waking by Matt Lowery

Hello, lines friends. I’m excited to tell you about my next record, which is called “waking”, and is coming out digitally and on cassette via Mystery Circles in mid-March. The preorder is currently live, so I figured I’d post it here in case anyone wants to grab a copy of the tape (I think we’ve got fifty copies for the first printing).

Waking is a collection songs based loosely on Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade”. It was recorded between 11/2019 and 5/2021, and is (I think) my best attempt at contextualizing the events of that time period in my own life.

It’s a highly collaborative record, with contributions from @n-So, Joshua Van Tassel, @youngweather, and was mastered by @taylor12k. Special thanks to @madeofoak who, very early in the process, offered some notes on the record that helped shape it (and my approach) to a great degree.

I also had the privilege to work with @tyleretters on the visual identity of the album. Watching Tyler earnestly engage with the music and help it find its visual counterpart was truly special. For me, the artwork could not be more perfect. Tyler, if you’re willing, I would sure love for you to share a bit about how you arrived where you did.

I’m happy to answer any specific technique or instrumentation questions to the best of my memory. As always, thank you for listening. My hope is that this record finds you well and has something to say or–even better–helps you say something.

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Sounds good! I’ll watch out for the digital download on March 18 :smiley:

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Oh sheeee. Really excited for this @mattlowery !

If you can give a detailed breakdown of what tracks features pine cones, that would be great. Thanks.

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I’m very intrigued by the technique(s) used by @tyleretters to create this cover art. Beautifully done.

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the core of every project is based on trust and my relationship with the team. my process for each project differs wildly based on a number of factors:

  • who am i working with? matt is a peer and a friend.
  • who is the work for? matt’s listeners, who are also my peers and friends.
  • what constraints are there? matt asked for no type on the cover - a massive challenge for me as typography is one of my favorite tools
  • what medium will the work ultimately be delivered in? this is both digital and physical (this question is important because it has implications with regard to all the technical, backend stuff like working in 300dpi or not)

matt and i started with a phone call. it was about an hour or so. i wandered around the desert while he shared context to his work. the conversation moved to discord:

i spent plenty of quality time with the music. this sounds obvious but worth noting i listened before putting image to medium. sometimes i will not listen to the release, sometimes i will make images during the first listen, etc. matt’s approach to the album was measured and thoughtful. i wanted to mirror.

i did plenty of sketching and studies. we explored working with AI to create images. i’m still quite fond of this one:

i also like trying mockups of the piece in situ - here we see what an early draft looks like on the mystery circles bandcamp:

eventually we landed on watercolor. the top image is the one that was finally selected as the final. it is one of about 20 paintings. it was important to me to keep the piece as “pure” as possible - there is a purity to matt’s music on this release. while i would normally go wild in photoshop and collage different paintings together i instead took one very high resolution photograph of the painting. inverted the colors. adjusted levels. cleaned up a few cat hairs.

all in it was probably ~50 hours of work. this includes conversations, painting, digital work, shower thoughts, dream puzzles, and final pre-press tasks. i’m proud of the work we did together. <3

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Ahhhh! I am so excited for folks to be able to breathe this in all over. What a lovely work: sonically and visually and collaboratively.

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This is very exciting. I appreciate the opportunity to have a look into the process (both with the music and the visual art) and I look forward to listening to the album and keeping an eye on this thread once it’s released.

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Just wanted to let everyone know that (1) the record is out today, and is streaming all the usual places (2) there are about 10 tapes left if you want one! Will update the original post with some thoughts very soon!

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Mental note: @tyleretters is the person to talk to if you ever need a record cover.

Congratulations on the release @mattlowery , going for the first listen now! :world_map:
Also, Philip Larkin, thanks. Already hooked.

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Scooped up a tape! Very excited to add this physical artifact to my earthly hoard.

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Just purchased. I am really enjoying it.

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Very impressed with this workflow and the time and attention given to this project. 50 hours is a lot of time.

I haven’t ever considered hiring someone to do cover art before. Maybe I should.

Will check out the album today!

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