Whale Fall

Based in Los Angeles, California, Whale Fall is an instrumental post-rock group featuring traditional rock instrumentation interfused with more pastoral strokes of piano, cello, brass, and occasional analog synth.

Whale Fall

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IT WILL BECOME ITSELF – LINER NOTES

We inadvertently recorded this album, titled It Will Become Itself, the evening of June 4, 2018, during one of the rare times all five of us were in Los Angeles. We had a few basic ideas we wanted to try out and, per our usual procedure, launched into a mutual improvisation, which we recorded as nothing more than a reference for further composition and arranging. After the session we all agreed that this was a particularly good take and would be valuable for a future project. 

While going through the archives several months later, we rediscovered the nearly-forgotten recording from that night. We were surprised at what we heard: here was an entire record in embryonic form, recorded in a single 38-minute take. The consonance and connection of the playing caught our attention. Absent the self-consciousness that goes along with recording an album or even playing a show, we had cut loose and just let things flow. The musical negotiations gave rise to some unexpected and beautiful moments. The imperfections added rather than taking away. 

We decided to take this roughly recorded session and apply some polish. Gradually, over the course of a year, we shaped the finished album out of this single take. A couple of the very talented musicians we have collaborated with in the past came through with some stunning improvisations of their own. Finally, we added a short piano piece that had also been recorded spontaneously without intention of release. As the title track, “It Will Become Itself” can be considered both a prelude and prologue to the two longer improvised album sides. The resulting album is intended as a single continuous piece of music in five movements. The title arose during a conversation with a friend about the creative process and seemed an apt description of how the album came to be. 

This far less methodical approach to composition was a departure from the more structured recording studio sessions of our previous records, and a fortuitous chance to continue pursuing new creative pathways and song forms. There was no roadmap for this album, and we were willing to accept the imperfections that come along with spontaneity. The music recorded that June night was only a moment in time, but we’re excited to share what we’ve been able to distill from it. 

WHALE FALL PERSONNEL

Keyboards, Cornet, Glockenspiel, Melodica / J. Matt Greenberg
Electric & Acoustic Guitars / Ali Vazin
Electric & Acoustic Guitars / Dave Pomeranz
Drums & Percussion / Aaron Farinelli
Bass Guitar & Atmospherics / Erik Tokle

Discography

It Will Become Itself

We inadvertently recorded this album, titled It Will Become Itself, the evening of June 4, 2018, during one of the rare times all five of us were in Los Angeles. We had a few basic ideas we wanted to try out and, per our usual procedure, launched into a mutual improvisation, which we recorded as nothing more than a reference for further composition and arranging. After the session we all agreed that this was a particularly good take and would be valuable for a future project.

While going through the archives several months later, we rediscovered the nearly-forgotten recording from that night. We were surprised at what we heard: here was an entire record in embryonic form, recorded in a single 38-minute take. The consonance and connection of the playing caught our attention. Absent the self-consciousness that goes along with recording an album or even playing a show, we had cut loose and just let things flow. The musical negotiations gave rise to some unexpected and beautiful moments. The imperfections added rather than taking away.

We decided to take this roughly recorded session and apply some polish. Gradually, over the course of a year, we shaped the finished album out of this single take. A couple of the very talented musicians we have collaborated with in the past came through…  more
credits
released March 27, 2020

Personnel
Aaron Farinelli: Drums & Percussion

Ali Vazin: Electric Guitar

Dave Pomeranz: Electric Guitar

Erik Tokle: Bass & Electric Guitars, Ambient Moog

J. Matt Greenberg: Keyboards, Cornet, Flugelhorn


Featuring

Artyom Manukyan: Cello

Daniel Rotem: Tenor Saxophone & Flute



Performed by Whale Fall, June 4, 2018, Los Angeles, CA

Produced by Erik Tokle & Whale Fall

Engineered by Erik Tokle & Aaron Farinelli

Mixed by Erik Tokle
 at Ghost Factory
Mastered by Pete Lymon at Infrasonic Sound

Cover Design by Whale Fall
license
all rights reserved

Sondersongs

“Sondersongs” by Whale Fall

On the third album from Los Angeles-based Whale Fall, the band’s sound continues to evolve, embracing tonalities familiar to listeners of their previous work, as well as nods to a wider array of genres and shades of decades past. The tracks on “Sondersongs” — the band’s first single LP following two double albums — feature elements of post-rock, dream pop, new wave, psych, folk, indie, solo piano, and classic rock, colliding across 10 cinematic instrumental tracks.

Recorded in El Sereno with engineer/producer Eric Palmquist (who manned the boards for their debut), “Sondersongs” considers the difference and similarities between each of us: strangers until we aren’t; extras in one another’s lives or perfect soulmates; the unknown depth of each of us barely sensed until it comes to light unexpectedly.

