Sunday, August 20, 2017

Prologue

LYON-TRAILS-02-Prologue


When it was all over, I would walk down 57th Street, cut down Blackstone Avenue to 55th, and make my way to Promontory Point – known simply as “The Point” to Hyde Parkers, and something of a secret spot where the children of university professors were rumored to take LSD, a drug no longer particularly fashionable in the early 2000’s but perhaps of enduring local interest for sharing an acronym with the very Lake Shore Drive that separated the “The Point” from the rest of the neighborhood.  LSD on LSD.  Layers of meaning – a penchant shared with academic parents educated in the 1960s.


I went to “The Point” to look out across Lake Michigan, its vastness so incomprehensible to my Kansas eyes that I would sometimes refer to it as “the ocean” in conversation, eliciting the ridicule of Chicagoans and outing myself as an outsider.  But that was what I loved most of all about the lake – that it could alter perspective, play tricks on the mind, conjure the California coast on an Illinois plain.  And I needed a portal to California, a way to access all that had happened in the preceding eleven months.

Jesse Henkensiefken - Cello
Michalis Koutsoupides - Violin / Viola

Recorded spring 2003, Lawrence, Kansas.
Mixed and Mastered by Matt LaPoint.
Original Release Date: 6 June 2004 (Broken Horse).

Image: unknown (viewfinder card from Morgan family archives).

Friday, August 11, 2017

William's Song

LYON-TRAILS-01-William's Song

1970's kitchen linoleum at sunrise, peering out into the meadow through the screen door, John Coltrane's "Wise One" on repeat.  William came into our lives in the springtime, a sprawling sphinx among smaller creatures, spanning city centers.  Shimmies, scrambles, spontaneous rises into aerial displays of happiness, reminding us that there are galaxies, however vast or infinitesimal.

Alex Doolittle - Drums / Congas
Audrey Herren - Cello (support)
John McMahon - Cello (main)
Andrew Morgan - Guitar / Piano / Harpsichord / Harmonium / Mellotron / Triangle / Feedback
Anne Schneller - Violin
Chris Shaw - Upright Bass
Erin Wood - Harp

Recorded spring and summer 2016, Lawrence, Kansas // Boise, Idaho.
Mixed and Mastered by Matt LaPoint.
Released 22 September 2017.

Image: "Pike's Peak through the Gateway of the Garden of the Gods, Colorado" (viewfinder card from Morgan family archives).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

LYON - TRAILS

Coming on the 2017 autumnal equinox: LYON - TRAILS.  

01. William's Song
02. Prologue
03. Fourvière (II)
04. Parc de la Tête d'Or (II)
05. Leaves (III)
06. For a Little While
07. Granville
08. Rising
09. Portent
10. First Light, Stoneback Drive
11. Darkening 

Preview the album here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Nocturama

Released on the 2017 summer solstice, Nocturama is a split EP featuring two Andrew Morgan pop songs and two LYON instrumentals.  

Listen to opening track "Solarium," which features lyrics by poet Candice Wuehle and has twice been aired on Gideon Coe's BBC Radio 6 Music show.  

For more on LYON, read a write-up by Tired Sounds on the instrumental music project's debut.

Listening: Art Farmer - To Sweden With Love (1964).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Solarium on BBC Radio 6 Music

"Solarium," the opening track from the Andrew Morgan // LYON summer solstice split EP Nocturama was played by Gideon Coe on his BBC Radio 6 Music show on Thursday June 22 and Tuesday July 18.  Listen to the song -- music by Andrew & lyrics by poet Candice Wuehle -- here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

LYON - MoonStone


Please enjoy "MoonStone" -- the closing track on the AM // LYON summer solstice split EP Nocturama.  The video features footage of the moon taken by Apollo 12 in November 1969, and the Jorge Luis Borges poem "The Moon" (1960):


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PRESENTING: LYON // Favorite Instrumental Works 1888 - 2014


With the release of LYON on the first day of spring 2017, I wanted to share some of my favorite instrumental works, spanning from 1888 to 2014.  Click on the links below to enjoy the music on YouTube:

Erik Satie - Trois Gymnopédies (1888)

Claude Debussy -  Nuages (1899)

Maurice Ravel - String Quartet in F Major (1903)

Johnny Smith Quintet - Moonlight in Vermont (1956)

Duke Ellington - Indigos (1958)

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (1959)

John Coltrane - My Favorite Things (1961)

Wes Montgomery - Bumpin' (1965)

Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple (1966)

Antonio Carlos Jôbim - Wave (1967)

Andrés Segovia - España (1968)

David Axelrod - Songs of Innocence (1968)

Arthur Verocai - Arthur Verocai (1972)

Mulatu Astatke - Éthiopiques 4 (1974)

Air - Premiers Symptômes (1997)

Boards of Canada - In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country (2000)

Yann Tiersen - Amélie (2001)

Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Alexandre Desplat - The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Grey Light of the Season (US)


I'm pleased to announce a reissue:

Written across a Massachusetts autumn, Grey Light of the Season is a work of suspended animation -- of vanishing into October twilight.  Kindred in spirit to the more darkly enchanted folk of the 1960s, but wandering where it will, the album is a transportive Polaroid from Fall past and present.


