Thursday, January 19, 2017

David Williford – Possible Futures (EAR UP RECORDS 2016)

Possible Futures is a collection of music I’ve written over the course of a few years – along with three interludes written and produced by Daniel Sauls. The music has a broad scope – alluding to various musical influences, and ranging from free-improvisation to concerted arrangements. I had a blast working on this project and collaborating with the other musicians that made it possible. They are all friends that I respect and admire – each bringing a wide pallet of influences that make the music sound unique. I count myself lucky to have their contributions.

David Williford – tenor saxophone and bass clarinet
Joel Gage – guitar
Ian Miller – piano and keyboards
Calvin Knowles – bass
Ross McReynolds – drums 
Daniel Sauls – writing and production on tracks 2, 5, and 8
Don Aliquo – alto saxophone on track 4
Jovan Quallo – flute on track 7 
James Westfall – vibraphone on track 9

Why Can’t They See It? (6’50”)
A simple theme followed by a free collective-improvisation from the quintet – this piece is a reflection on disagreement and truth. Joel Gage calls it my “folk tune”.

Interlude 1 (1’17”)
The interludes on the record were written and produced by Daniel Sauls using sounds from the recording session. This first interlude uses samples from “Please Remember”. His writing process is different from anyone I know, and it really yielded something beautiful.

Read The News Today (1’49”)
I told the band to “play what the internet might sound like”. This track is an excerpt from a tumultuous, free improvisation with post-production from Ian Miller.

Misinformation Age (10′ 22″)
Everyone in the band has love for rock and metal music, and this track brings that to life. This through-composed piece is inspired by the difficulties of finding truth in the age of the internet. It features a teacher and mentor of mine – Don Aliquo – on alto saxophone. It is a challenge to play, but luckily Don said this take “has some hair on it!”

Interlude 2 (1′ 02″)
The second track from Daniel Sauls using sounds from “Why Can’t They See It?”

Understanding (7′ 30″)
The majority of conflict and anxiety in life comes from misunderstandings. This is one of the more simple, subdued tracks on the record – with an outro that reaches a powerful climax. It also features some beautiful, thoughtful solos from Ian and Joel.

Please Remember (14′ 04″)
Many of my mentors taught me to look for inspiration in traditional music from other cultures. I wrote this tune while studying African folk music. Featuring Jovan Quallo on flute, “Please Remember” is a gentle, vulnerable tune tagged with an excerpt from a free improvisation. The solos from Calvin Knowles and Jovan are some of my favorite moments on the record.

Interlude 3 (0′ 49″)
This frantic 49 seconds is the last track from Daniel – using samples from “Misinformation Age”.

Masalu (17′ 06″)
Originally, this was a piece I wrote and recorded for chamber orchestra and soon after adapted for quintet. I wanted to write something that could illustrate the enormous inequalities in history and existing today. I’ve always loved music that is programmatic (from Berlioz to Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”). While writing this, I tried to outline humanity’s struggle for equality and peace. Through developing a few motives and characters, the piece attempts to bring some ideas to life: the inalienable “oneness” we all share, the fear and avarice that birthed inequality, the despair of oppression, and the possibility of peace.

Last Page (8′ 08″)
The closing track begins with solo piano from Ian leading to a simple theme and collective improvisation from the group. The coda is a lyrical melody over a hypnotic groove that fades to nothing. This piece has to do with a difficult situation and some wisdom from my mother.