Out Now – Olagra – Winter Eyes

Olagra Winter Eyes

I’ve started this record dozens of times and each time I stalled, each time it fell to the wayside and didn’t go any further. There have been so many start/stops that I assumed this record would never get made. An attempt at this record was created under my own name from 2006, called Olagra… Originally, Olagra was an idea created in quiet room, then it was a band and then a record that had some allusion to the original ideas and some fragments of the band; but those were little more than sketches. After that Olagra was little more than a haunting sentiment floating in the aether nagging me, constantly reminding me of what could have been, maybe what should have been, but certainly, categorically what wasn’t… that is until it was: Olagra: Winter Eyes.

Winter Eyes, which I created under the Olagra pseudonym is the definitive recording of songs that I was writing in 2004 and 2005, and beyond with all of the psych folk, AM 70s light rock and mellow gold that I could mine. It, simultaneously, contains allusions to all these things, while being none of those things. I can find no category to put it in. It just is. I call it ‘psych folk’ as good of a label as any I can find, as it’s primarily acoustic and folky, but it’s also rich, sonically, as I chose not to pursue mutually exclusive paths of acoustic conservatism or strict synthesized sonics; instead, I’ve opted to pursue both, equally, simultaneously.

That period of the mid-aughts was special for me, because after a hiatus of more than ten years focusing on sound, rather than songs, I was quite compelled to go back to songwriting, which was where I started, as a wee pup, to begin with. Once I started getting going with the songs I found that they were too personal to commodify and bring to life as a “project” or a published recording. I couldn’t separate myself from them enough to do that with the work. Even now, I struggle with this. I think that’s why  there were so many false starts. Eventually, I made peace with the “songs” as a creative path and through that catharsis realized that I was obligated to share this music out, as I had first envisioned it, but wasn’t quite able to capture, so many years before. I’ve done that now.

As I write this, I’d like to sit here and tell you that Olagra is my new direction. It may well be, or at least the songs may be, and I’ve been considering retiring my given name from my creative work and only working under pseudonyms for a long time, save maybe my work with Michael, so this may be the beginning of that. I have bunches of songs, and my ability to craft them has only increased, starting with this, those that made it to Winter Eyes. I don’t know. I know that I have another batch of songs I’ve been working on atop my writing desk and they’re indicative of the development of the craft, and I’ve always enjoyed watching an artist grow, improve and mature, so those will likely get out there at some point, but that’s a different discussion for a different time. For now, Winter Eyes, is one of the works that I’m most proud of, right up there with Convocation, and my work with Michael (Teager) which has been a real creative high-water mark for me. In any case, I hope you spend some time with the music. It’s different than past work of mine, but it’s as much “me” as anything I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy what you hear.

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Out Now – Manitou – Landscape, Histories and Sentiment

manitou_landscape_histories

Hey there. About ten years ago I released a recording called All Points North under the Manitou pseudonym. It was my second letterpress-printed CD edition and a love letter to the city of Detroit, my home, for all intents and purposes. It was impressionistic with reflections on time and experience, but also not, a “Matt Borghi” record… I went into kind of a different process and different state of mind to make that record.

Ten years on, over the summer of 2015, I decided to visit that mindspace again and created a new Manitou record, possibly the last, this is a historical reflection on the city of Detroit, the city of my family, the city of my ancestry. For me, there’s little reflection on or identification  with the northern Italy of my great grandparents and my family name, nor is there much reflection on my Scotch-Irish Appalachian roots, instead, I’m a Detroiter, quintessentially, of mixed ethnic origin, steeped in many cultures and many experiences with an overtone of post-industrial morose and a hopeful optimism for tomorrow’s future. So, this is a long-winded way to say that the latest Manitou record is out. All of the tracks are named after things in 19th and early 20th century Detroit, the Detroit that I heard stories about on the knees of grandparents and looked at longingly in books when we were the “Paris of the Midwest”.  That’s it. There’s not much more for me to say. I hope you enjoy the recording and enjoy the experience.

Links for listening, purchase, etc…

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1kB9P5R

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/landscape-histories-sentiment/id1044015330

CD – http://kunaki.com/Sales.asp?PID=PX00H1TCH5

Borghi | Teager – Second Studio Release – Shades of Bending Light Out Now

Borghi Teager Shades of Bending LIght

Shades of Bending Light is Matt Borghi & Michael Teager‘s second studio recording and the follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Convocation. Recorded in one take without overdubs, Shades… shows the synthesized guitar and saxophone duo venturing deeper into their “jambient” style which brings together improvised ambient soundscapes from musical ideas created on the spot. Building upon the momentum and trajectory of Convocation and Awaken…, this album features more involved melodic and rhythmic interplay between Borghi & Teager. Fans of Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra, Vangellis’s Blade Runner soundtrack, Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow, and Tortoise will immediately recognize these influences on Shades of Bending Light.

