binary/momentary iii and Duo.

In Topographies of Interaction, Alex Mincek and Sam Pluta share a nuanced discussion of formal, perceptual, and relationship structures in their works Glossolalia and Lines on Black, two long-form pieces written over extended time periods for the Wet Ink band. These works have been released together on Carrier Records today, May 1st, 2020! Several tracks from the album appear in Archive 01 as exclusive previews, and we hope that you will consider ordering the album on Bandcamp - 100% of the proceeds of Glossolalia/Lines on Black sales will be used to supplement payments to our freelance collaborators who were impacted by the cancelation of concerts this spring. There are many organizations working tirelessly to help support freelance artists during this difficult time. One of the best ways to get support directly to artists is to donate to the New Music Solidarity Fund. If you are in the position to do so, please consider making a donation to this wonderful initiative by New Music USA at the link below:

From all of us at Wet Ink, wishing you and yours health and strength. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to continuing to share adventurous art with you in the coming months.