WHAT YOUR EARS SAY & THE COVER LOOKS LIKE
WHAT WE SAY
Ever the artistic enabler Ambient band leader M Sage does a fine job of crafting 16 different musical ruminations on the work of 20th century modernist poet Wallace Stevens into a cohesive, restless yet (mostly) relaxing, abstract ambient soundscape for Florabelle.
WHAT THE RELEASE NOTES SAY
With The Wind of Things and the heralded completion of the Fuubutsushi album cycle all arriving this year, Matt Sage has generously offered further proof of his talents as an empathetic musician and composer. As curator of Cached Media, those same qualities emerge in his artistic vision and goodwill, which are necessarily intertwined. Yet even in the sizable company of such achievements, Wants A Diamond Pivot Bright, his new LP, immediately stands out, thanks to its unique framework.
In short, Sage asked sixteen other artists to spend some time with Wallace Stevens' poetry--"his engagement with sound as a medium and also a carrier of meaning is remarkable," Sage writes in his liner notes--and they each then sent him a track named after or inspired by a poem or line of Stevens's that especially resonated. Bringing closure to this ekphrastic equation, Sage added his own elements, primarily on guitar and piano. There is resonance in Sage's playful but committed invitation to participate--especially so during a time of imposed isolation, sure, but a meaningful gesture at any time--an act of faith that has shaped his discographies as an artist and label head.
Given the breadth of sensibilities here, it would have been easy for the results to sit together more like a compilation ofexercises without cohesion. This is not that. This is an album, rich with movements, motifs, and a genuine emotional arc that lasts way beyond the initial excitement of seeing the list of artists involved. "Together we created something prismatic in collaboration," Sage offers--and finally now it's found refracting onto you. "Together we created something prismatic in collaboration," Sage offers--and finally now it's found refracting onto you.
CreditsM. Sage: piano and electric guitar w/electronics throughout
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claire rousay: field recordings
Francesco Covarino: snare drum, floor tom, small percussion
Ned Milligan: chimes
Patrick Shiroishi: tenor saxophone, clarinet, sample
Chihei Hatekeyama: electric guitar
Joseph Edward Yonker: samples, tape
Zander Raymond: modular synthesizer, monome+norns
Chris Jussell: violin
Lee Noble: modular synthesizer, field recordings
Gianni Andreatta: trumpet, voice, guitar
Matt Wenzel: JP-08, acoustic baritone guitar, harmonica, DD-7
Theodore Cale Schaefer: VSTs
Hakobune: electric guitar
Beth McDonald: tuba, electronics
Josh Mason: modular synthesizer
Peter Speer: field recording, synthesizer
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Arranged by Matthew Sage in Chicago, Illinois. September 2020.
Mastered by Sean McCann
OUR MISSION STATEMENT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS
Lazy Days, Hazy Moments & Dancing to a Slower Groove