The gestation period of the recordings was remarkably uncomplicated, with sessions taking place on weekday afternoons at makeshift studios in and around Lawrence, Kansas in fall 2009 and spring 2010.  Contributing overdubs via satellite were Laura Jane Scott (harp, vocals) of Los Angeles and John McMahon (cello) of Boise, Idaho.


Completed in August 2010, the album received its first proper release in February 2011 -- in two-volume, 23-track form -- on the Moorworks record label of Japan, where songs from the album were first played live in Tokyo, Sendai, and Yamagata in June and July 2008.


The U.S. reissue condenses the Japan edition, pairing 9 tracks from volume I with 3 tracks from volume II and 3 new instrumentals.  It will be released on the first full moon of 2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

LYON - FOUR SEASONS: Winter - The Hutch Waltz

     Please enjoy the video for "The Hutch Waltz" -- the winter segment of LYON - FOUR SEASONS.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PKR Vinyl Reissue Cover Art


Front & back cover art for the 2017 vinyl reissue (Pretty Olivia Records of Alicante, Spain) of Please Kid, Remember.

Friday, November 25, 2016

LYON - Nuages



     I returned to Lyon a little less than two years later, staying for a few days with a lovely family on a beautiful old estate nestled into a hill on the west side of the two rivers.  The last days of winter, with grey stone & sky scarcely distinguishable from one another.  I retraced the steps of a favorite walk from the end of my time in France, north along the Saône to a quiet little area near Passerelle Saint-Vincent where rows of pastel buildings domino down from Fourvière to the riverbank below.  Before falling asleep that night in a room that overlooked the edges of Presqu'île, I tried to place the feeling somehow missing from a still very pleasant return.  Clouds filled balloon-like with stadium light rolled slowly by, projecting memory itself onto the walls & curtains.  The time in time & place – the clamor & the swelter of a summer unrepeatable, its present become past.



Elle aspire comme chaque matin l’odeur puissante et humide de la rue St-Jean dont les pavés glissent légèrement. Elle voudrait rentrer dans cette boulangerie et acheter un pain au lait. Mais quelque chose file devant elle qu’elle doit saisir, c’est le moment elle le sait – sinon – elle tend le bras – sa vie s’écoule – elle ne l’atteint pas.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

LYON - Noircissement


     Suddenly the city was empty, its residents in mass holiday exodus.  Green pharmacy crosses flashing all the more brightly for the lack of headlights on the boulevards below.  The fountain at Place du Maréchal Lyautey burbling all the more clearly for the lack of early evening drinkers on the patios of bars nearby.  And the sky over the chimneys of Croix-Rousse all the more otherworldly when seen alone in the south meadow of Parc de la Tête d'Or, the light fading and the summer darkening.



Prune passa sur le trottoir de droite, elle vit cet homme devant le Pont de la Feuillée, elle sut immédiatement qu’elle aurait pu partir avec lui, tailler des bâtons, vivre dans les Célèbes et ses bras, mais son bus arriva et elle leva la main.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

LYON - Lévitation


     I had hoped that Fate would intervene and allow me to stay in Lyon beyond the summer.  So there was a time when only the present moment was felt.  A long time, or at least a profound moment, and one that happened to form around the equinox.  Pink, blue, and bronze sunsets hung over Presqu'île for what seemed like eternity – the effect like that of an eclipse or the feeling when as a child I jumped off the roof of our house holding my father's umbrella and managed to land unharmed on the grass below.  Strangeness, levitation.



