Instrumental Projects: Storm Variations and Departure Nocturnes
Greetings from the highways and low roads of middle America,
Over the last few months I’ve released two new instrumental projects that I wanted to share with you.
February 3rd, 2023
This ephemeral exercise came into form as a compositional experiment in piano, tape manipulation, layered improvisation, and field recording. In February 2021, a catastrophic winter system enveloped Texas and all but disabled the electrical grid and infrastructure for weeks, sparking the initial inspiration and leading Abney to record weather patterns across northern hill country.Silence and isolation are juxtaposed with the busy nature of human travel and gathering, as desolate gales fade in and out of the places and structures where people move. In “The Places They Gather And Speak” parts I and II, Abney recorded the atmosphere of the departure and arrival areas of the Austin International Airport, as well as a calm day at Barton Springs recreational area before a storm, as an ambient canvas for his soft-pedal piano, a manipulated music box, and steel guitar played by ZDAN. The coming and going of the modern person, intimately tied to the temperamental shifts of weather and climate, vice versa, are also captured by the field recordings of Rebecca Sarkar, spanning from the rain-inundated hills of Shropshire, England to the tropic coastal showers of Jamaica. Without voice, without lyric, the tracks held herein are temporary, shifting in nature, and a reason to rest and hold fast at the port until the storm and stress passes.
The album visuals were conceived and skillfully executed by musician and painter Drew Carman (https://www.designcohort.com).
April 7th, 2023
My third instrumental record, exploring geography, weather, memory, and loss, was set upon the world on my birthday - Friday the seventh of April.
A collection of prepared piano and electric piano works focused on the dust, the lost, and the items that are forgettably strewn about our lives and spaces we inhabit. The junk drawer minutiae, the loose nails, batteries, sandpaper, cables, and coins, bolster the strings and wooden angles of the piano, forming a spacious awareness of what has disappeared into the corners of where we exist. A series of synth modules and digital delays transformed the sounds created by these ubiquitous items into a painting of households in motion and workplaces in transit.
The captivating, encompassing album art is “Luck Worn” by Ruth B. Loveland, a visual artist from Norman, Oklahoma (https://www.ruthloveland.com).
Both projects are available now, exclusively on Bandcamp. All proceeds go towards my upcoming vocal surgery and recovery.
Today I embark on my 3rd tour of 2023, playing guitars with Wild Child. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.
Thanks for listening,