Featured artist this week on The Jazz Network Worldwide: Colin Whitby - creator of culturally diverse ‘hybrid’ music, releases his new CD “Synchronicity”
The title of the album Synchronicity is an indirect, playful reference to the ‘unexpected’ meeting of diverse genres and instrumentation encountered in each of the seven tracks, and specifically to their potential use for sync in film projects and more.
Colin Whitby has worked in various capacities in the creative industries including film production and has been working with audio production and music creation software for close to eighteen years, culminating in the creation of his distinct ‘hybrid’ compositions. Apart from pure listening pleasure, these seven tracks were created with “music sync” in mind with a wide variety of musical influences, from Classical to Jazz, Funk, Dub, Industrial, traditional Ethnic, Ambient and Experimental/Systems music. Psychology also plays a part and creatively, the work of Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung is an important inspiration to Whitby, who is also a visual artist. Whitby does not restrict his musical choices by following a strict concept; rather he finds himself naturally inclined to a non-hierarchic eclectic field of musical directions. His nuanced ‘hybrid’ compositions are informed by a musicological interest as well as passion and flair for music composition.
But while he is creatively multivalent, music has been a mainstay, with the trumpet being his traditional instrument. There were influential periods of experimenting with recording incidental sounds of the city, and in nature, that had earlier fed ideas of music concrete, now discernible in such tracks as Off the Rails. Percussion has been the natural medium, using a full drum kit, between periods of painting and object-making, in his East London studio.
The hybrid genres of the seven tracks are like distillations or ‘time capsules’ of “world” music. And, is it coincidence or not that Whitby hails from the historical port city of Liverpool, England? Centuries ago, English seafarers would have reached the ancient ports of the Nusantara, now modern day Southeast Asia, where Whitby currently resides. All seems to be rather in “sync”, in that meaning has come about via unforeseen connections!
“The seven tracks were created with “music sync” in mind. The title of the album Synchronicity is a play on the word “sync” as in potential synchronization with film projects and other media. It also kind of refers to the ‘unexpected’ meeting or surprising co-existence, if you like, of disparate and diverse genres and instrumentation in a ‘shared space’. I wanted to create nuances, shifting grounds, unexpected juxtapositions that keep the listener guessing. Each track came about naturally from personal experiences and choices made from a wide field of musical interests I had developed over the years. The end result, the album as a whole, I think is a landscape of diverse sounds, a kind of confluence of styles and genres. Each track is a small ‘window’ onto a ‘soundscape’ coming out of a disparate range of instruments. They variously refer to the timeless classical past and contemporary eras of the West, to tribal/ethnic chants, to tonal shapes and structures that point to the more ‘futuristic’ allusions of minimalist Systems Music. Each track holds subliminal ‘cinematic memories’ or ‘themes’ inspired by film moments, perhaps continuing in the tradition of “Music for Films” (Eno) and “Pictures in an Exhibition” (Mussorgsky).” ~ Colin Whitby