Purchase digitally via iTunesAmazon, and eMusic, or physically via Kunaki or at live performances.

Critical Praise for Shades of Bending Light

“Combining the intellectual heft of Jazz and Ambient Music with the appeal of New Age/Contemporary Instrumental Borghi & Teager highlight a range of different tonal modes and musical moods… Their genre strives to lift our inner lives, and [they] are right up there among the best.” – From Chuck van Zyl at Star’s Endfull article here.

Borghi | Teager Fall 2014 Tour

We’re bringing the soundscapes back eastward this October! Come check us out if we’re in your area. Info and links below:

10.08.14 – Baltimore, MD – The Windup Space w. Jason Sloan, 9:00 PM

10.09.14 – Manhattan (Greenwich Village), NY – Cafe Nadery – Manhattan, 9:00 PM 

10.10.14 – Pre-Recorded Show for Live Constructions on WKCR, Columbia University Radio

10.10.14 – Brooklyn, NY – Goodbye Blue Monday, Time: TBA

10.11.14 – Princeton, NJ – Live performance on Music With Space on WPRB 103.3 FM, 12:00 AM (midnight) 

10.11.14 – Philadelphia, PA – The Gatherings Concert Series w. Jeff Pearce, 8:00 PM (info: http://www.thegatherings.org/104gather.html

10.12.14 – Philadelphia, PA – Live performance on Star’s End Radio on WXPN, 2:00 AM

Matt Borghi & Michael Teager‘s new live album Awaken the Electric Air: Live from Star’s End, October 20, 2013 is now available

air

Matt Borghi & Michael Teager‘s new live album Awaken the Electric Air: Live from Star’s End, October 20, 2013 is now available.

The music on this CD comprises live renditions of several selections from Convocation, as well as new compositions that include fresh performances by Teager on flute. Recoreded live at Philadelphia’s WXPN in the World Café Live studio and housed in packaging that’s comprised of original photography by Star’s End host and veteran electronic musician Chuck van Zyl. Our brief time in Philly was magical and welcoming; it’s satisfying that we were able to truly represent these special moments musically, and with the help of Echoes producer Jeff Towne the recordings are superb.

We’re proud of this performance and happy to make this available to the public. The album is available for purchase digitally via iTunesAmazon, and eMusic, or physically via Kunaki or at live performances. You can hear an excerpt of the recording below.

Matt Borghi – After Otherwise Out Now on Sweden’s Mareld Label

matt_borghi_after_otherwise

With everything that’s been going on with the musical endeavors of Michael Teager and myself I haven’t focused much on my solo work, but back in August I signed a deal with the Swedish label Sub.Stream and their subsidiary Mareld to release a new solo recording called After Otherwise.

After Otherwise is a very personal musical journey. It’s not the ambient music you might be used to from me, but rather it’s a downtempo release with songs, spoken poetry, vocals, something I haven’t done since Olagra, but more than it being a musical journey, it was a personal journey for me. This recording represents that the absolute pinnacle of my production and musical abilities. There are parts that are reminiscent of Pat Metheny’s Are You Going With Me, my delta blues influences crept in as I approached Own Way, and there’s also just a lot of straight-up funk that has a sort of Fila Brazillia vibe.

With all of the ambient-centric work that I’ve been doing with Teager and the prepping of the Star’s End release it was easy to loose track of the 4+ years I put into After Otherwise. I started and stopped After Otherwise at least a dozen times. Sometimes, I would just get to frustrating creative impasse and felt, because this work was so different than all of my other work, it was a waste of time. As an artist, constantly pushing the creative envelope and creative growth, it can be challenging. It can be doubly challenging when you feel like you need to pursue something, but there’s no precedent for the work that you’re trying to pursue. As Joseph Campbell says, “We create our precedents for our lives…” and in so doing, sometimes, you have to just jump in and keep at it.

With all of that said, I can say that when working on the recording, I was never anything totally inspired, as it was a project that refused to die. I kept getting sucked in and immersed in the project. I think that I probably recorded several dozen tracks, finally distilling it down to thirteen. This was also a great chance to record Michael Teager playing sax on a variety of tunes in less of ambient context, some of which you can hear in The Raven below.

I created all of the videos below to highlight the music, but also because I like editing video and putting it to music. Enjoy.