Composer James Carson on Creating a New Form of Music

The pianist and filmmaker launched his undertaking “Cabin Audio,” in which he aims to blend the traces in between composition and improvisation


James Carson‘s before long-to-be-introduced debut album The Story of Birds includes eleven tracks that had been recorded consecutively, with no edits or alterations. The album grew out of Carson’s months of isolation and exercise in a remote strawbale cabin that he crafted in the Canadian wilderness.

The new release is part of a larger challenge that Carson calls Cabin New musicin which he aims “to transform the way in which music is made by inserting it in a place between composition and improvisation, and uniting musician and viewers as just one.”


Audiences can discover this new seem in a new new music video beneath:


James Carson gave The Violin Channel an in-depth search into his resourceful approach and how he observed his one of a kind musical voice:



Pianist James Carson on Developing a New Form of New music

When I started the challenge of remaking the piano, practically twenty several years back, I had no concept where by it would direct. I was pursuing a more conventional path as a composer and improviser at the New England Conservatory, with only a distant sound in my head and a faint eyesight of what might be feasible if I could take away myself fully from the method of making songs. I did not know if it would be doable, but I understood my human body and mind could not execute it devoid of improve. A system emerged: to stroll absent from new music, to travel and farm close to the entire world, then create a cabin and observe in it. Immediately after that it was not crystal clear what would occur.

I did not know the place I would go other than that I desired to get there in Asia, slowly. I contemplated my backpack. Could it be smaller? Then I bought a aircraft ticket to Malaga, Spain for $73. I baked bread in Auvergne, France, and pruned grape vines in Florence, dug ditches with Roma in Transylvania, and shipped baby cows in Northeast Poland. I was arrested (for playing piano no much less!) in Rome and swam in the black sea not very long immediately after the orange revolution. And I skilled things in Siberia and Hiroshima that transformed me permanently. The journey is in my bones: with me generally, guiding and informing all that I have carried out considering the fact that.

When I created it residence, I set out to develop the cabin I experienced originally envisioned at the New England Conservatory. So several issues fell into put swiftly that it gave the effect that it experienced often been prepared. Still, the perform of developing was difficult handbook labor – I was only doing the job with volunteers, and roofs do not simply just establish on their own. Last but not least, when we moved the piano to the cabin and played the initial notes, the sound was contrary to anything at all I might at any time encountered. The irregular clay walls and rough-lower lumber in the ceiling enable the sound hold ideal in front of you, with no reverberation, still someway it nevertheless breathes. If I could sum it up in a phrase, it would be clarity.

The authentic notion, of actively playing the complete piano at at the time, came to existence out of the blue, in a flash. My palms, taking part in in advance of my thinking, in advance of my ears, even, moved “accidentally” across the keys. Nothing at all was pre-read, pre-prepared, or controlled. At initially it was a shock that it could be taking place at all, that it could be retained going without having collapse. Our bodies are forever in involuntary movement – blinking, readjusting, breathing, glancing, elongating, contracting, shifting, rebalancing – and there is hardly ever any conscious notice paid out to the human body remaining a overall body as it carries alone ahead in the world. To my shock, speculate, and joy, individuals procedures experienced completely taken over the piano. The spirits experienced entered. I only recognized it when listening, above and around, to the tiny recordings I’d created. I would normally weep, listening to them, as practically nothing acutely aware experienced happened while playing, so the recordings intended listening to the tunes for the 1st time.

The upcoming challenge was to figure out how to share the cabin with the earth. I moved again to the Northeast United States, to New York. Three suggestions introduced on their own immediately: concert events in similarly immersive environments, an album, and a element film. For a decade, my initiatives have been channeled into generating and directing Cabin Songs, the function documentary movie, which would consolidate and condense the international roots of the venture into a one piece, initiating the viewer not only into the cabin but also the destinations and encounters from which it originates. Building the film was like making the cabin all about yet again: we filmed in the cabin and New York in all the seasons and in Spain, France, Moscow, Siberia, and Japan.

And now, with the movie entire, all a few suggestions are coming to everyday living in swift succession in Manhattan. On Oct 27, I am carrying out by Dying of Classical in the Crypt of the Church of the Intercession – an amazing place that shapes and melds audience, piano, and songs into a single, fused, communion. On October 28, my debut album The Story of Birds will be launched on Dazzling Shiny Issues. Its eleven tracks—recorded consecutively, with no edits or alterations—carry a pure channeling of the myriad spiritual traditions and purely natural forces that have fulfilled and merged in the cabin. And, on November 13, Cabin Music will have its globe premiere at the Cinépolis in Chelsea, at DOC NYC in a co-presentation with the Canadian Consulate in New York.

The audio movie I’m sharing with you currently capabilities the serene, centered, and timeless dancer Chelsea Hecht. It consists of significantly of what I have figured out about the craft of filmmaking, the spirits of the cabin, and the light-weight of New York. I hope it is an satisfying and enriching introduction to my life’s do the job. But a great deal as I observed myself twenty a long time in the past, it is not clear to me what is heading to arrive upcoming.


Kenneth Proto

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