Je ne peux pas me dire c’est ici que je suis né c’est ici que je mourrai infini des formes dans un fini des murs alors j’ai dû partir tout se reproduisait toujours mêmes visages mêmes feintes de corps j’ai dû partir et laisser derrière moi un écran mat et lourd quelques brumes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

LYON - Escaliers Secrets


     I'd walked right by Montée des Chazeaux countless times without noticing its many steep & crooked steps.  Always rushing through Vieux Lyon, listening for sounds to record or looking for reflections in motorbike mirrors to photograph.  It was a delayed reaction when half a block down I thought to backtrack and confirm the staircase glimpsed from the corner of my eye.  A five-flight shortcut to Montée Saint-Barthélémy and Parc de Hauters, the steps were strangely empty despite lush views of the city offered from each landing.  So I felt all the more like a traveller between worlds when I would traverse the stairs alone on brisk evening walks from the church to the city's summit & back.  Over time I would discover that Lyon possessed many such passages.  Having grown up in the plains and previously lived mainly in flat, grid-like cities like Chicago & Boston, stairs were until that summer all too often dour markers of duty – entryways to schools, libraries, and houses of worship.  Lyon's secret staircases – pathways of wonder – were wholly free of such foot-slowing seriousness.



Julie passa une jambe par la fenêtre quand soudain la pluie.



Friday, November 18, 2016

LYON - Parc de la Tête d'Or


     In wandering years, parks were portals.  In Korea, I would tell myself if I could just hike over the next ridge line, I would be home.  As if parks were points of teleportation, all connected to the same grand spirit park.  Hampstead Heath in London, Yogogi Park in Tokyo, Lincoln Park in Chicago, Boston Common, Griffith Park, Central Park, even little Marvin Grove in Lawrence, Kansas where my parents would take us on fall Saturdays – all connected.  Parc de la Tête d'Or in Lyon was no different.  On my first visit, I stayed past dark and thought I was losing my mind when I became frightened by the sounds of wild birds and animals.  I didn't yet know that the park contained a zoo – the Jardín zoolólogic de Lyon – so I wondered if it was somehow a close spirit connection of a park in Africa.  On my many subsequent visits I would stay late to hear the wildlife welcome the darkness and pretend that I had still not solved the mystery of the zoo.



Elle n’est jamais montée là-haut voir cette chose blanche et molle qui toujours la regarde et la suit, non. Elle ne la voit plus. Elle n’ira pas.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

PRESENTING

     DEBUT EP FOUR SEASONS RELEASED TO MARK THE NOVEMBER 2016 SUPERMOON.

     TRAILS LP TO BE RELEASED ON THE 2016 WINTER SOLSTICE.

     LYON LP TO BE RELEASED ON THE 2017 SPRING EQUINOX.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

LYON - Fantômes de Rivère




      When I was 22, I tried to move from Kansas to New York City.  Only two months returned from a life-changing study abroad year in England, I was hell-bent on not losing the inner momentum – on keeping my eyes open to life and the experiences it unfolds to those who look.  New York proved a brief stint -- half euphoria, half panic – and I bounced off the atmosphere.  Back to Kansas, to Los Angeles, back to Kansas, to Chicago, back to Kansas, before finally finding relatively steady footing in Chicago.  Transience-induced sleep trials bred a night reader, with Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer fast becoming a favorite.  Not for its famed sexuality, but rather the ghostly passages in which Miller recalls wandering along the Seine in the middle of the night.  In Lyon, I often shadowed the Rhône – from near Parc de la Tête d'Or to Pont Gallieni – sometimes wearily after an especially suffocating night in the attic of the church.  At sunset, passing like a ghost through narrow riverboat bars and groups of summer revelers on the banks below, I would recall Miller's walks.  An in-between state – a distant memory of another's walk along a river from within a walk along another river.



De la neige au-dessus de nous allongés comme ça sur la passerelle du Collège suspendue ou était-ce des paillettes, des cendres – des éclats de corps en tout cas nous étions là sol froid revêtement spongieux tous les deux tu étais venue de loin moi je vivais là nous nous étions croisés un peu plus tôt au bord de l’autre fleuve et souris et suivis, il y avait d’autres personnes avec nous disparues à présent, nous deux seuls allongés et la neige doucement s’était posée en minces cuillérées sur nous, bras écartés, à côté, riant soûls et libres, tout devant nous à peu près, on ne se touchait pas mais on savait que bientôt, et la neige sur nous et la nuit comme un drap, tu t’es tournée vers moi tes cheveux blonds sur le fleuve et tu m’as souri, et j’ai pensé quelle drôle de chose quand même que la vie.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

LYON - Rue Pierre Corneille


     Prior to my time in Lyon, I lived in Seoul, Korea.  Looking down from Gwanaksan – a mountain on whose doorstep I lived – I would survey in awe the city's almost unfathomable size & density.  To explore such a place – to realize the impossibility of encountering even a fraction of its terrain, and to realize also that many such cities and impossibilities exist – is staggering.  And to explore such a place without knowing the name of a single street is another thing altogether.  Doing so at once magnifies the sense of dislocation and returns the gauzy air of childhood walks and bike rides measured not by street names but by landmarks.  So when I arrived in Lyon and could read & remember the name of the street I first lived on – Rue Pierre Corneille – the effect was cosmic – simultaneously amusing, bewildering, and mind-bending.  I soon became obsessed with learning the name of every street, bridge, square, park, and cathedral, and before falling asleep each night would joyfully retrace the day's explorations.  A fleeting second childhood found in the naming of places & things.



