“The result is a mesmerizing work of spacey meditations layered into cohesion.”
-Ben Slowey, Breaking & Entering
original improvised works for trumpet and electronics
In approaching this project, our initial discussion led to the idea of creating an album of electronic works based completely on Jamie's trumpet playing as the sole sound source. Any synths and software involved would only be used to process and manipulate recordings of his trumpet playing. This ended up being a fun challenge!
The general approach was that Jamie would start by recording clips of solo trumpet playing. Sometimes these were short melodic improvisations, sometimes single notes. I would then take these and manipulate them electronically. Sometimes this meant processing it with a eurorack modular system (including Make Noise Morphagene, 4MS DLD, Happy Nerding FXAid, Orthogonal Devices ER-301, and many others,) as well as Monome Norns, Ciat Lonbarde Cocoquantus, and several VST plugins on the computer.
Sometimes I had a pretty concrete idea in mind of how to approach a new track, whether that be granular synthesis, spectral processing, looping etc. Other times I took snippets of material and just explored and played with them, and it was never long before a road forward presented itself.
One of the biggest challenges for me while working on the electronic processing was that, mutes aside, trumpet has a certain timbre to it. While this is great and makes the instrument what it is, I often found that one of the main elements in coming up with new material for each new track was finding ways to manipulate it into a wide array of textures to keep things varied from piece to piece. The upside is that the timbre of the instrument, as well as Jamie's unique and beautiful voice as an artist, lend a cohesiveness to the entire project even when the approach to constructing each track was often quite different
Once I recorded tracks of this manipulated/processed trumpet sound, I sent those back to Jamie and he would record usually around two or three takes, improvising over the material I sent him. Then the last step was me taking this new material to chop/edit it, and constructing it into a final track along with the previously processed material.
I tend to work quickly on this sort of project, a habit going back decades, but the logistics of passing material back and forth and discussion over how to approach new tracks led to this project taking the better part of a year to complete. I think we both knew it was going to be special as soon as we listened to the first completed track back when we first began working on everything.
Jamie & I came up together on trumpet and guitar respectively, spending countless hours practicing, performing, and listening together throughout high school, college, and the years that followed. I would not be the musician I am today without our friendship, especially in those early years of high school and college, learning from/with each other and keeping each other motivated. It is with that in mind that I find it ironic that it took us this long to make an album together! That said, I am not surprised it was something so creatively different than anything I could have imagined back then.
Although we both spent a lot of our time in those student years (although I think most of us that travel these creative channels consider ourselves forever students) really digging into jazz and its legacy, there was always another side to things as well. Between playing in our college Contemporary Music Ensemble and other pursuits outside of school, exploring the works of John Cage, John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Cornelius Cardew, Cecil Taylor, and many others was part of a creative path that led us here. I've got much gratitude for that time spent exploring together as well as the many teachers/mentors who introduced us to so many paths to explore. I'm honored to count many of those people as friends now years later.
While this album was a studio project, composed and constructed over time, it is with excitement that I look forward to continuing this duo project in a live setting as well. We've walked down many roads together, but there are so many left to explore!
J. Mollerskov, 12/29/21
released January 7, 2022
Jamie Breiwick, trumpet and flugelhorn
Jay Mollerskov, electronics
Nolan Breiwick, trumpet (8)
All compositions by Jamie Breiwick and Jay Mollerskov
All trumpets recorded by Jamie Breiwick at home
Edited, mixed, and mastered by Jay Mollerskov
Cover art "Solve for X" by Jay Arpin
Inside photo by Jamie Breiwick
Design by Jamie Breiwick, B Side Graphics
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.