The past two years have certainly left an indelible mark on the world and so many of as individual. In the case of Philip G Anderson, part of the form that imprint takes can be found in his forthcoming new album Figment which was written between 2018 and 2020. The Atlanta based composer & multi-instrumentalist calls it “a personal reflection on struggle, growth, and evolution”. It is also an album that marks a tonal shift in his approach away from ambient atmospherics and toward a sharp focus on story, composition, and individual performance.
Those individual performances come from Anderson himself on the piano along with violinist and frequent collaborator Laura Masotto and Dutch cellists Alistair Sung & Ardie Son who each recorded their parts remotely in their respective homes and personal studio spaces. While that method may have been dictated by restrictions imposed by Covid, it has resulted in what Anderson considers uniquely intimate recordings. Indeed, while listening to the twelve pieces that make up the album, there is a profound sense of immediacy to the music. The sounds are sharp, resonant, and deeply expressive creating a sense of being right there in the room where they are being performed and the emotions are palpable.
Featured here in an exclusive premiere is track number five entitled “Blur”, a reference to Anderson’s experience of the passing of time during that “strange and difficult time” in his life. Starting off with a tentative solo piano line, the strings enter the frame adding pace and narrative thrust until they are left suspended in almost mid-sentence awaiting a resolution. It is a bittersweet but ultimately beautiful reflection of a period none of us will soon forget.
There were moments when I completely lost track time, often unable to remember what I had even done the previous day or week. I overworked myself and would become caught up in things out of my control occasionally creating a feeling of disconnect from reality. I found time difficult to grasp then, it felt very much like a blur, as if I was simply watching it pass by me.
Figment will be released June 11, 2021 with Bandcamp pre-orders and a Spotify pre-save option both now available. The album was mixed and mastered by Anderson himself and also features his artwork and illustrations. Read Philip’s and Laura Masotto’s words about their transatlantic collaboration on A Quiet Evening here in our recent duologue feature.