Justin Wright - the Montreal cellist & composer hand-picked for support duties by luminaries such as Colin Stetson, Hauschka, Bing & Ruth, and the late great Jóhann Jóhannsson - is gliding calmly into the spotlight with his debut long player, out on the First Terrace label.
With an assembled quartet of violin, viola, cello and double bass, the record was tracked in Rolston Hall at the Banff Centre, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and carries in its sound the location’s stately beauty.
Over the duration of 'Music For Staying Warm', nine experimental compositions and improvisations are unwound for the listeners pleasure, each with its own gentle patience, as Justin invites you to “relinquish your sense of anticipation” and enjoy the drift.
Announcing itself like sunshine on frost, 'Harmonic Loops' opens the record and begins to thaw the path ahead. Throughout the album, woollen strings swell at their unforced pace and combine to swaddle the brain’s pleasure sensors in frequent moments of pure hygge.
These beautiful sounds have been mastered by Lawrence English (Room 40).
In Justin’s own words –
"'Music For Staying Warm began when I was tasked with writing and performing a set of string works for a relaxation room at a chaotic all-night event in the heart of Montreal winter. It was a cold winter, and for me, a cold year, and when a cat curled up at my feet in the middle of performing these works, I felt like I was doing something right. After gradually developing these ideas many months after the first performances, I recorded most of this album during a residency at the Banff centre for the Arts, coinciding with a surprise visit from my long-time collaborator Kate Maloney.
What all of these tracks have in common, aside from being limited to string instruments, is an intention for you to relinquish your sense of anticipation. Conceptually, they were heavily inspired by particular styles of Ethiopian music such as the tizita, which often lacks any resolving cadences to leave you with it’s trademark evocation of longing without resolution.
So I guess there is a certain amount of irony in the name Music for Staying Warm. Drone III definitely isn’t warm. But refuge is just as often acceptance of where you are as it is an escape, and I hope that, whatever I was thinking when I wrote this music, you are able to contextualise it in your own life and find your own meaning."
1. Harmonic Loops
2. Modular Winter
3. Drone IV - Breath
4. In Sunlight
5. Drone II - Flutter
7. Drone III - Saudade
9. Drone I – Meditation
- About Drift
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