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TRANCEPORTATION liner notes by Sid Smith

The tidal effect which music has had upon our lives has always been a thing of wonder and profound mystery.

A musicologist might demonstrate the mechanics of a piece, its method of construction, the subtle details within the sonic architecture and so on.

A scientist might point to areas of the brain and describe the detailed interactions of enzymes and electrical impulses that leap from one lobe to another.

But our relationship to music and our reactions to it is something far deeper, something that goes beyond the certainties of academic or scientific study.

Neither of those learned explanations truly capture the transcendent moment when music lifts us from our everyday surroundings to take us on a journey.

The details of that most intimate travelogue into the interior is unique. Your journey will not be like anyone else's journey.

When I hear the music of Sonar and David Torn I hear harmonics that glitter and twinkle like distant constellations across incalculable distance.

I hear what begins with a simple call and response blossom into an excited, articulate conversation.

I hear the parts of a puzzle converging, arriving at the point of unlocking and at that moment new openings emerging.

I hear notes and rhythm exchange one state of being for another, an alchemical transformation moving from illusion to pin-sharp reality.

I hear a race among equals yet constantly vying for position; inching ahead, falling back behind to come around again forming a perfectly balanced mechanism.

I hear an unexpected smokey blues rise towards a red sky, the roar made from raw malleable experience that bends and sways and is fanned away on invisible, irresistible currents.

I hear something that's simultaneously exactingly precise while being incredibly impassioned.

In a beat or on the drift of cavernous reverberation, I'm drawn out of myself to somewhere else entirely by the synergy between the bass and drums, the connectivity surging across the guitars.

It's a paradoxical landscape where solitude and kinship co-exist.

That's my journey.
Your mileage will vary.

The journey that Sonar and David Torn embarked upon since 2018's Vortex has been an exhilarating experience - for them as well as us. Initially brought in as producer, such was Torn's enthusiasm for the quartet's music he couldn't help but add his flowing brand of effusive, vivid soloing and textural layering across the breadth of a record originally conceived for a quartet. For their second venture, the music for this album has been specifically composed with Torn in mind from the very beginning. Having started at the same place together, the results are nothing short of astonishing.

As Sonar's Stephan Thelen rightly observes, music's ability to alter one's mood, to change us and the way in which we perceive the world around us, is at the core of the ineffable bond between musicians and listeners. "More than once my life has totally changed because of a piece of music. It's amazing just thinking about that. I mean it's just notes and sounds and rhythms but they can have such an emotional effect on you that can really open up a new world. That's what I really find amazing."

Amazing indeed.

They say travel broadens the mind.
Your Tranceportation awaits.

Sid Smith
September 2019
Find out more @thesidsmith