New Music Premiere:
Words: Steve Smith
Image: Kristina Loggia
Asked to describe his composition, McMahon offered the following thoughts via e-mail:
“Big Earth” can be hard to understand. The language is intentionally vague and undefined, intended to convey emotion without message. Still, in this strange tongue you will hear familiar things; the name of a loved one, a fragment of a half-remembered dream. The rhythmic subdivision of “Big Earth” is 7: an odd, esoteric meter, but also a biblical reference to Genesis and a musical reference to Heaven/Fulfillment (“Seven Steps to Heaven,” “All You Need Is Love”), which is then obscured, simplified, and vulgarized through the heavy hand of the arranger into the most basic meter of 2, which is itself a metaphor for humanity’s vain and counterproductive efforts to understand ourselves.
Odd West, due Jan. 31 on Shinkoyo, is available to pre-order now on Bandcamp. In anticipation of the album’s arrival, McMahon performs at Roulette tonight (Jan. 22) at 8pm; visit the Roulette website for details.