1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Migration is an album that, behind its poised structures and dreamy textures, is built out of turmoil. Simon Green, over more than a decade and a half, has come from humble beginnings as an eclectic DJ in Brighton, on the English south coast, to being one of the world's biggest electronic acts. This in turn left him essentially rootless and without a real place to call home for almost three years as he toured his previous album The North Borders around the world. Pieced together and composed on the road, then taken into various studios to add the many brilliant instrumentalists and vocalists who add to its richness and complexity, Migration is the sound of a world in flux. Where some can find the itinerant touring lifestyle draining and confusing, for Si it became a chance to observe micro and macro –local and global – aspects of 21st century life, to connect them to his own emotional experiences, and to remind himself that this dizzying world is still made up of real people's individual stories.
In all of that, it has become, perhaps, an album for our times. We live in a period of sometimes terrifying uncertainty, where all too often people are tempted to retreat into their own shuttered-off realities, or to seek easy answers in shouted slogans and false promises. Migration, on the other hand, is an embrace of uncertainty and contradiction, and most importantly of all, even though its scope is epic, it is full of conviction that small ideas, questions, doubts, and stories really matter. Blissful it may often be, but escapist it isn't. Along with the likes of Caribou, Floating Points, Four Tet and Flying Lotus, Si is flying the flag for modernist music that can be both widely accessible and exploratory, that can reach those arena-sized audiences yet still touch individuals deeply and specifically on emotional and intellectual levels. From all that turmoil, he has provided a timely reminder that artistry, introspection and a gentle, personal touch still have value and power in a difficult world.
Photay’s debut full-length Onism inherits the same historical tension in an age of climate change and social media addiction. It is also a reflection of personal conditions, a meditation on place, community, and its creator’s own embodied history. The word ‘onism,’ invented by John Koenig, means the frustration of being stuck in just one body that inhabits only one place at a time.
To grasp onism is to be apprised of how little of the world you have experienced, are experiencing, or will ever experience. Photay (Evan Shornstein) composed Onism in the heart of Brooklyn and shrouded by the silence of national parks or on trips home to the woodlands of the Hudson Valley in between touring the urban centers of foreign countries. Scattered but connected, Onism’s music is a constellation that rips across the night sky of time, charting an emotional reality defined by sadness and joy, dread and wonder.
Shornstein contrasts spacious near-silence with bombastic saturated peaks. Fangled robotic tones (‘Screens’) meet with forest floor ambience (’Storm’), evoking visual designs for the built and natural worlds, while the overwhelm of metropolis (‘Balsam Massacre’) and the digital age (‘The Everyday Push’) is eased by the liberatory forests of Woodstock (‘Outré Lux’ feat. Madison Mcferrin) and assumptions into imagined realities (‘Bombogenesis’). The demonic swing of ‘Balsam Massacre’ imagines the sounds of a tree’s innards as it is felled with a chainsaw, while ’Storm’ thunders distantly in triumphant reverie.
On ‘Aura,’ Shornstein sings for the second time in his career (“Take the time to hear yourself”). The message hints at a common denominator to his meditations, resonating also as a warning to the world, an everyday push to the role of electronic music in storytelling the future of the global environmentalist movement.