Più o meno un anno fa gli Antlers avevano dichiarato che si sarebbero presi una lunga pausa, dopo un periodo particolarmente impegnativo dove si sono esibiti in circa un centinaio di concerti. Il frontman del gruppo, Peter Silberman, questa estate è tornato a suonare per una serie di date da solista, al seguito delle quali ha dichiarato che stava lavorando a un album per conto proprio. Il disco si chiama Impermanence ed uscirà per Anti il prossimo 24 febbraio.
Il suo debut album è nato durante un periodo in cui ha avuto problemi all’udito, cosa che ha condizionato le registrazioni e la produzione del disco:
Much of what distinguishes Impermanence from its forebears can be attributed to an unexpected injury, which forced me to consider the finite. A few years ago, I developed a hearing impairment that resulted in a temporary total hearing loss in one ear and an excruciating sensitivity to everyday sounds, including my own voice. In order to find rest and quiet, I left my Brooklyn apartment for a secluded setting in upstate New York.
It would be some time before I experienced silence again, thanks to a constant blizzard of tinnitus. Once silence ceased to be available to me, I came to think of it as the luxury of well-calibrated perception. We mistakenly perceive it as nothing, but it’s precious, a profound entity. It became obvious to me why many prayers are silent, performed in immaculately quiet spaces.
As the sensitivity and static began to subside, I gradually re-introduced sound into my world, gently playing my nylon-string acoustic guitar and whisper-singing. Eventually songs emerged— ”Karuna”, “New York”, “Gone Beyond”, “Maya”, “Ahimsa”, and “Impermanence”— each sparse and minimal. I was conscious to only say what needed to be said. The six songs have an economy of expression, the spaces between the words as important as the words themselves. I often thought of the Miles Davis quote: “It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play.”
As writing neared completion, I linked up with my friend and collaborator, Nicholas Principe, to record at his People Teeth studio in Saugerties, NY. Together, we carved out a sacred sonic space, elongating the distance between notes, between chords, utilizing minimal arrangements to allow breathing room. With the help of mix engineer Andrew Dunn, we repeatedly ran tracks through aged tape until the songs themselves decayed.
But the album goes beyond experiments in ambience. It traces the stages of healing, as I experienced them. The sequence mimics the challenges in facing unexpected obstacles, charting a circular course between pain and peace, in which both are passing phases.
Impermanence illustrates our uncertain world, where everything and everyone is a temporary participant. It provides no remedy for the unpredictable, but instead offers another way to think about changing circumstances. I hope it can provide some comfort to those of us grappling with transition, which is, undoubtedly, all of us.
Slips Away, traccia pubblicata qualche settimana fa, non farà parte dell’album che verrà. , la cui tracklist e cover potete vedere qui sotto:
2. New York
3. Gone Beyond
Di seguito potete ascoltare la prima traccia estratta dall’album, Karuna, rilasciata proprio in queste ore: