A story about musical vision

Recently, I had a band. My first band in years. A band I assembled mid-pandemic; no small feat. It lasted for about two months, mostly because I’m not a great band member and lack the ability to compromise where vision is concerned. Some, who are inspired by leadership books, might think this is admirable. Some others, who aren’t, might just think that I’m challenging (to put it nicely) to work with. I’ve been around long enough now to know who I am and I’m not above change, but when it comes to musical vision, I have a stubborn and uncompromising streak that’s very unZen and frequently has me getting in my own way. We live, we learn, we evolve. That’s the journey.

In an effort to communicate that musical vision, I drafted the story/note below. It’s not impertinent to my musical journey, so I thought I’d share it here:

Several years ago, when several of my longtime collaborators relocated, geographically or temporally, I started looking for other musical likeminds. My interests could be jazz, rock, jam bands, country, folk, what have you, but at the core was group improvisation. 

I stumbled upon this art quite by chance when I was sixteen. I was hit with a sudden moment of deep and profound awareness. I remember it very clearly: A dark and dingy basement. A gang of lackluster, wannabe, punk musicians trying to make art, trying to begin a journey of musical exploration by going in any direction, knowing only that the call was real and palpable, but otherwise clueless as to how to proceed. 

We were trash, mostly from broken homes. A couple us played in school band, but mostly we knew nothing about assembling a band, making music as a group or even making a go of such a thing. While we were trying to be punk, thinking that that was a skill level we could meet, we all loved and bonded over Pink Floyd. One night we decided to try and do “a Pink Floyd kind of song” – Whatever the hell that meant. We had no real effects, just a bass, drums, two guitar situation, so we got to it. It started with some cymbal washes and I played a droney bass guitar line. The guitar players tried a two guitar harmony thing. Neither of them knew their scales so after a series of wrong notes that didn’t help the vibe, they telepathically and mutually agreed to stick with the couple notes that they had learned through real-time trial and error and were in key. We jammed on this vibe for about forty minutes – We were stone cold sober as a deep harmony and resonance took us over. What we lacked in technique we made up for telepathically, each player knowing where the other player was going to go; playing, blending, truly in concert until we were musically one. Our connection to the music, the moment and each other was deep and palpable. After the jam, nobody spoke, nobody made eye contact, we just looked at the ground in awe. Silent. A couple of us lit up cigarettes and just let the vibe sink in. Finally, somebody made a joke to ease the awkwardness of such a vulnerable experience. We laughed, but shit had changed; we had just taken a ride on some celestial plane. 

For me, music would never be the same; it became a readily-accessible, substance-free, vehicle for transcendence and for thirty years, my life since that point, I’ve been driven by the pursuit of solo and group musical improvisation.  

Sunset Crest Out Now on Valley View Records

Matt Borghi Ambient Guitar
Hey Friends,

I’ve got a new full length recording out: Sunset Crest. Links to Bandcamp and most major services here: https://valley-view-records.fanlink.to/Sunset_Crest/

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been releasing a lot of longform works on Bandcamp and mostly “singles” on the streaming services, all of this due to the nature of how folks listen to music on these services. This varied approach to releasing music sometimes makes my head spin, but I want to try and put the music in the best possible situation to be heard, otherwise, what’s the point.

This is what makes Sunset Crest different and interesting – Sunset Crest is probably the first full-length recording of individual, shorter tracks, I’ve released in over a year and there aren’t any other full-lengths like this in the works. In fact, I would say, that Sunset Crest is, in many ways, the follow-up to Music for Meditation and Sleep – Short Forms, Vol. 1. I’ve had to stop using terms like “meditation” and “sleep” in my titles due to keywording guidelines (read: censorship), which is pretty lame, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Additionally, Valley View Records out of Australia is doing an amazing job with the sonics (mastering), artwork, promotion and the release of my work, so check out the latest, Sunset Crest: mattborghi.bandcamp.com/album/sunset-crest


Navi Motion Out Now on Valley View Records

It’s been a while since I’ve sent an email, but I wanted to let you know about my new release, Navi Motion – mattborghi.bandcamp.com/album/navi-motion

This is the first in, what I hope, is a long and fruitful relationship with Valley View Records and Matthew Tondut. Matthew did an amazing job shepherding this release, sequencing and generally presenting a vision for the work. Benjamin Lincoln at Middle Mastering really equalized the sounds and made the collection sound great. And Clayton Popa’s excellent artwork brought the whole thing together, adding a visual that really emphasized The Expanse, Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey state of mind I was in when I created Navi Motion.

You can listen to the music here:

Apple Music

The Road Less Travelled

As was started over a year ago with the release of Consciousness of Light and I continued to work on through the early pandemic lockdown, it’s all about the songs and songwriting. I’ve released a few things in that time, a new series called Dronearium (1 and 2 are out now) of mostly long-from atmospheric soundscapes – I have about ten of these that are mostly finished that I’ve worked on over the last year, as well as releasing a recording that Michael Teager and I had worked on for quite some time, Subterranean Bearings.

Through it all, through all of this crazy 2020, the songs have been a touchstone. I constantly come back to the songs. I’ve tried to create a follow-up to Ambient Guitar not less than 40 times and I have dozens of guitar-centric ambient tracks. The smart money is on an Ambient Guitar follow-up, which folks have loved and has given me no shortage of good energy inspiration, but the inspiration continues to move to the songs – Back to basics.

I’m particularly proud of this May YouTube performance, where I brought together the songs with ambient guitar in a live performance setting:

I feel like this is the future, right now, but usually no sooner than I’ve said it, the muse takes me down some other creative rabbit hole.

For the better part of this year and last, I’ve been working on a recording I’ve been calling “Within/Without” but then I found another record with that name, so now I don’t know what I’m calling it. This record is song-centric. It could be summed as songs with ambient drones and textures, like Olagra, like Consciousness of Light, but, presently, there’s only one instrumental track.

It’s been with no shortage of self-consciousness, which is likely why it’s taken me 15 years and more start/stops that I can recall, to make the songs the focal point. I’ve loved my exploration of sound and textures and raw, unbridled creativity, but I’ve also felt, at times, emotionally absent from those recordings, perhaps its the lack of ego in that music and perhaps it’s a good thing. Perhaps the songs are the ego’s way of pulling me into myself rather than focusing on a music that’s beyond myself and not about me. That’s plausible, but I have to take the journey. No shortcuts.

So, yeah, that’s where things are. I’m writing songs. I’m singing songs. I’ve called it ambient folk, drone folk and dreamt up many more marketing categories to try and relay, in a few words, what I’m trying to achieve. It just doesn’t work that way.

I hope you’ll stay with me, but I understand that, as a friend once told me as a punchline to a joke: “I’m not interested in growing with you as an artist; just play the hits.”

Matt Borghi – Ambient Guitar – NEW RELEASE


Ambient Guitar is Matt Borghi’s first solo recording capturing the style of performance that he’s usually only done with saxophonist, Michael Teager, as part of their Borghi | Teager duo. With Ambient Guitar, Matt Borghi’s influences are on full display, from a resonant acknowledgement of Brian Eno, in the manner of production and texture to melodic elements that fuse in Harold Budd, Robert Fripp and the late Jerry Garcia that’s particularly reminiscent of his work on the Zabriskie Point soundtrack.

Matt Borghi’s Ambient Guitar is a texturally rich, unassuming and restrained recording that highlights Matt Borghi at his musical best.

Ambient Guitar is available in a variety of formats at the links below, including: