Staggeringly talented Austrian percussionist and composer Manu Delago has a much anticipated new record on the way, Circadian, and last month he enticed us with the bewitching lead single ‘The Silent Flight of the Owl’. As if we needed any more reasons to be excited for the release of Circadian, Delago has unveiled an explosive masterpiece of a song called ‘Zeitgeber’. Circadian is inspired by the concept of the body’s internal clock known as Circadian rhythms, and ‘Zeitgeber’ “represents the morning hours – a sort of ‘musical alarm clock’”, as Delago explained. Picked as the album’s closing track, ‘Zeitgeber’ “starts another precious day.” There’s a terrific video accompanying the track, directed by Jeb Hardwick. Watch it below.
Hot on the heels of his recently released album Don’t Give Your Life, saxophonist, improviser and producer Ben Vince has unveiled a video for ‘Fallout / Eternal’, a fantasy ballet featuring Bianca Scout. Elena Isolini directs.
Following the first single ‘Cyclist Waltz’, young Icelandic composer and pianist Gabriel Ólafs has shared ‘Staircase Sonata’, also lifted from his upcoming debut album Absent Minded. A storm that flooded his studio is in the origin of the song, as Ólafs explains:
“All my instruments and microphones were in a big pool of water and the fire department came and carried my piano into the stairwell. Although it was an unpleasant event, I really enjoyed the reverb in the stairwell – so that’s where I composed the song. It’s bittersweet but it’s meant to capture positivity in a moment of unhappiness.”
‘Staircase Sonata’ is being offered with a video, directed and shot by Viktor A. Bogdanski. Here it is.
Every now and again a song hits us so hard that we just can’t stop listening to it. In the case of Alexander Noice, and his latest single ‘Black Darwin’, we felt the need to explore all his music and projects. An exciting discovery for us, Noice has been making his mark in the LA music scene for more than a decade now. An utterly brilliant composer, guitarist, producer and bandleader, Noice has performed, recorded and collaborated with many artists and projects, including his own ensembles Falsetto Teeth and NOICE. With the latter, drawing on genres like jazz, electronic music, minimalist opera and art rock, he is set to release a self-titled album where he “explores the elusive nature of identity and self-discovery amidst an increasing array of distraction and affectation”. On his upcoming album, and as the press release describes, Noice “delve[s] into topics involving false pretenses pervasive in modern social contexts, and the search for meaning in revelations of science and technology.”
The aforementioned single ‘Black Darwin’ is the latest electrifying and majestic song to be lifted from the album and Noice has shared a brilliant video for it directed by Bennett Cerf. Two other phenomenal tracks from the record had been shared previously, ‘Affectation’ and ‘Never Thought I Would’. Check all three below and grab the album when it’s out on August 23rd through Orenda Records.
Two years on from the release of the wonderful The Imperfect Sea, Penguin Cafe have a new album on the way. Entitled Handfuls Of Night, the record is inspired by the Antarctic and its penguin residents, and the idea first sprouted when Arthur Jeffes was commissioned by Greenpeace to write four pieces of music, each for a different breed of penguins. He explains:
“This record started with a core of pieces I wrote specifically about penguins in the Antarctic for a project with Greenpeace in autumn 2018. There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked.”
But Handfuls Of Night and Penguin Cafe as a project go back more than a decade before that, as Jeffes carries on explaining:
“In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather.
Antarctica by this stage being a protected environment, we swapped to the Arctic circle where we spent 3 months on the Greenland ice sheet, first dog-sledding and then man-hauling just short of 1000 km at 10,000 feet, across ice fields and glaciers.
I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. Whilst on the expedition. I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day.”
We’ll have to wait until October 4th for the release of the album through Erased Tapes but we can already hear the first magnificent taste from it, ‘At The Top of The Hill, They Stood…’.
Pioneering avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, Tibetan singer and multi-instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal, and activist and composer Jesse Paris Smith have teamed up for a collaborative long-form composition called Songs from the Bardo. Based on the text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and first performed at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art, Songs from the Bardo will be released on September 27th through Smithsonian Folkways. Choegyal, who was forced out of his homeland into exile in India, explains in the album’s liner notes, “I have tried to channel the wisdom and traditions of my ancestors through my music in a very contemporary way while holding the depth of my lineage.”
To celebrate the album announcement, they have shared the immersive and contemplative “Lotus Born, No Need to Fear”. Take a listen now.