As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2017.
Sax super-hero Colin Stetson gets us every time with his extraordinarily staggering and powerful compositions. After teasing his new solo album, All This I Do For Glory, with the sublime and breathtaking ‘Spindrift’, Stetson got us even more excited offering a new track called ‘In the Clinches’. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“For those who have heard ‘Spindrift,’ this track is in all ways it’s antithesis. I always try to build into the arc of an album some point of juxtaposition, and this one is where that happens. Whereas ‘Spindrift’ is serenity and expanse, ‘In The Clinches’ is violence and immediacy. I wanted the experience of the song to be one of total immersion like the listener is inhabiting the instrument itself, hearing and feeling it from the inside out. There’s this hyper-realised, exaggerated character to the percussive sounds and a brute brashness to the sound of the horn. If ‘Spindrift’ is a memory of a peaceful past then ‘Clinches’ is the fear of a future of struggle. The present is that point of silence between the two.”
‘In the Clinches’ also comes with a live video shot and edited by Derrick Belcham. Watch it now.
All This I Do For Glory is out on April 28th through Stetson’s own 52Hz label via Kartel Music Group.
You’ll know by now that we’re huge fans of sax super-hero Colin Stetson. Last year he released a dream of an album, SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, based on the Polish composer’s 1997 classic piece, featuring an incredible cast of musicians including Sarah Neufeld, Rebecca Foon, Greg Fox and Gyda Valtisdottir amongst many more. In 2015, Stetson released a marvellous collaborative album with Sarah Neufeld following his 2013’s outstanding New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year, and remains an absolute favourite. So we couldn’t be happier to know that four years on from this solo record, the Montreal based composer and multi-instrumentalist is ready to unveil its follow-up, All This I Do For Glory. Drawing influences from early nineties electronica of artists like Aphex Twin and Autechre, the album’s sounds and imagery are described as being “more tangible and immersive than previous offerings”. As the press release explains, the album “is a reasoning and exploration of the machinations of ambition and legacy, an examination of the concepts of afterlife, and the first half of a doomed love story in the model of the greek tragedies”.
All This I Do For Glory was also engineered and mixed by Stetson and it will see the light of day on April 28th through his own 52Hz label via Kartel Music Group.
The wonderful news comes paired with the album’s first single, the sublime and breathtaking ‘Spindrift’ and an accompanying video shot and edited by Derrick Belcham.
Colin Stetson‘s upcoming album SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, based on the Polish composer’s 1997 classic piece, is simply a dream of an album. Envisioned by Stetson for nearly two decades, the record is finally seeing the light of day on April 8th on his own 52Hz via Kartel.
The composer and sax magician had already enticed us with two staggering excerpts from the album. He’s offering another majestic taste from it, with a new excerpt from the third movement, ‘III (Extract I)’, featuring Stetson’s sister Megan on glorious vocals and Liturgy’s Greg Fox on drums. Being “the heaviest part of the symphony”, as the press release describes, ‘III (Extract I)’ combines classicism and black metal”. Listen to it now.
As we had already mentioned, Colin Stetson has a new album on the way, one he envisioned for two decades. SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, is based on the Polish composer’s 1997 classic piece and it will see the light of day on April 8th on Stetson’s own 52Hz label via Kartel Music Group.
Following the staggering excerpt of ‘Mvmt I’, the Montreal based sax super-hero has shared another incredibly beautiful and poignant taste from the album, in the form of an excerpt from the third movement. Marvel yourself with ‘III (Extract II)’ below.
In other related news, Colin Stetson will grace UK audiences with a string of solo shows, including a London date on March 16th at Scala.
Colin Stetson released a marvellous collaborative album with Sarah Neufeld last year, but his last solo album came out three years ago. The 2013’s outstanding New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year, is being followed up this Spring and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
The Montreal-based sax super-hero has announced the release of SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, based on the Polish composer’s 1997 famous classic piece. Due out on April 8th via his own 52Hz label, SORROW is a dream come true for Stetson, who envisioned the project for two decades. Stetson assembled an incredible cast of musicians to bring this project to life, including Sarah Neufeld (violins), Rebecca Foon (cello), Greg Fox (drums), Gyda Valtisdottir (cello), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Grey Mcmurray (guitar), Matt Bauder (saxes/clarinets), Dan Bennett (saxes/clarinets), Shahzad Ismaily (synths), Justin Walter (keyboards/EV) and his sister Megan Stetson (voice).
Here’s how he described the album:
“We all have those moments when we experience a piece of music that transforms us, and this was one of those moments for me. Over the years, I went on to listen to this record countless times, always determined to absorb every instance of it, to know it throughout and fully. And this dedication to a thorough knowledge of the piece eventually gave way to a need to perform it.
The concept was simple, and true to the original score. I haven’t changed existing notation, but rather have worked with altering instrumentation, utilizing a group consisting heavily of woodwinds, synthesizers, and electric guitars, as well as retaining an element of the orchestral in a string section of violins and cellos, which features prominent and decorated Canadian musicians Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre) and Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Esmerine).
My approach was “additive”, in that I imagined certain sounds or parts, though not present in the original, were (to me) extensions of the emotional core of the piece. For example, the instrumentation is rounded out by the most extreme of those sonic/timbral/musical additions, the drum set. Performed inimitably here by NYC drummer/percussionist, Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien, Z’s). My background and education in classical concert music is here, as well as a focus on group improvisation. The arrangement draws heavily from the world of black metal, early electronic music, and from my own body of solo saxophone music.
The result is an intact rendition of Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony, though one which has been filtered through the lens of my particular musical aesthetic and experience.”
As a first staggering taste, Stetson is offering an excerpt of movement ‘I’ of SORROW, featuring Megan Stetson. Listen to it below and watch the album trailer straight after.