Sound Impression: Canoe by Taylor Deupree

From its founding in 2018, Longform Editions has been quietly, but resolutely, defying the default listening mode and declining, fragmented attention spans of the broadband streaming age. Instead, it has curated an ever-growing collection of patient, deliberate works from thoughtful artists around the globe that further its mission to “to foster and celebrate immersive listening experiences for the everyday”.

A fine example from the imprint’s sixteenth quartet of bi-monthly releases comes from Taylor Deupree, a major contributor in recent years to the cultivation of abstract minimalist electronic & acoustic music as a sound artist, studio engineer, and founder of the venerable 12K label. “Canoe” is a fragile, meditative meander that Deupree tells us is rooted in the idea of being lost at sea, not in an ominous or foreboding way, but more in the sense of letting go, “of floating, but not knowing where you are, like a child who closes her eyes while swinging high on a playground swing.” In the piece, however, he transposes this to an experience more familiar to to himself personally, spending foggy mornings or quiet dusks canoeing on lakes & rivers.

“Canoes are peculiar vessels. A way of traveling solo or with only one or two others into hidden areas not often seen from land. They are very sensitive to balance and weight distribution… It is these characteristics of the canoe that influenced this piece of music. Something with which I am deeply familiar yet still teetering on the unknown, and, literally, attempting to keep balance. With “Canoe” I hope to instill a sense of solitude, loneliness, and the hushed searching for and unknown something, just out of reach.”

Taylor Deupree

Links: Bandcamp | Longform Editions | Taylor Deupree

Deupree is the kind of artist who is fully capable of composing, sculpting, and texturing a soundscape that can transport the listener to just such a state of mind. The music is impeccably crafted, no doubt ultimately fused together using technology yet so natural and organic in the way it sounds. It unfurls itself into an immersive space that invites both contemplation and exploration. All you need to do, dear listener, is climb in, take hold of the paddle, and follow where the river leads…

Despite recorded music (generally) being a finite format; one with set beginnings and endings, I enjoy recordings in which these points are blurred, or have little meaning. I am fascinated most by music which is less about linear, horizontal movement and more about placing the listener into an environment simply where they exist to find their own path in or out.

taylor Deupree

In addition to “Canoe”, the October longform editions also include “it was always worth it” by Claire Rousay, “Platonic Solids 1” by Clarice Jensen, and “The Babbling Brook” by Paul Dickow, aka Strategy.