As artists, we often have to dig into our own experiences, our own interests, and create an accumulation of ideas that become a full work. This is something that Patrick Grant is an expert in. With this re-release of his first album, FIELDS AMAZE and other sTRANGE music, this established artist is working in patterns and circles to create relevance.
It’s a fitting season for the re-release, which was in part inspired by the soundtracks of old horror movies. But more than this, there is also a sense of modernity to the flow and experimental rhythms of the album. (“A Visible Track of Turbulence I”) plays on nostalgic themes and classical instrumentation with such delicacy that the promise of visibility is accurate. There is also dynamism: “Keeping Still” begins the album with a cacophony of rhythms that create melody (anything but still), while “A Visible Track of Turbulence II” creates rhythm out of melody.
An abundance of tension fills this album — it seems to be the connecting theme. Take the cadence-shifts on “Everything Distinct: Everything the Same” that keeps the piano punctuation vibrant, or the two-parted and lush “Imaginary Horror Film” tracks, which — as you might expect — evoke twists and turns and monsters around the corner, all while playing out a full story.
If you listen to Patrick Grant and are reminded of the experimental compositions of Philip Glass, you may be excited to know that this album was recorded in Glass’ Looking Glass Studios. Just like Glass, Grant uses an array of instruments and careful layering to create moods and movements that entice you in. Just like Glass, Grant has gone on to see diverse success in the art world. He is now a professor in the film school at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
FIELDS AMAZE and other sTRANGE music is twenty years old, but it could have come out yesterday and it would still feel surprising and fresh. This is innovation that has lasted, and works well in conjunction with Patrick Grant’s more modern releases.