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March 19, 2021 Respond
Harmonize the Moon is out everywhere now!
I’m so extremely proud of this record. It represents a new height in confidence, concision and self-sufficiency in my work – and by extension life in general.
The term ‘pivot’ has really been abused this year, but I really can’t think of a more poetic word to describe how this record came to be. It was meant to be one thing and circumstances turned it into another. When the pandemic “dropped” (ugh forgive me, I couldn’t resist), I was in late stage plans to head into the studio with some amazing musicians to make a very upbeat and wiry record of an entirely different nature with an entirely different batch of songs. The plan changed, as it did for everyone. That record has yet to be made.
Luckily, the songs which comprise Harmonize the Moon were also lying around in various states of development. They were destined for some future session, the vision for which involved lots of players in a fancy studio helping to build panoramic and lush versions of these delicate little pieces. Once it became clear that we were all collectively facing some long-term solo time, it occurred to me that these songs could also work in this way that you hear them now. Though I’ve always been involved in my own recordings, I was feeling increasingly empowered by my production and mixing work for others in recent years (Camille Delean, The Fire Harvest, Taung Child in the City and Big Share to name a few). I really felt I could make something special with only the resources I have in front of me.
Harmonize the Moon is the product of some beautiful alone time. I tried to be rigorous with myself and the process: to edit lovingly and ruthlessly, to create performances that represented a moment in time worth building on. I tried to channel a different character (or at least a different facet of my personality) for each instrument I added. No one else heard a peep until I had already done a fairly presentable draft of the mixes. Hpwever, to me it really feels like everyone I’ve ever played with appears on this record in some way or another, subtle or blatant. I wouldn’t be able to do much without that ongoing, loving lifetime of collaboration and connection.
But wait – there’s new Bell Orchestre music as well…
Bell Orchestre’s House Music is out today too via Erased Tapes. My head is reeling. I can’t even imagine how you must feel if you’ve gotten this far in the post. House Music was made from improvised sessions with all of us playing together – no roadmap or specific destination. Though we certainly edited and embellished, this music was completely communal at its inception. For me personally, having these two releases land on the same day serves as a beautiful reminder of the twists and turns and intense variety that my creative life has lead me through so far. So much more to come.
March 5, 2021 Respond
Almost there! The new album Harmonize the Moon will be available to you officially on March 19 from Forward Music Group. In the meantime, we have one more single to share with you. “Call of the Tired” is a secular hymn of encouragement, aka a pep talk. Please enjoy responsibly.
The artwork you see above is another detail of the wondrous collage by Paul Henderson that graces the cover of Harmonize the Moon.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for news about online performances and other creative ways of celebrating.
Much love, I miss playing for you all.