Cheri Knight’s music emerges from the outskirts of late seventies / early eighties Olympia, Washington, offering sound that is both performative and meditative, electronic and organic, collaborative and self-contained, and richly rewarding. Nestled in the nascent milieu of Evergreen State College, where Cheri studied music composition, her practice developed between campus studios and expeditions to San Francisco and Mt. Temper, New York, where she apprenticed and collaborated with Pauline Oliveros and Linda Montano; always adapting to the musical and philosophical timbre of those times and places. American Rituals captures an artist’s environmental emergence, unearthing a unique compositional voice and spotlighting regional sonic ethos. The seven works collected here, largely from various DIY cassette and vinyl compilations, range from polyvocal chants, pensive instrumental works, spoken-word collages, primal post-punk excursions, and hymn-like incantations. All are bound by a performative energy, expressing a Cage-ian commitment to the present moment, but also harboring a meditative interior. Marrying the seeing and hearing senses, Cheri’s early work primarily plays with words—spoken, sung, recited, incanted, chanted, instructed, whispered — expressing the ritualized patternings of everyday material turned beautiful and strange, musical and hummable, conceptual and devotional. Freedom to Spend excavates this verdant period of experimentation, meeting Cheri at a moment of elemental evolution. Restored and remastered from original tape sources by Josh Bonati, the vinyl edition includes comprehensive liner notes by Steve Peters, a high quality, multi-format digital download, and a future world of past possibilities.