I want the album to bring listeners into an altered state that physically feels like floating and also lends itself to deep contemplation. I had a lot of early experiences with music where I felt I was levitating above my own body and navigating a reality that was different and more blissful than what I knew as normal consciousness. Obviously this is a high that a lot of people chase - through meditation, drugs, religion, sex, etc.
I found this state increasingly important to me as the dross of adult life accumulated and wore me down - this state is where I make the most progress in sorting my thoughts and balancing my emotions. As that importance grew, I became obsessed with longer instrumentals, slow-moving pieces, works that required patience and often focus. I also got really into analog synthesizers and their shockingly organic and expressive natures.
Artists like JD Emmanuel, Terry Riley, and La Monte Young opened a lot of doors for me, and what I picked up on was that certain modes of repetition, slowly changing resonances, vibrating overtones, mildly dissonant and competing high/low frequencies, a tapestry of textures, and sustained drones really helped focus my listening and my mind, and I was able to enter these states more easily. I took my first serious attempt at making this type of music with my last full album, Levitation - but I didn't yet have the discipline or patience to record longer and more focused pieces.
Loess is very much a progression from Levitation on these ideas, and I think much more effective in taking you to these states (they're also all 8-11 mins long). A note about the name - I have a mild fixation on wind. I like that wind can blow through a crack in a wall and create such a visceral sound - after all, a soundwave is essentially wind. I try to approximate the phenomena of naturally occurring wind-songs with a lot of the sweeping and oscillating high-frequencies in the outer edges of the stereo field in many of these pieces.
The idea that wind can be powerful enough to create deserts or carve land masses is very moving to me, and the definition of Loess is "a loosely compacted deposit of windblown sediment of which extensive buildups occur" - I also chose it because of the wordplay involved, which gets at some emotional themes of the album. It's made with two synthesizers, the Roland Juno-60 and Moog Little Phatty, and a Boss DD6 delay pedal.
Despite everything I just said, it may also make for great background music that you don't have to pay attention to. Thanks!
released 23 April 2015
Roland Juno-60, Moog Little Phatty, Boss DD6 delay