Memory Pearl – Sunflower, 1969

Toronto artist Moshe Fisher-Rozenberg, member of experimental group Absolutely Free and collaborator of Alvvays, U.S girls and Fucked Up is set to release his solo album Music For 7 Paintings, an ambient electro exploration inspired by seven famous paintings due out December 17th via Atlin Village.

New single and video ‘Sunflower, 1969’ is due out November 3rd and is based on Joan Mitchell’s Sunflower painting Moshe comments: “The moment I saw Joan Mitchell’s Sunflower, the clouds parted. I was at The Met (NYC) and they had very few abstract expressionist paintings on display. My wife and I approached the front desk and they let us know that an entire section of the museum was sectioned off due to budget cuts. I walked away disappointed, but my wife stayed and pleaded my case. She gave them some context and let them know that I was in town researching paintings for a body of work that was funded by the government of Canada. They agreed to let us in for 20 minutes. As I walked into that room, I was greeted warmly with Sunflowers. My intention with the music was to match the painting’s movement, warmth, and beauty with a dazzling bouquet of electronic textures. The video features my wife and advocate, Melissa Fisher-Rozenberg, as she gazes upon the painting with deep introspection”

For Memory Pearl’s Music For 7 Paintings Moshe Fisher-Rozenberg traveled to art galleries throughout North America searching for paintings which would enrapture him.

Like the experience of being drawn into the worlds of those paintings, these seven tracks — each one directly referencing a single work by Joan Mitchell, Robert Ryman, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, or Jackson Pollock — are love letters to the sympathetic vibration of one creative mind encountering another. They trace the way art inspires and generates art. Each resonates with the reconstructive energy that comes from translating the visual to the auditory.

One might expect a jagged, alienating angularity, given the modernist and postmodern source material. Instead there is warmth and depth of sentiment, accented by the analogue and digital synth pitch-shifts and cascades. The pieces crackle with the energy of translation: something new is created as the medium changes, mediated across the boundaries of genre. There are associations, asides, tangents as each work is »read« into its new format. There is no alienation, no cold distance: only engagement and warmth. The album’s lead track, ‘Natural Answer, 1976’ opens with sounds that feel like the gaze being caught and drawn into an intimate emotional connection with a work. ‘Cupola, 1958-1960’ begins with a thickly layered wash of sound as nostalgic as a train ride through the outskirts of a city at night, then expands into a cavernous memory-scene of personal association.

Fisher-Rozenberg brings a vast experience to bear on the paintings that inspire Music For 7 Paintings.. While this may be his debut full length as a solo artist, he is a consummate collaborator (Alvvays, Fucked Up, U.S. Girls, Youth Lagoon, Man Forever) best known as the drummer and synthesist in Absolutely Free. Also clear is his visual sensibility — his instinct for how to translate the emotive context of visual art into sound, honed in collaborative work on kinetic sculptures, immersive installations and film scores. But what most comes to the fore is perhaps his recent graduate work in music therapy, and the sensitivity learned through his leading of music therapy sessions at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. This direct encounter with music’s power to heal lends the tracks a sacred, therapeutic quality. They are suffused with curative frequencies that connect the isolated individual to a world of contemplative beauty.

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