Using modular synthesis Heather Stebbins presents an album of gritty textures infused with hazy ephemeral melodies. Stebbins writes:
"My musical output in the last decade or so has been largely comprised of notated music for instruments and electronics. That process involves a lot of planning, revisions, and introspection. The music on this album is a complete shift - very little planning went into developing these tracks. Instead, the process was more about doing and following my musical intuition. Early in 2021 I began exploring semi and fully modular synthesis. I approached learning these new techniques and gear methodically; about 4 or 5 times a week, after kids went to bed, I would start up my gear and try to make something. I always recorded these sessions, and while most nights the result wasn't anything worth keeping I would occasionally stumble upon a patch that generated musical results that I could work with. As weeks went on the ratio of frustration:usable material shifted and I felt more in control of the gear and how I wanted to use it musically. Though I'm now primarily a composer, my background is as a performer, and working with synthesis in this way has been like finding this liminal space between composition and performance that I really connect with. I also thrive in the immediacy of the sonic experience: unlike with notated music, being able to hear and react to my output in real time helps drive my process forward. I also palpably feel the impermanence of working with synthesis; the patch I generate will likely not be able to be recreated in the exact way, so I have to experience it deeply in the moment. I've always felt like when I compose, I am discovering rather than creating. This sentiment was especially strong in this album."
Heather Stebbins is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music that highlights her fascination with the kinetic and emotive properties of sound. Her music has been performed in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe by ensembles such as loadbang, Ensemble U:, the JACK Quartet, Dal Niente, Sound Icon, Transient Canvas, Ensemble L’Arsenale, eighth blackbird, and the Riot Ensemble. She has worked closely with performers Carlos Cordeiro, Will Lang, Andrew Kozar, Adam Vidiksis, and Sam Kelder to create highly personal pieces for solo instrument and electronics. Stebbins is Assistant Professor of Music at George Washington University.
released December 9, 2021
Created and mixed by Heather Stebbins
Mastered by Edward Hamel at Identity Mastering
Artwork by Sarah Ryan Aliberti