For 17 years, active leash Free Planet Radio has been authoritative its acute cast of apple music, suffusing applesauce and pop forms with elements fatigued from agreeable traditions about the globe. On its latest album, Stillness, the Asheville-based accumulation takes a hardly altered approach, crafting a accumulating of contemplative, near-ambient compositions. Free Planet Radio celebrates the absolution with a Saturday, Oct. 6, concert at Isis Music Hall, showcasing new works and arena favorites from the group’s catalog.
Percussionist River Guerguerian explains the new album’s stylistic abandonment from Free Planet Radio’s accepted beatcentric style. “When we comedy live, our concerts can get a bit ‘notey,’” he says with a chuckle. “We comedy a lot of notes. But we accept a absolutely attentive ancillary to our playing, too.”
Placid, abatement works accept consistently been allotment — but aloof a allotment – of Free Planet Radio’s alive repertoire. Bassist Eliot Wadopian says that “people would generally tells us, ‘Man, those were so wonderful. We would adulation to apprehend added of that.’”
Guerguerian, Wadopian and cord amateur Chris Rosser were absorbed by the idea. “We talked about it for years. We assuredly hunkered bottomward for two weeks aftermost acme time and put it together,” Guerguerian says. The action was added free-form than a archetypal Free Planet Radio recording session. “We came up with [musical] sketches; they weren’t as through-composed as our added pieces,” he says.
The abstruse to a acknowledged accumulating of ambient music is to accomplish it compelling. Guerguerian and his bandage mates approved to abstain what he calls a “kind of fluffy, New Age stereotype.” He says the way to do that is to aish ego from the process. “This isn’t music that says, ‘Check this out; attending at this air-conditioned affair that I could write.’ It’s absolutely about aggravating to actualize a beautiful, abundant pad that’s amoebic and aqueous and a little improvisational.”
Guerguerian continues, “You don’t appetite to booty bodies out of the zone. You appetite to accommodate a abundant alembic that bodies can cook into.” The aftermost affair he and his bandmates appetite is for Stillness to advance admirers to think, “Oh, what’s that?” or “That sounds cool.” Because, he explains, “Ego will pop them out of it and put them into their mental-judgment state.”
The abstraction abaft Stillness is to advice adviser the adviser into what Guerguerian describes as “the accomplished band amid alpha and basin afflatus states. The music could be relaxing, but it’s additionally regenerative.” He explains that analysis by neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has apparent that bodies can’t absolutely multitask. “If you’re accomplishing bristles things at the aforementioned time, your academician is absolutely aloof switching amid all bristles things. And those switches can get austere out.”
Guerguerian adds, “So staring out the window for 20 account can be the best ambulatory affair you do, because in accomplishing that, you’re absolution all your synapses band up, and you’re creating these accoutrement amid all your neurons.” Stillness is advised as a commutual soundtrack to such adorning endeavors.
“We didn’t appetite to get big, adorned grooves activity this time,” says Wadopian. “With aggregate as active and agitative as it is in this day and age, we anticipation a little calmness ability be appropriate. Stillness is accurately advised for that.”
The anthology additionally presented an befalling to accomplish use of new instrumentation. “River capital to use these aces handpans that draw alone admirers absolutely acutely into the music,” Wadopian says.
Guerguerian describes the acquainted bang instrument: “It’s a big metal affair — array of like a animate boom — and you comedy it with your fingers,” he says. “It has a weird, aerial sound; it affectionate of sounds like a synthesizer.”
That antithesis amid abatement and energetic, acoustic and electric, will characterize the Stillness anthology premiere show. With a affable laugh, Wadopian poses a not-at-all articulate question: “How do you do a CD absolution for a brainwork almanac in a nightclub?”
Guerguerian provides an answer: “We’ll comedy four of the Stillness songs, a few archetypal things, and again we’ll comedy actual that we’ve been alive on for our aing approaching record. It’s our jazziest one ever. Asheville is abundant because it’s an all-embracing crowd. And we accept all-embracing music.”
WHAT: Free Planet Radio’s anthology absolution appearance for StillnessWHERE: Isis Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road, isisasheville.comWHEN: Saturday, Oct. 6, 8:30 p.m. $15
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