Il l’avait pris par la main dans les rues piquetées de soleil. Il lui avait acheté une glace, ils marchent sur les quais. Il y a la couleur déjà fanée de l’enfance et son père se découpe nettement sur le plan. Je t’emmène voir Bogart il avait dit et ils étaient entrés dans cet étroit cinéma de la rue Pierre Corneille, la Fourmi. Tout était noir et rouge là-dedans. La brume avait enflé sur l’écran et le type était apparu, imperméable gris, une cigarette aux lèvres. Il y avait eu ensuite des histoires de guerre et d’avions, de femmes aussi. Ils étaient repartis dans l’été plein. Des années ont passé. Ils ont perdu la bobine.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

LYON - Bellecour

    When I think back on Bellecour, I remember Ben Crouzet driving his Peugeot like a maniac, reversing us full speed up a narrow cobblestone street adjacent to the city's hallowed meeting place.  Still Lyon, still in the summertime, but twelve years prior.  Europe seen through teenage suburban American eyes – the beauty of it simply shocking – its dreamlike quality like the cyclist passerby in The Smiths' "Back to the Old House."  Before London, before Prague, before Berlin, before Stockholm and every other city encountered in the wandering years that followed – Lyon awakening into dreams.



Il y a des noms sur toi que je voudrais mettre et ce sont ceux des amis chez qui j’ai frappé ce jour-là, le printemps débutait juste, on a ouvert des bières, Lyon frémissait en dessous, j’avais faim, tout commençait.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

LYON - Place de la République


     I never photographed Place de la République.  Paradoxically claustrophobic in open city spaces yet at ease in narrower confines, I preferred side street shadows to the many broader boulevards that converge to form PDLR's swirling center.  So it was only while in motion that I took in its whimsical features – a glass carousel and expansive rectangular pool – typically when darting across the square on weekly espresso capsule runs.  Safely back in the shoebox-sized attic of the church, I would imagine a more tranquil wintertime version of the scene, with brisk air and the carousel covered in holiday lights.



C’est en escaladant la montée de la Grande Côte qu’il avait très clairement compris le sens du mot incertain – chaque marche il comprenait que rien jamais sur lequel s’appuyer, pas un seul jour qui débouche naturellement sur un autre, pas une épaule, rien – un souffle seul et sans repos – la ville s’offrait en contrebas dans un glissement de lumières et il escaladait la Côte – rien, aucune surface plane sur laquelle compter pas même ces marches dont il connaît pourtant la moindre aspérité – mais il monte, essoufflé, vers le plateau et son amour, qui bientôt s’envolera, et il sourit.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Leaves (V)

     Please enjoy a new video for "Leaves (V)" -- the coda to the opening track of LYON - FOUR SEASONS, and revisit Leaves (IV):

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

MOON

01. Moon 
02. X of Swords
03. Disappearance
04. All the Same
05. Prequel
06. Portent
07. Neon
08. Unknown Light (II)
09. Rising
10. In the Morning Light (II)
11. Last Leaves
12. Leaves (III)
13. Spooky
14. Moon (II)
15. Darkening

Featuring 5 previously unreleased recordings and 10 from the Japan edition of Slanting Rays of the Setting Sun (2014), Moon will be available at Bandcamp on the October 16 full moon.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

LYON - Cours de la Liberté


    The front entrance of the Grand Temple de Lyon is located on Quai Victor Augagneur – a long & lovely street that runs along the Rhône from Pont Lafayette to Pont de la Guillotière.  Around back on the much quieter Cours de la Liberté are the clergy's residential quarters.  It was there that I – the atheist in the church's attic – would enter through a large wooden door and ascend a winding staircase to my living quarters.  This ascent was a daily & dreaded demonstration of the thermodynamic principle that hot air rises, with cool street level air giving way to a reality-altering curtain of heat.  Outside, activity in the neighborhood – the city's 3rd arrondissement – mirrored this principle of verticality.  Calm, grey mornings that hosted more pigeons than people in little Square Jussieu would rise up into evenings that drew throngs to drink in riverbank bars under molten copper sunsets – a ritual of altitude in reverse, tracked through a fever gaze.



Son rêve d’Hollywood et d’un rôle de princesse scandinave rescapée des flots lui revint brusquement en tête au moment d’entrer dans le passage bruissant, qui l’avala.