These recordings document a first-meeting of a quartet of improvisers during the pandemic in Spring of 2021. The grouping is assembled from individuals with divergent approaches that feed a wide tonal palette blending and morphing into kinetic mass of sound.
This album is part of the Chi Away project, started by Ishmael Ali as part of the New Music USA's Creator Development Fund in 2021. About the Chi Away project:
Chi Away will comprise recordings of three separate small ensembles made over the course of a few months, culminating in a series of album releases on the Chicago record label Amalgam. The project was awarded the New Music USA Creator Development fund in 2021.
The groups are new collaborations, made up of musicians from the Chicago area. The assemblies include musicians from a wide array of musical backgrounds, ranging from classical to jazz to country to experimental to punk. Included in the fray are Ishmael Ali, Allen Moore, Bill Harris, N.W. Long, Wills McKenna, Brianna Tong, Johanna Brock, and Andrew Scott Young.
Thematically, the goal of the project as a whole is catharsis—reflecting on our individual experiences as well as the role of community during the past year in isolation. The music will simultaneously embody release, reflection, beginning.
Wills McKenna - Saxophone, flute
Norman W. Long - Synthesizers, sampler
Ishmael Ali - Cello, electronics
Bill Harris - Drums
Recorded live at Marmalade, Chicago, on May 11, 2021 by Ishmael Ali and Bill Harris.
Mixed and mastered by Ishmael Ali and Bill Harris.
Artwork by Jordan Martins.