hello lovely lines,
this is an instrumental, probably mostly ambient, album of mine.
it’s about standing still.
and maybe thinking about moving, or having moved.
i find there’s a variety of shades of sentiments that start to come out when you sit with yourself.
that’s what a lot of music does for me - so i tried to give a voice to that phenomenon, or at least give the space to let you experience that too.
this album is also my small love letter to cheat codes 2. i found it endlessly inspiring and i have a feeling we’ll stay partners for a long time. thanks @dan_derks
other main instruments include nylon guitar, digitone, and cassette.
thanks for listening.
can you tell a little bit more about the cover photo and how it relates to the music/themes?
i commissioned it from a friend of mine who does photography/design. i sent her the album without any real context and she lived with it for a bit and came up with this. i really like that approach cause it’s almost like a test to see how well i did in conveying the themes/narrative of the album.
she nailed this moment, this juxtaposition of present (fixed) and passing. being still in one place and seeing the evidence of transience.
i really enjoy the tint here too - it’s like a memory of a color. which is an approach i try to hit often with music - it’s a memory of a melody, of a instrument, etc.
i finally got the chance to spin this today while powdering grid pads and holy hell it was such a gorgeous ride. it’s such a humbling thing that you spent time with cheat codes and brought it to such rich and wonderful territory, full of your personal artistry + sensibilities.
this album inspired so many new ideas for me, thank you for sharing it!!
i’d love to learn more about the processes and workflows you employed on tracks like the promise of starting anew | daily rituals (the clarity of decisions and the evolution of its trajectory make for a super compelling track) and hollow world | daily rituals (the relationships between each of the loops, between each other and how they come together, are quite moving).
thanks for the kind words and the opportunity to wax, dan
i try to start with an emotional core for most songs, at the very least it’s a jumping off point and when it really works it keeps the internal narrative consistent and engaging. it helps inform those decisions that you noted.
‘the promise of starting anew’ is about that moment of relief after a long period of darkness or anxiety. that relief comes from release, from letting go. about the freedom of emptiness.
more subtly - it’s about starting from scratch and how there’s joy in that.
some technical process notes:
i like using sequences that are slightly different steps from each other, one longer then the other, typically in even intervals. similar concepts with like tape loops (or oooooo) but since they are stepped there’s more rigidity to it. like they are locked but not quite. this gives a subtle movement forward to me, like we’re waiting for it to lock together again, which i think was used here to come to that moment of relief
i do this a lot but A part, B part - then A part re-contextualized through B part.
thematically this tracks to me - where would the relief be without the darkness that brought us there.
‘hollow earth’ is simpler but fun to note that 1 loop was blindly recorded (without the piano reference track) and the pad part was a more of a live improv take, there’s a time and place for both and both produce different kinds of happy accidents.
the piano part used a PMD221 as a tape echo and i really wanted it to give it center stage, letting the other loops dance in and out.
field recordings are really like their own special instrument. i’m sure i’m preaching to the choir here but often i need that extra “movement” or “melody” or “character” layered at a certain point in the track but another instrument would be taking too much sonic space so i’ll try a field recording. or maybe go hunt for one.
This is really pretty. I need to buy this later. Great stuff.