• Fantasyland

    When I began to make my most recent solo release, Adventureland, I had several years’ worth of new compositions to choose from since releasing my last record, Mobile, in 2006. But I really wanted to make a record – a work of cohesion and flow – instead of just putting out a documentation of all of those disparate compositions. With this in mind, I ended up re-imagining and editing some pieces, while others that didn’t seem to gel with the core music – or that were simply too long – were entirely left off of Adventureland.

    Still, I’m very proud of the extra material and performances that were directly related to the works on Adventureland, and I wanted people to be able to hear them. That’s the impetus behind Fantasyland, a companion EP that is comprised of these works. In a way, the listener is also getting a glimpse into the creative process of making a record by hearing these pieces in their original forms.

    Anomaly Mvt. 1 served as acoustic introduction to the entire suite. It’s murky and mysterious, and is a direct outgrowth of my drumming in experimental and improvised musical settings. I wanted Kronos Quartet and myself to capture that free-form environment in this movement without giving any clues as to the contrasting material that comes after it.

    Double Fantasy was written for collaborative performances that I did with eighth blackbird. It’s a type of long-form theme with variations of my solo vibraphone piece Fantasy On A Shona Theme. The former begins where the latter left off, and goes through several changes of sonic scenery all steeped in metric ambiguity and inter- locking rhythmic and melodic lines.

    In a desire to keep Adventureland under 60 minutes and not disrupt the flow towards the top of the record, I edited out the final two-and-a-half minutes of The Traveling Turtle for Gamelan Galak Tika. This EP contains the complete version of the piece.

    Anomaly Mvt. 5 wraps everything up, and includes another minute-and-a-half of music exclusive to Fantasyland. Mvt. 5 is the closest relative in the suite to Mvt. 1; the extended techniques and percussive textures present in both movements serve as the bookends of Fantasyland. This is the live version free of electronic processing, and sees the members of Kronos playing both their string instruments and an array of small percussion instruments – including the main motif of the entire Anomaly suite, performed here on hand bells. 

    Glenn Kotche

    Chicago, May 2014