Secrets From A Squirrel by Zander Raymond

hello lines

i wanted to share that i had a record come out on florabelle records on 2/17/2023 called “secrets from a squirrel”

here is a blurb written by the fantastic Ned Milligan (who has released some extremely thoughtful music under):

"After a series of impressive collaborations and increasingly assured solo releases, multimedia artist Zander Raymond now shares his first LP, Secrets From A Squirrel. Inherent in these pieces is a true sense of exploration, playfulness, and intimacy, all of which come together in a quietly delightful manner.

As a neurodivergent person, Zander pursued a process here that was both personally challenging and artistically rewarding. Sounds that are often unpleasant to him–doing dishes in the sink, the din of the Chicago L–were intentionally used as compositional tools alongside his now-familiar elements of synthesis, chance, and melody. There’s an uncommonly beautiful tactility in the results, which can be found in the album’s first amoebic rustlings and continues to be felt in its final, bubbling notes. Certainly part of what makes Secrets From A Squirrel so successful is its flow from one piece to the next, but it also evokes a kind of circulatory system—and the title of one track, “You Could Almost Hear It Sighing,” is an apt description of the album as a whole.

Zander’s visual art exists on its own but complements his music in ways that only underscore the strengths of both. Layering and light; collage and repurposing; tonality and humor—no matter the medium, his work is searching and gently generous, like the smile of someone who really understands you. To honor this side of Zander’s practice, an 8-page full color booklet featuring his collages accompanies the album. Additionally, for those interested in a little more zhuzh, a small run of artist editions is available, with each LP containing a unique risograph print by Zander and handwritten liner notes."

the record is a conglomeration of modular, field recordings, and some other electronics all fed into cheat codes 2. it was recorded in spring of 2022 and mastered by taylor deupree.

arranging and making music with modular usually feels very similar to arranging objects in space. something i shared with ned was that this album is full of field recordings of sounds that are challenging for me. loud, abrupt, overwhelming, etc. throughout the record i take these, and weave sounds that i love in between, above and below. this is mostly in the form of synthesis and softcut. this form of arranging felt entirely like a form of taking care of myself, nudging recordings of the train, doing the dishes, etc. into a space where their horrible timbre hung side by side on the same wall.

i used to say that my my practice made it evident how much time i spend looking at the ground. these fragments of objects, line the sidewalks and where the concrete meets the asphalt across chicago. around the time i was recording this record, i spent a lot of time arranging them on flat surfaces and viewing them on the overhead projector as a way to study them. they always felt like they held a secret or something, vaguely familiar, yet all together confusing.

anyways, just thought i’d share these sentiments and i hope that you enjoy the record!

p.s. like i think i have said 10000 times before— this community has been the single most important resource for me as i’ve learned synthesis and learned how to make and finish work. i think about people like @glia when i say this. genuinely generous people sharing generously.

edited to add a funny yet very real story about my profile picture on here—
in 2018, i released a 5? track ep titled “a pattern emerges” the first release i made on my modular (pre-monome, pre-grid, we’re talking very simple step sequencing and out of tune oscillators) and i remember @dan_derks writing the most thoughtful ‘supported by’ comment that puzzled me at the time. they wrote “a wonderful statement from a new artist that will undoubtedly produce fascinating work across their career.“

and i remember thinking huh? you really think so? i was sure making music was just a fluke. well anyways… here we are. forever grateful for dan.

p.s. pm me if you’re in need of a dl code, i want you to have it!


I’ve been streaming the record almost every day over the past week, and new details and nuances seem to emerge every time I listen to it. Very nice to hear your work progress and grow through previous releases!

I’m only familiar with your work through your website, so I’m excited to see the artwork in printed format. Hope to pick up the physical release once it’s made available at the objects & sounds shop.

I’m a bit curious about your process. In your notes above you write that the sounds were “…all fed into cheat codes 2”. Is this true for all tracks? Also, when it comes to the use of field recording; Did you select and arrange these after the loops and melodies were created, or were they included in the mix while playing your instruments?


Nice! I really like To Have Several Lives! I’ve bookmarked this to check it out properly soon.


thank you thank you thank you for the kind words—
the majority of the field recordings were woven into the tracks as i was playing my instruments! i used a michigan synthworks BLN to boost the signal of a small olympus lecture recorder i have been collecting recordings on for the past 6 or so years.

i found that feeding them into my instruments then into cheat codes meant that there was a level of unpredictability that allowed me to respond in real time with other decisions in terms of timbre and sequences.

there are a few instances where there is a field recording layer on top of a synthesizer layer or all on it’s own— the best example of this would be at the end of “footlight teaser”

rumor has it that objects and sounds should be getting copies very soon!


i’ve been listening to this album quite a bit and wish i were better at expressing myself

it stands alone as quite beautiful and was arranged with captivating tonal lines and loops…yet i also appreciate “secrets…” within the context of your unforgettable performance, your other albums and your collage/sculptural iterations

i really like your style and hope you continue to gain confidence because you are definitely an inspiration to many of us and your music is wonderfully entertaining :v: