Stadiums & Shrines


Brooklyn-based composer and filmmaker Elori Saxl named her 2021 LP after the phenomenon when mountains appear blue from afar (due to diminishing light particles). The Blue of Distance reflects on memory, the distortion of recollections and emotions across time and technology. Saxl wrote the record’s first half in the summer, surrounded by the lakes and rivers of the Adirondack mountains, and assembled its second half in the winter on a frozen Lake Superior island. To mimic the intrinsic frameworks of electronic music, she extracted the natural pulses of flowing water and wind, bending and pitching their movements in concert with various string and woodwind instruments and analog synthesizers. The music is vast, wondrous, and sensorial, some of the year’s finest.

Elori Saxl took our open-ended mix invitation as a chance to frame a study that leans further into this shared realm, where orchestral arrangements meet dance-minded sensibilities. Here she’s identified and fused a series of classical performances that elicit a similar response to her experience with club music. In her words:

“Fast interlocking woodwinds, vocals that sound chopped and screwed, slow beats that evoke 808 kicks and snares, spazzy strings, ping pong violin plucks, polyrhythmic octave strings, arpeggiator-like melodies, strings that ascend into huge key change drops, quarter note delayed vocals, slow syrupy beats, harmonics that sound like filter sweeps, and stuttering syncopated late night grooves–these pieces just have that club feel.”

Marcos Balter – Bladed Stance – yMusic
David Lang – Just (After Song of Songs) – Trio Mediæval, Agnès Vesterman, Garth Knox & Sylvain Lemêtre
John Adams – Road Movies: I. Relaxed Groove – John Novacek & Leila Josefowicz
Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F Major (1903): II. Assez vif. Très rythmé (Club Edit) – Emerson String Quartet
Jessie Montgomery – Break Away: III. Smoke – PUBLIQuartet
David Lang – Light Moving – Hilary Hahn & Cory Smythe
Donnacha Dennehy – Pushpulling – Jasper String Quartet
Caroline Shaw – Its Motion Keeps – Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Caroline Shaw & Dianne Berkun Menaker
Nico Muhly – Etude No. 3: Etude 3 – Paul Evans, Valgeir Sigurðsson, James McVinnie & Nadia Sirota
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld – Won’t Be a Thing to Become
big dog little dog – Panorama
Caleb Burhans – Contritus – JACK Quartet

The Blue of Distance is out now on Western Vinyl. This episode, along with other recent mixes, is also available to stream via Apple.

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