VIDEO PREMIERE: Eunoia by Peter Knight (with Fia Fiell)

Composer, trumpeter, and sound artist Peter Knight frames his new record Shadow Phase as a meditation on the nature of connection, the backdrop being conversations while walking with his old friend and teacher, Ania Walwicz during the COVID lockdown of 2020 when they were restricted to overlapping 5-kilometer zones near Docklands, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Australia – conversations which took on added meaning for him later that year.

Those conversations became large in my thoughts when Ania suddenly passed away in September. Her voice was in my head as I worked on this music, trawling through threads of ideas, recordings made on my phone, and thoughts jotted down in notebooks.

As Peter goes on to explain, he recorded everyday using his trumpet, an old Revox reel-to-reel, a couple of synths, a harmonium borrowed from a friend, and whatever else was around with an approach inspired by the subconscious “automatic” processes on which Ania relied in her writing and taking long bike rides during which he would listen to the previous days’ work on ear buds while gliding through deserted streets.

Through the simple process of exhalation, I explored my relationship with the trumpet, which has been through so many twists and turns. I let the tones produced by my breath unfurl on long tape loops and degrade beyond recognition through pedal and plugin chains, until the only imprint of the initial gesture remained.

In this exclusive video premiere, a film by Scott Morrison accompanies the reverie-like “Euonia” in which Peter collaborates with Vietnamese-Australian electronic/synth musician Fia Fiell (aka Carolyn Schofield). The title is an ancient Greek word that refers to benevolent feelings of good will between a speaker and their audience that creates a condition of receptivity, or perhaps more eloquently and succinctly, “beautiful thinking”. That seems an apt way to describe this warmly textured and kindly disposed out-of-time instrumental meditation.

Film by Scott Morrison

I remembered my last conversation with Ania. Sitting in the late afternoon sun, squinting against the light that raked across the water, she was telling me about all the different words for they have for blue in Polish and Russian, and how words don’t just change our perception of things, but also actually change the thing being perceived. As I rode home that afternoon, I felt like anything was possible.

Links: Bandcamp (LP/DL) | Peter Knight | Room40 | Fia Fiell

Shadow Phase will be released October 7, 2022 by the venerable Room40 label in two limited vinyl LP editions (black and transparent blue) as well digital download. The album features cover art by Cameron Robbins. Fia Fiell’s most recent release, Endless Filament, can be found on Longform Edtions.

(photo of Peter Knight by Sarah Walker)