Andrew Smiley Dispersal
Astral Spirits is quite excited to present the debut solo release from Andrew Smiley (Little Women, Happy Place, Chris Pitsiokos Quartet, etc). Below are his thoughts on the album itself and the process behind it.
“I would describe my album as intense, stark, and full of contrast. It is a single, 27 minute piece that is fluid and deliberate in its development. Texture, rhythmic propulsion, and counterpoint are crucial elements. I create different textures by using my pick and fingers in unconventional ways rather than using effects or prepared guitar techniques. The sounds are wide ranging, dynamic, sharp, percussive, and at times very dense. There are specific melodies and harmonies embedded within the noisier material, as well as existing on their own in the form of chords and lines. My singing is less prominent than the guitar, but equally important.”
“When writing this piece, I wanted to come up with a language for the guitar that was new and complicated, and had emotional depth that could be instantly felt. I was also interested in building connections between disparate textures to create a more expansive overall sound. I have long been a fan of My Bloody Valentine, and the relationships between the different colors in their music was an inspiration in exploring this approach. Another thing I had to think about with this piece, was the role of improvisation. I knew that there needed to be improvisation, but it had to stay within the formal structure of the piece, which was entirely composed. I viewed
the vocals along similar lines. Their purpose was to add a unique layer of counterpoint that I couldn’t achieve on guitar. My vocal ability is very basic and limited, but I always felt empowered singing within this piece, because I knew I was contributing to the overall mood. During the years in which I was developing this music, I spent
a lot of time thinking about wolves, and feeling empathy for their struggle to live alongside humans. I would like this release to bring awareness to the intelligence of wolves, and their right to exist within ecosystems.”
releases June 23, 2017
All sounds by Andrew Smiley.
Recorded by Ryan Power.
Mixed by Caley Monahon-Ward
Mastered by James Plotkin.
This piece is dedicated to the memory of Webster, and to wolves that are hunted for sport.
THE REVIEWS & ARTICLES:
Review by BRADFORD BAILEY for THE HUM.