Some artists just have a knack for engendering special collaborations and Belgian musician Stijn Hüwels is one of the those. In fact his last four releases have all been collaborative efforts – Sleep, Shared with Norihito Suda (2016, Dauw), An Unintended Space with Danny Clay (2017, Eilean), and Fieldem (2018, Home Normal) as part of Silent Vigils with James Murray, and now Tomodachi which involved ten different artists and especially highlights the two essential ingredients that makes all of these work so beautifully. But, best let Stijn tells us about that in his own words:
“The starting point for this album was simple. I sent out a question to fellow musicians I deeply respect and whose work I especially like. I know all of them for some time, and they all have a significant influence on my work. I asked them to send me ‘something’, a sample, melody or field recording I could use to create a new piece of music. This exchange of inspiration forced me to approach composing in a different way than I use to do, without abandoning my main gear (guitar and laptop). Slowly, I tried to make a consistent story from the different pieces I got. That’s how the album was formed and how it got its final shape. I decided to call it ‘Tomodachi’, Japanese for ‘friend(s)’. That’s the only thing I can say about the album: it’s about friendship and music”. – Stijn Hüwels
Continue reading “Stijn Hüwels – tomodachi [Dauw]”
Image © 2013 Russell Sherwood Photography
Welcome to the listening room. Make yourself comfortable and check out some of the latest sounds that have caught our ears as well as preview upcoming releases. Last updated on March 23, 2019 and featuring tracks by Siavash Amini, William Ryan Fritch, Philip G Anderson, Sōzuproject, Federico Mosconi, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Lowercase Noises, Heron, Ciro Berenguer, Andrew Tasselmyer, Stijn Hüwels, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Poppy Ackroyd (Hauschka rework).
Continue reading “The Listening Room (March 2019)”
In the spring of 2014 I put together my first music mix at the invitation of one of ambient community’s most gracious supporters, Thomas Mathie aka Headphonaught. Nearly five years and more than 60 shows later, it is has become one of the most satisfying avenues I can think of for showcasing the music I’ve encountered for Stationary Travels.
The site has just been extensively updated with links to all the shows from 2014 to current which you can now find in the “Streaming” menu under “Mixcloud”. If you want to browse directly on the Mixcloud website or app, just go to: https://www.mixcloud.com/stationarytravels/ Continue reading “Mixcloud Update”
‘Mnemosyne’ is the debut album from Mexico City based multi-instrumentalist, film composer and sound preservationist Carlos Morales, who creates under the name The Phonometrician. His music incorporates classical and American primitive guitar with elements of ambient, drone, and post-rock as well as field recordings, synths, and tape. It is a very special brand of music that finds an ideal home on the Lost Tribe Sound label which includes on its roster such illustrative & kindred artists as Western Skies Motel, From the Mouth of the Sun, Seabuckthorn, and William Ryan Fritch – a potent apposition of rustic authenticity and acoustic alchemy with opaque abstractions. The title of the album refers to the Greek goddess of memory and remembrance, a fitting symbol of its overarching theme.
“‘Mnemosyne’ is an album that asks what memories would sound like if they were captured through sound…Morales deploys a very specific palette of instrumentation to realize his musical vision, it’s as if a classical guitar is slowly being worn away and devoured by an onslaught of looping, ever-shifting analog sound creatures, scattering for cover when the light hits them too directly and continuously eat away at the strings. Much like rifling through the pages of an aged and tattered diary, warm shuffles of vinyl and airy waves tape saturation emerge only to retreat once more into the darker recesses, leaving the pysche grasping wildly to recall the meaning of their existence.” – Ryan Keane (Lost Tribe Sound)
Continue reading “Video Premiere: “Chloe” by The Phonometrican”
Philip Daniel Zach is a composer, pianist, and teacher from Lincoln, Nebraska who provides further evidence of a burgeoning indie classical scene in the heartlands of America that includes other artists featured on these pages such as Jacob Pavek, John Hayes, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Chris Bartels (Elskavon, Blurstem). Under the name Philip Daniel, Zach has just released his third record in as many years which finds him once again teaming up with Nashville-based composer & violinist Shawn Williams. Unlike last year’s This Tree Is Made For Climbing, however, their latest collaboration makes a notable shift away from structured narrative composition and toward exploratory improvisation.
Continue reading “Philip Daniel & Shawn Williams – Between Us Ch.1”
Ryan Dugré is a freelance guitarist and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. He has recorded and toured with several pop & indie bands as well as performing live in such wide ranging settings as Le Festival d’été de Québec, Bonnaroo, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, BBC 6 Radio with Marc Riley, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, and Eliot Fisk’s Boston GuitarFest at New England Conservatory of Music of which Dugré is a graduate. He is also a solo recording artist with a newly released second album called The Humors, a title referencing the ancient medical system based on the theory that one’s health and emotional well-being is determined by the balance of the body’s four fluids, or humors, each of which corresponds to an aspect of temperament. Dugré explains how he attempted to translate this concept to music:
“I wrote everything on the guitar. A lot of the songs are in alternate tunings that I kind of stumbled into. This helped me connect what I was hearing in my head to my hands in a different way than I was used to. Certainly not a new technique, but it helped me remove myself from standard movements on the guitar…I had been thinking a lot about this idea of balance in a song, balance of an album. Staying aware of what types of sounds happen when, and how even small tweaks affect the listening experience. Sometimes, taking a little sweet away and adding more sharp was the move, and other times it was the opposite.”
Continue reading “Ryan Dugré – The Humors [Birdwatcher Records]”
Vargkvint is the project of Sofia Nystrand which she named after a dissonant musical interval known as the “wolf fifth” due to its howling properties. It is a name which perfectly evokes the enigma of her spellbinding sound which offers sweet enchantment permeated with the aura of forces both ancient and primal. Her debut EP Brus took us deep into the forests and folklore of her native Sweden and on her first full-length record entitled Hav, she turns her focus to the sea. Having grown up in a small coastal city, it is an environment Nystrand knows well for all its allure, mystery, and power all of which she seeks to capture on the new record.
”The sea has played such a huge part for us, in how societies have formed and grown, it has connected us with each other and given us life, and is the base behind much of our mythology. But at the same time, it has been a really cruel mistress – its storms, tsunamis and rising sea levels have been devastating to individual lives, whole societies and now humanity as a whole. It’s in that conflict – its beauty and its menace, its life-giving and its life-taking, this concept-album was created” – Sofia Nystrand
Continue reading “PREMIERE: “Drivved” from Hav by Vargkvint”
“Sallaw” is a Kurdish word that expresses the passing of time and this album by the same name finds three distinctive instrumental artists collaborating seamlessly to explore this theme across four compositional soundscapes, each one named after a month representative of the changing seasons – Xakelêw (spring), Pûşper (summer), Gelarêzan (fall), Rêbendan (winter). The group, made up of Porya Hatami (Sanandaj, Iran), Aaron Martin (Topeka, Kansas), and Robert Attanasio (Rome, Italy), is a seemingly unlikely trio, yet upon hearing the music it is hard to conceive of this coming together as anything less than meant to be.
Continue reading “Sound Impression: Sallaw by Porya Hatami, Aaron Martin, & Roberto Attanasio [Dronarivm]”
This travelogue introduces some wonderful recent & upcoming modern classical releases showcased through a collection of new videos. Featuring Hania, Rani, Flying Hórses (Jade Bergeron), Nico Casal, Erland Cooper, Peter Sandberg, and Aukai.
Continue reading “Travelogue 2019.02.23: Saturday Matinee”