As defined by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the word “sonder” means:

“the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk”

The ethos of these Sondersongs encompasses stability and change, union and dissolution, each of us holding our own story within us as they collide with the stories of those around us — joining, supporting, breaking away, or tearing apart. The emotional arc of the album evokes the structure, bonds, and divisions between all of us, and ultimately the realization that we all share the same human story at the depth of ourselves. 
credits
released June 26, 2018

Credits
——————————————
Aaron Farinelli – Drums & Percussion
Ali Vazin – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Dave Pomeranz – Electric Guitar
Erik Tokle – Bass, Electric Guitar & Atmospherics
J. Matt Greenberg – Keyboards, Cornet, Fluegelhorn, Melodica & Glockenspiel

Featuring:
Artyom Manukyan – Cello
Josh Johnson – Alto Saxophone
Jonah Levine – Trombone

Produced by Whale Fall & Eric Palmquist
Engineered by Eric Palmquist at Palmquist Studios
Mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound

Cover art by Whale Fall featuring illustration “Common Swifts in the Act of Copulation” by Ad Cameron (1976)

All tracks composed by Whale Fall, Los Angeles, California
license
all rights reserved

The Madrean

released December 16, 2014

Whale Fall

released February 6, 2011

.
J-Matt Greenberg
David Pomeranz
Ali Vazin
Aaron Farinelli
Erik Tokle
Jamie Peregrine
license
all rights reserved

These Chests of Ours

From the official motion picture soundtrack for “Code Black”, Best Documentary winner at Los Angeles Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival, as well as the Audience Award Winner at both Denver Starz Film Festival and Aspen FilmFest.

In his vivid and thought-provoking filmmaking debut, physician Ryan McGarry gives us unprecedented access to America’s busiest Emergency Department. Amidst real life-and-death situations, McGarry follows a dedicated team of charismatic, young doctors-in-training as they wrestle openly with both their ideals and with the realities of saving lives in a complex and overburdened system. Their training ground and source of inspiration is “C-Booth,” Los Angeles County Hospital’s legendary trauma bay, the birthplace of Emergency Medicine, where “more people have died and more people have been saved than in any other square footage in the United States.” CODE BLACK offers a tense, doctor’s-eye view, right into the heart of the healthcare debate – bringing us face to face with America’s only 24/7 safety net.


codeblackmovie.com
credits
released July 8, 2014
(((O))) REVIEW: WHALE FALL – SONDERSONGS

Sondersongs by Whale Fall

Whale Fall on the web:
Website | Bandcamp |Release date: June 26, 2018
Label: Self-Releasedby Valerie Polichar | July 3, 2018 | Reviews

When a band presents a sophomore release as potent as Whale Fall’s magnificent 2014 album The Madrean, one wonders how they can follow up its emotional intensity. Will the band simply repeat themselves? Will the next album reveal the limits of their artistic vision?

Clearly, Whale Fall are a force to reckon with; their response to the challenge of a third album is to break yet more musical ground. Sondersongs manages to sound quintessentially Whale Fall while travelling to brilliant new shores. The album’s influences run the gamut from rock to prog to folk to classical — sometimes within the same song, as when the driving rock beat of ‘Decades’ softens first to textural shifting sounds, then to Ali Vazin’s delicate picked guitar and to bowed strings with an East Asian flair. Sondersongs’ lineup features both archetypal rock/pop instruments (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards) and those (cello, sax, cornet, flugelhorn, trombone) more associated with classical, jazz or even brass band music, tied together with acoustic piano and a sprinkling of “atmospherics” (credited to bassist/guitarist Erik Tokle). The resultant brew moves seamlessly across genres.

The resonance of sonder, a term from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, is evident throughout the album, which aims to capture in musical form the intersection and interaction of human consciousness — from its most bracing and colliding to its warmest and most intertwined. Perhaps surprisingly given the topic, it’s a short album in comparison to its predecessors: a 43-minute, ten-song set deftly engineered by Eric Palmquist (Bad Suns, Night Riots) and mastered by Pete Lyman of Infrasonic Sound (Tom Waits, Chris Stapleton).

