Back in December, after we performed at the Welcome to Night Vale “Condos” show I was taking my gear outside and a fan shouted “we love you, never change!”
And I appreciate the sentiment.. but Disparition is changing.
It was about ten years ago that I released Satellite State, the very first Disparition album. For almost all of that time Disparition has pretty much just been me making instrumental electronic music. Last year, when we started doing live Night Vale shows at larger venues, I started experimenting with different variations of a live version of Disparition - in NYC with a guitar and string section, in Chicago with a fellow electronic musician Void En Vogue - rearranging older Disparition songs in new ways.
After I came back from Chicago I dove straight into the final period of work on my new album, Granicha. This album is a bit of a departure, including something that’s never been in a Disparition album before: lyrics. This is not ambient music, at least not in the sense that my past albums have been. It’s not background music, drones, or soundscapes… these are songs.
This is an album I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, and many parts of it have been cooking in my head for a long time. But I didn’t really have the confidence or the knowledge to release something like this before. I didn’t study music academically - when I was in college I studied writing and literature. After various private experiments over the last couple years, I’m making writing lyrics part of my life. I’m very happy to have written words that I think convey what I am also expressing in music, and it’s been a great opportunity to work with several talented vocalists and instrumentalists.
I decided to write this post because I know how useful ambient soundscapes are to a lot of people, especially creative people. I sometimes get messages from fans telling me they use my music to help them focus while writing or drawing or painting or coding or just thinking, and I love hearing this because I worship artists like Brian Eno and Biosphere whose work I use myself in that same way. Knowing I help provide that same utility for some people is one of the things that keeps me going.
This new album Granicha, is different. I’m not sure what it is exactly, maybe you’ll be able to tell me when you hear it.
I’m certainly not done with ambient music or soundscapes, and in fact I’m developing a combined album/tool specifically for the creative process later this year, called Farbenlieder.
In the meantime, this is a good time for change. I can only ask that you listen with an open mind and the volume very loud.