portraits & landscapes

by Stephen Ian Savage

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1.
11:45
2.
04:40
3.
4.
5.
06:46
6.
09:26
7.
8.
06:13
9.
15:06
10.
07:25

about

Originally intended to be a short EP, "Portraits & Landscapes" grew into a full album. It is a collection of various improvisations and compositions that I've created over the past year. The recordings themselves are lo-fi and have a raw aspect to them, reflective of the spontaneity of the environment in which they were created and the equipment I had access to at the time. The album itself evolved organically through experimentation with a finite amount of sonic material.

The tracks, "Recurrence", "Effigy", and "The Pianos Won't Stop" utilize a technique of constructed improvisation. Earlier this year, I began to toy with layering improvisations on top of one another and sampling, recomposing, and modifying to create works the constituents of which are fully improvised but whose ultimate integration is premeditated and constructed. Variances incorporates both this technique with a core track that was pre-composed.

After these recording were completed, I decided to extrapolate upon what I had done. I took elements from these works and heavily manipulated and recombined them into ambient soundscapes that explored the intimate inner-workings of the samples' colors and timbres. The end result is almost an abstract meditation or essay upon the previous works, dissecting and exposing the hidden aspects of their sounds. The tracks "Stellar Winds", "Northern Waste", and "Sea of Fog" are the end results of this experimentation.

As a final re-imagining, I decided to treat myself as the medium of transformation and improvise new material and new approaches that were inspired by previous tracks and utilized some idiom or structure from their parents. These pieces began to take a life as their own as they rebelled against the parameters of their origins. Due to the automatic nature of the improv, I was surprised by similarities and dissimilarities they held with previous tracks when I went back and listened to what I had done. Improvisation does not always allow the musician to have conscious control of each instant or a picture of what had be done as a whole. The final works pieces were "Vacant Eyes", "Obsidian", and "Mirrors".

Album Artwork by Justin Gortva Scheibel.

credits

released December 12, 2015

To Marcy and Thomas, all of the thanks in the world would not do you your support to me justice.
To Justin, thank you for being my rock and inspiration.

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Stephen Ian Savage Austin, Texas

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