The Trecento duo of Sean Smith and Terry Skaggs (which was an ongoing concern between 1997 and 2006) reunite to create two tracks in celebration of Nils Frahm's Piano Day 2017.
-- Sean on his inspiration for "Painted Morning" --
"There is a little piece of heaven tucked between two mountains in Yellow River State Forest. As morning light breaks the horizon for the world above, the campground nestled in the tight valley crevasse remains a muted pallet of dark greens and greys. The sounds of nature waking for another day have a heavy, wet blanket on them. Fog dances carelessly in the trees, unaware that its life will soon be over once the sun is able to break over the eastern peak. But those moments before are as magical, tranquil, and peaceful as I have ever experienced. Free from the bounds of responsibility, schedule, technology, and the noise that we call 'life'."
-- Terry on his inspiration for "Languid" --
"As a SCUBA diver and snorkeler I have this recurring dream of resting on my back upon the bed of a calm, shallow sea. I lie there watching the veil of the surface that stirs restlessly above. Gentle waves of light and the shadows of fish brush across my body. There is a deep peace around and within me. At some point I realize that I'm no longer encumbered by my mask, air tank, or regulator. I am breathing water now and I smile at the liquid sun that wavers in another world, high above. As I awaken, I am dissolving into an infinite oceanic Everything."
released March 29, 2017
Recorded March 11, 2017, in Rock Island, IL
Produced, mixed, mastered by Terry Skaggs
"Painted Morning" written and performed by Sean Smith on piano and string quartet consisting of contra bass, cello, and two violins
"Languid" improvised and performed by Terry Skaggs using only piano and processed piano sounds
The full release also includes "Ghost Constellation" as a bonus track. This piece was assembled using midi fragments of Sean's piano performance outtakes. These data fragments were sent to other instruments (synth, electric piano, string synth, and an alternate piano). The resulting recordings were processed by Terry, layered and looped upon one another in and out of context, creating an ambient-drone space inspired by the possibilities of the piano but shaped by a different vocabulary.
Put simply, the note choices were Sean's, the tones and arrangement choices were Terry's.
The final result is wrapped a field recording of a rainy spring afternoon in the city.