Writing for The New York Times in late June about the attractive subscription service New Amsterdam Records offers through Bandcamp, Seth Colter Walls cited a new album by Jordan Munson, Until My Last. “[H]is pieces merge acoustic melody and electronic rhythm with thrilling purpose,” Walls wrote about the album, which was released exclusively to the label’s subscribers on May 11.
Munson, a composer, performer, and multimedia artist whose work deals with memory and technology, offers three works created over a span of as many years on the album, his label debut. Anew, created jointly with composer and vocalist Hanna Benn, combines airy, ethereal vocals, percolating beats, and the poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins. In Where Light Escapes You, Munson – a trained percussionist, and well versed in improvisation, pop idioms, and sound design – deploys fellow percussionist Alex Wier within a dreamy field of jittery electronics. The five-part title piece evolves gradually from abstractions created with music-box samples to Munson’s animated performance on piano.
By now you want to hear it, right? Your chance is coming soon: New Amsterdam will issue Until My Last to the general public on Friday, July 27. And to whet your appetite, National Sawdust Log is proud to offer an exclusive preview of “Until My Last IV,” presented here with the evocative video that Munson created to accompany it.
Via email, Munson offered some background about the new album, and about the video he’s shared here:
The work Until My Last explores memories of early love and the helplessness of drowning. These may seem like disparate concepts but I oddly find connection between the two. In addition to some abstract narrative footage used in live performance of the full work, I wanted the video for “Until My Last IV” to draw upon the music as a means of generating visual content. The aural parameters of frequency, amplitude, and timbre are directly linked to the visual parameters of color, shape, and position through the use of a custom-made live multimedia application.
Until My Last will be available on the New Amsterdam Records Bandcamp page and at your favorite store or e-tailer July 27. While you’re waiting, we’ll urge you to check out Munson’s previous releases on his own Bandcamp site; particularly recommended are And So I, which includes the ingenious percussion feature How Long is the Coast of France?, and Carbon and Oxygen, a two-hour journey through an elemental imaginary landscape. And you can watch more of Munson’s video work on his personal website.
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