PREMIERE: Rifts by Sanctuary

Sanctuary is a Los Angeles based composer & visual art collective poised to make its debut with musical works offered in a double EP release. Sanctuary Vol. 1 which you will be able to preview below is led by Colombian composer Jose A. Parody with contributions from Grayson Sanders and features live strings, choir, and organ recorded in both LA and Iceland. Parody is an Emmy award winning composer known for his score to “The Migrant Kitchen” series on KCET and contributions to to projects including “The Twilight Zone (CBS)” and “Last Czars”(Netflix) while Sanders served as Composer in Residence for NYU Symphony Orchestra where he received the university’s highest honors in classical composition before going on to work in documentary films and motion pictures.

Despite being a short work, it is grand and ambitious in its scope both musically and thematically as the two composers draw on such neoclassical influences as Philip Glass and Jóhann Jóhannsson as well as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. In a first preview of the work, you can listen to the closing track “Rifts” which blends monumental organ sounds recorded in Los Angeles with a sweeping string section recorded in Iceland to create a moment of dramatic transcendence.

Rifts” holds a special place and memory, I think, for all of us involved because of the experience we shared recording the piece. It was about a year ago, mid pandemic, and we decided to record one of the largest organs in the world, which surprisingly is in Los Angeles. Its housed in an English Gothic Revival-style church and is only performed by an incredible organist named Christoph. The moment we heard him perform the piece we were blown away by the immensity of the sound, it felt like all 30,000 tons of concrete around us were vibrating. Due to restrictions at the time, we had the entire “venue” to ourselves and it made the whole thing just that much more surreal. The organ, layered in with a live string section that we recorded in Iceland, makes up the majority “Rifts.” 

Jose A. Parody

Sanctuary Vol. 2 which will be released at the same time features producer-composer Leviticus Penner, whose experimentation with thoughtful, organic, ambient sounds is inspired by his upbringing amidst the northern rain forest of British Columbia. The two volumes comprising the double EP will be available beginning December 3, 2021 via Safari Riot of which Sanders is a co-founder.

Links: Sanctuary | Jose A. Parody | Grayson Sanders | Safari Riot