Tapestries for Seasons

Nathan Speir

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Tapestries for Seasons is a gallery of progressive ambient chamber and electronic soundscapes fit for seasons of mind, of day, of the year. This is Nathan Speir's 20th solo artist album.

Included are several extended tracks over 10 minutes in length encompassing a variety of tempo and mood. The album began in June 2023 with 8 improvised piano

Tapestries for Seasons is a gallery of progressive ambient chamber and electronic soundscapes fit for seasons of mind, of day, of the year. This is Nathan Speir's 20th solo artist album.

Included are several extended tracks over 10 minutes in length encompassing a variety of tempo and mood. The album began in June 2023 with 8 improvised piano sketches that became the basis for each track in this album...all but one (Mysterious Garden Crew) which ended up with zero piano and is now purely electronic in textures. Tapestries was an early key word for exploration and development in this project. Tapestries was a theme I explored in the music from the woven images of old, hung for display and admiration; likewise, I considered an abstract concept that nature and mindsets are tapestries that we hang around our mind from dawn to dusk of our conscious day. So the fruit of that study over the summer was a small collection of musical tapestries woven for your any season that suits your ears.

Performed, recorded and mixed by Nathan Speir. Mastered by Robert Rich. Instruments: piano, acoustic guitars, oud, duduk, Native American flute, frame drums, electric bass, electric drums, DSI synths, rainstick, bells, cello, ney

Additional album notes:

All Spice Brew

All Spice Brew was created as a tone poem...and it almost remained exactly that if it was not for a little more prominence of melody that made its way into the final composition. The setting is evening before the fire accompanied by perhaps ones own choice beverage for edification in the moment. Perhaps late Fall is the season of year that comes to mind here. A piano medley is played simultaneously forward and reverse as a small phrase from the duduk sets a haunting and mystic tone to this long form piece. An oud slowly makes it’s way into the foreground with a slowly evolving medley of its own. Ringing chimes and gong echoes in the background. The rumble of bass overtones almost becomes a distraction at points...much like the overtones of society always trying to distract us. Nonetheless, its a woven abstract for contemplation and slower thought. Its the first of eight piano sketches that was recorded for this album.

Somewhere is Spring

Arguably the most ambient in tracks, Somewhere is Spring is a nostalgic and relaxation track for anyone wanting that quiet and happy place outside...in the spring season. There are field recordings of creek and forest from my own property in Virginia that were recorded in April2023. As I began mixing in the tracks for this piece, I thought of the passing moment of that field recording...a captured memory of sound. I realized it would be winter by the time I was going to be releasing this song, and I took a moment to sympathize with those who endure too much cold, snow, and ice both externally and internally. This piece is for the moment you can remember that life can get better, and somewhere, hopefully, it already is.

Ice and Fire

One of the most vague piano sketches I made left space for me to create one of the most dramatic and passionate pieces that I have made yet. Dual acoustic guitars speak and flirt with each other over the backdrop of tribal percussion and bass drums. You get a sense of seriousness, emotion, and passion. It’s of story of ice and fire...the struggle for temperance, balance...and love. It is a universal struggle...its life...its beautiful. Flute makes its appearance towards the second half of the piece as a final narrative to highlight the royal path...a road less traveled. The ice and fire continue all around, but the rhythm of a worthy traveler finds beauty in it all...

Reindeer Fly

Sleigh bells, an almost pop sounding acoustic guitar riff, and a driving piano and bass rhythm...this really is a change in pace from the first three songs of the album. So if this interrupts your grove from the last three songs..my apologies. A ney (flute) made of bamboo provides more narrative after the tempo gets set in the intro. It’s like you just took off in flight and now you can look out at the scenery. Everything at once yet it is water off a duck’s back...because sometimes when the ice breaks below me...I know its time to make like reindeer and ‘bleeping’ fly! Have you ever seen reindeer jump? It really can look like they are flying sometimes. Reindeer remind me of winter, of the Christmas season, and a nostalgic image of lore that has become an almost repugnant commercial for the capitalist. Nonetheless, this title is not really about Santa Clas...it’s about the mystic flight into the night and the romantic possibilities that hope brings.

Hall of Many Doors

This song is like an ambient chamber ballad. The waltzing piano sets the mode for that right away and then some processed electro-acoustic guitars start to fill in the mood. A distant gong rings every so often between some moody electronic drums that a play. Maybe more noteworthy is the background vocals I sung myself to give a final depth and texture I needed to create a surreal piece across afield or hall of many doors. This is the only track in this album featuring any solo cello from my studio .Many doors, many options, many choices befall me sometimes. Memories, anticipation, desire...all make metaphorical hallway with many doors to choose from...and maybe the hallway opens to afield and eventually the doors subside...or maybe you finally open a door to see where it goes...or maybe you finally decide to close a door you struggled to close for along time now.

Aqua Reef

A soft and tender note from a hand-pan starts of this primarily electronic piece. With the exception of my piano and string sections in the background, the rest of the textures are performed with my synthesizers. The piano and hand-pan take you into an underwater dive towards a coral reef, and the synthesizers paint the ebb and flow of aquatic life there. There is a progression of motives and themes, and I really don’t let you stay looking at any one thing for too long on this tropical excursion. For a brief time in college I enjoyed some freediving and aquatic explorations, they were reminiscent of times i would swim in abandoned rock quarries as a kid. Now, they are all memories...and the memories sometimes go so deep I sometimes touch a new spot in my subconscious sea when I go back to visit some of those moments spent in the ocean. There is always more to us then we know...if we are willing to take a dive inside and discover what’s there.

Mysterious Garden Crew

Whatever ideas I originally had done with piano...went out the basement door. This is a purely electronic recording with synthesizers played by hand one at a time over each other. In the summer, I enjoy watching things grow, and so do my children. I stay so busy with my day job and parenting that I really let the kids have fun doing a garden while I just support and watch the best I can. It still doesn’t mean that I can’t take the time to help a little and stop and smell the flowers...or watch the bugs...that mysterious garden crew of creeping and flying things that have more business in that little space then I ever will. You might feel like you stepped of a short commute with ET to his village...or you might put yourself in one of those little creatures perspective for a moment that’s living in your own little garden. Tend your garden well...I can only hope they are on our side.

Ready to Fly Again

I am a huge fan of Michael Hedges. I can only dream of playing guitar like him, but, ironically, I think the more I listen to him, the more I get the courage to find out what it could be like to play guitar like me ;-)This song is about the moments I feel rejuvenated or inspired. Sometimes they do not come tome until I have passed through some of my own ice and fire. However, the open hammered strings on the guitar touched with reverb...is one of the best textures I could summon up the feeling, a captured glimpse of the joy that comes for those who persevere. I hope the song is motivational and leaves people in a positive mood after they listen to it. Sometimes, if we are tending our garden right, we all just need a little motivation, a little inspiration, and we are ready to spread our wings again. From moment to moment, day to day, year to year, from this life to the next...I hope you soar

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