Something they used to call "liner notes"-
Released July 23rd, 2021
For me, Curious Fabrications is a fractured dream in black & white. Soaked in Scotch and probably partially drug induced, Curious Fabrications is discreet but high contrast. Set in the big, naked, cold city, the songs provide a kind of hazy roadmap for the intrepid listener to follow. Is it a crime you’re solving? Probably. Are there clues to point the way? Everywhere. Does it contain dangerous and sexy characters to encounter? I sure hope so.
Once inside the album, each track should function as a puzzle piece in the unfolding of a personalized narrative, one motivated by the fruitful ambiguity of the music and informed by the listener’s individual experiences. How much real fun you’ll have in listening depends on what you bring to the party. Right?
For all my music it’s my hope to cast the listener in the role of the central character. My ideal audience can relinquish enough control to the music to be both swept-up into it, and to actively use it as a soundtrack to enhance the daily intrigues of modern life.
In doing so, I tried to consider what a film director might need musically to support a hardboiled protagonist intent on unwinding a mystery. Overall, while shaped into “songs” for quasi-commercial purposes, I’ve tried to do as experienced film composers might suggest, and I believe musically I’ve asked more questions than given answers.
The pandemic of 2020 and the many months of sequestration dominate the context for the creation of this record. While constant political turmoil, economic evisceration, social upheaval and apathy toward the changing climate factor significantly in the ambient anxiety I feel/ felt during the making of Curious Fabrications, the precautionary isolation and its psychological effects were the biggest contributor to its creation. In my case, the pressure resulted in an explosion of new material. Being locked away, so to speak, is at human scale and nearly everyone can relate. At least, I hope.
Curious Fabrications is my “lock-down” album and it is almost entirely a digital mock-up, made with sampled virtual instruments. The pieces were made in total opposition to the multi-track recording magic of Bloom & Brimstone, where I performed practically every instrument myself. Here, nearly everything is synthetic and virtual with tiny tidbits of me actually playing a “real” air moving instrument. Still, they are 100% my original pieces and I’ve finessed every millisecond to try and make it “feel” like a human big band. The only human player is me and what I’m playing is the ensemble.
Certainly, it wasn’t my intention to make such a thoroughly ersatz album. Initially I simply wanted to learn the notation & digital audio workstation (DAW) software, something many of my contemporaries seem to have embraced during my years away from music. It didn’t take long to realize I was making another record even though it was vastly different in approach, tone, style and execution from the previous album Bloom & Brimstone. Because I tend to work at the extremes of things, it seemed a natural next step.
I hope the album title projects the music’s underlying film noir aspirations and illuminates its synthetic raw materials. As a title, Curious Fabrications is my heavy-handed attempt to address the virtual or facsimile-like nature of the pieces sonic origin while simultaneously implying a kind of filmic intrigue that I feel they impart. As I’ve mentioned, I hope the pieces themselves lead to narratives conjured up in the mind of the listener. To be sure, these pieces are structurally hybrids inside of hybrids and have one foot in song, one in jazz and one in the programatic cue of old fashioned film music. Certainly to me, each piece is curious and each is absolutely, a complete and total fabrication.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans. July 2021