I’ve been experimenting with video for some upcoming live performances, as well as dabbling in the idea of slow tv (ala some of the work that NRK in Norway has done) for use with Smart TVs and other similar devices. I’ll be sharing and working on more of these, but thought I would share this one, as it’s also comprises an unreleased track that I did with drummer/percussionist, Will Jurkiewicz.
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… until it was: Winter Eyes.
Winter Eyes, 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’ve called it ‘psych folk’, but now I call it droneFolk. 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 (too precious) 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 try to breathe new life into the work that I created with Olagra and rekindle the DroneFolk work that I started crafting years ago and try to make it part of my broader “Matt Borghi” catalog, I’ve taken some great acoustic rock and folk tunes and added guitar drones to them as I try to ‘re-imagine’ how this classic period of music might have sounded with more prevalent drones within them. I’m pretty pleased with the mix. I hope you are, too…
DroneFolk Sampler Playlist
Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
If I Were a Carpenter – Bobby Darin
It Don’t Matter To Me – Bread
Taxi – Harry Chapin
Burned Down – Matt Borghi
Early Morning Rain – Ian and Sylvia
The Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
Deep Side of Tomorrow – Matt Borghi
Fire and Rain – James Taylor
If – Bread
If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot
Old Man – Neil Young
Summer Wages – JD Crowe and the New South
Will Be Tomorrow – Matt Borghi
Baby I’m a Want You – Bread
Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright – Bob Dylan
Heart of Gold – Neil Young
Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell
Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) – Don McLean
Here’s my write-up on the program, a bit on the track selections and the track list:
I was very pleased when Dave invited me to submit a guest mix to the Low Light Mixes. Dave’s mixes are as diverse as they are interesting and they’re always chill with good vibes. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I might contribute that could hang with so many great mixes. I have a certain thing I do with the Ambient Soundbath Podcast, but the Low Light Mixes are more all-encompassing.
After a couple months of deliberation, I decided that I would feature the work of my favorite composer, Harold Budd and newcomer, Durango Budd. Harold Budd’s fantastic catalog of work very much informs the work of Durango Budd (https://durangobudd.bandcamp.com), and both of these artists have the piano at the center of most of their creative pursuits. Harold Budd has a well-publicized and longstanding love/hate relationship with the piano, yet he manages to coax such beautiful music out of a wood box filled with felt-tipped hammers and strings. Durango Budd, similarly, takes the same instrument and through experimentation and synthesis manages to coax out equally beautiful, distressed tones that evoke melancholic nostalgia (as Mike Carss, the artist known as Altus, put it – https://www.altusmusic.ca/).
Track list for program:
00:00 – 06:00 – The Child with a Lion – Harold Budd – The White Arcades