Neo-classical composer Jameson Nathan Jones returned with his latest album earlier in the month. ‘Static Deviations’ revolves around the audio concept of taking piano, cello and voice and then manipulating them with electronics and tape loop noises. The result is an album that feels warm, subtle and beautifully layered.
Opening track ‘As Of Old’ is a perfect example. A warm piano is played up close but is carefully distorted and reverberated like it’s in an ice cavern as soft synth pads and angelic vocals from Olivia Dunn float around it to provide bass and lightness. The juxtaposition of heavy depth and light air is a constant throughout and ‘Passacaglia’ encompasses the idea perfectly. It’s ambient drones play off the vocals and beautiful cello work from Alvaro Miranda Gamarra. Both Dunn and Gamarra play throughout the album are characters in each of the tracks. ‘Noir’ takes the drone elements from before and layers a cyberpunk electronica arpeggio over it giving it a dark city vibe. Noir indeed.
Not all tracks have a heavy drone to them. ‘Figment’ sees Jameson Nathan Jones tinkle the piano gently and wistfully over a white noise hiss of a tape recorder. ‘Whole’ opts for an uplifting piano motif that is balanced out by epic swishing percussive sounds and tightly compacted trickle noises. Slowly the cello seeps in for a truly cinematic and emotional experience. ‘A New Home’ then merges the two previous tracks into a moment of hope and uprising with some excellent string effects and airy piano production. It’s one of those tracks that sweeps your heart away. Interestingly, after several tracks that build up an overwhelming sense of wonder, ‘The Story So Far’ is the albums darkest and most abstract track. It consists of synths that are distorted into a formless bubble hiss and whilst there is a tune to it, it’s underlying tone is one of tension and schizophrenic ambience. That ambient looseness then converts to a more enlightening tone for ‘Time Will Wait For Me’ which closes out the album on a light and fluffy organ shimmer. The religious connotations are there but in the context of the album itself, it felt like I had reached a music state of clarity and the music wants to leave you feeling like you’ve found a path to move forward with.
Jameson Nathan Jones has created a beautiful album with ‘Static Deviations’. I love how there’s a simple set up but so much is done with the limited palette of instruments. It feels cohesive and runs a narrative throughout that I could apply my own story to the music. Recommended for all fans of modern composers.
Recommended track: As Of Old
If you like what I do, and would like to help me make better and more content then please consider supporting me via Patreon. Thank you.
If you have this release, you can comment with your own score below.