But the brevity of some of the tracks is actually their strength: exquisite piano soundings in ‘Asunder,’ hint at Satie and, for that matter, George Winston but, at a trim 1:41, stop short of seeming hackneyed. ‘El Llanto en Llamas’ (roughly, “Crying in Flames”) alludes to (but doesn’t duplicate) the title (El llano en llamas, “The Burning Plain”) of a classic short story collection by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. The somber, gentle 1:34 of ‘El Llanto en Llamas’ drifts a hesitant, translucent cello against a rhythmic backdrop of simple piano, ending almost abruptly. The final track, the 1:38 ‘Blue Hour,’ employs pizzicato cello (guest artist Artyom Manukyan improvised his part while hearing the piece for the first time; that first take is the one used) against a similar piano to create an entirely different mood. We can almost see fireflies whirling around a twilit landscape as comrades gather around a fire to discuss the happenings of the day.

The longer tracks carry their own power. The Holarctic Region refers to formerly-unified areas of North America, Europe, and Asia. Vast numbers of species — including humans — tenant this region, beautifully illustrated in the nearly-eight-minute ‘Holarctica’. When the horns swell around the 3:45 mark, they bring the listener’s heart along for the ride. The piece carries the movement of the smallest and largest inhabitants of the region; in the second half it drops down again, as if to follow an ant through the dust, small humming mammals on their own wanderings, tracing their steps through a sequence of instruments from piano to horns to restrained cymbal touches.

The passing of protagonist from one instrument to the next in these pieces seems so well-crafted that it’s hard to credit the way these songs are formed. Multi-instrumentalist J. Matt Greenberg (particularly soaring on cornet and flugelhorn) explains that creation generally begins in a live jam session, seeded by a basic chord progression or a spontaneous riff by one of the band members. “If we like it, we continue to jam loosely until it starts to take shape over several practices, or sometimes very literally years, as was the case for ‘The Sondersong,’ which first ‘appeared’ as jam about 4 years ago.” As well as bearing a deceptively planned shape, ‘The Sondersong’ weaves timbres as if they were textured yarns into an intricate fabric upon which Greenberg’s cornet and Manukyan’s cello embroider in gold thread. That musical fabric is imprinted with the images of millions of people and thousands of cultures, ultimately gathered together into a near-cacaphonic climax, transmitting the perfect sonder sense of a multitude of consciousnesses crashing together.

Whale Fall excel in creating a sense of motion. That they do so in so many different ways is a measure of their genius. A variety of styles of guitar (including Vazin, Tokle, and Dave Pomeranz) and percussion (Aaron Farinelli) are often responsible for this sensation. In the opener, ‘True Places,’ it’s rhythm guitar; in the rocker ‘Decades’ it is relentless drumbeat, while in ‘Holarctica’ it’s soft hi-hat. Arpeggios and strings — and an unexpected but exquisite jazzy sax solo by guest artist Josh Johnson — bring movement in ‘Reservoirs.’ In the lo-fi funk of ‘This Cat Has No Moral Compass,’ it’s classic ‘60s organ and fuzzed electric guitar. Through it all, strings or horns (in addition to Greenberg, Jonah Levine guests on trombone) paint the emotional climax, crisis, or culmination of each journey.

The cover art features the illustration, by Ad Cameron, of “Common Swifts in the Act of Copulation.” The sex act is, perhaps, the moment at which the irony of sonder is most evident: as physically and even emotionally close to another being as we can be, we can still forget that their consciousness exists as something apart from our own. When we should be most aware of another person, we can be least aware of them as other, most bound up in their existence as an extension of our own.

Tokle notes that Common Swifts “flock in great numbers to the U.K. at the start of summer — exactly when this album was released. The idea of great numbers of individuals coming together resonates with the ‘sonder’ idea… the individual birds represent a tiny component of the whole — harmonizing with and yet standing apart from the flock as they come together to mate and further populate the community.” He adds that Common Swifts spend most of their lives in flight, sleeping and mating on the wing. “This contrasts with the concept of the whale fall, which is a community at the depths of the ocean spawned from death.” The background color is an homage to Craig Leon’s debut electronic album Nommos, a favorite of Tokle’s, which he notes shares some thematic elements with Whale Fall despite being musically discrete. Greenberg, reluctant to provide too precise an explanation, suggests, “the connection to ‘sonder’ could be (but does not have to be) that the act we are witnessing is a very intimate act between two birds that on any other day might simply be birds that flew by in an anonymous blur.”

At a time when a multitude of independent bands are producing quantities of music, most of which does, in fact, fly past in an anonymous blur, it is worth taking the time to savor the exquisite sonder of Sondersongs; to allow this superbly crafted, rich and varied sonic journey, this thoughtful, resonant meditation, a measure of intimacy with our own intimate selves.

Wonderful Californian Barda, extremely technical with very well elaborated melodies, with precise chords and arrangements full of a perfect cadence and timing.

Beautiful collection for connoisseurs of good music, only compliments for the Band.

Aryon Maiden.

Publicado por Aryon Maiden

Aficionado pela música em todos os momentos.

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