released June 3, 2022 (VIEW ON BANDCAMP)
Chase Chandler, music composition & production
James Alexander, cello
Jai Mitchell, cover art & inspiration
“Soul Portrait” is an eclectic, multi-genre album exploring a modern, electro-acoustic sound world deeply inspired by the expressive artwork of Jai Mitchell and “The Reckoning” book series by Jeffrey Pierce. Through the 26 tracks on this album, varying experimental timbres, contrasting instrumentation, and synth textures lead the ear into a uniquely organic musical conversation between the composer and the artist.
Jai Mitchell has been a huge inspiration for the work in the album. I improvised nearly every track’s initial structure and harmonic material while viewing his artwork from The Reckoning series.
The cellist, James Alexander, collaborated with me on “The Road” and provided much of the content through his improvisations with me and the graphic score I drew. Our two main takes were so captivating that I decided to split them up into “The First Road” and “The Second Road,” and even decided to recycle some of the rehearsal recordings by fashioning the track “Axe in the Red” with some particularly unique electro-acoustic sounds.
I used many instrumental colors to keep the ear guessing including orchestral tracks, trumpet duets, harmonious vocal interludes, jazz-inspired improvisations, world-inspired beats, chaotic synthesizers, and dramatic tempo-shifting epic drums. Really all styles I’ve come across in my life are combined into this fusion album and I believe everyone will find at least one track that will provide an eccentric and compelling experience.
This album has helped me through a difficult part of my life. So each track holds a special place in my heart, such as “Caitlin Consumed,” for example, which was not only influenced by Jai’s painting but also by the evolving war between Ukraine and Russia.
*** If you’re wondering why track #21 is entitled, “Debussy Thanks The Rain,” the pitch and rhythmic material were actually written by Debussy. I took the MIDI information from the sixth movement of his piano duo suite: Six Épigraphes antiques – VI. Pour remercier la pluie au matin (which translates to “To thank the rain in the morning“). I arranged it for various electronic sounds and added a few rhythmic elements for an odd, yet intriguing combination. It was originally written in 1914, around the start of WWI which is the same time period the book series, “The Reckoning,” takes place. ***
I hope you enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed composing, improvising, and producing for it. A big thank you to Jai Mitchell for providing such breath-taking artworks and inspiring me to explore my own inner expression. Thank you so much to my friend and colleague, James Alexander, for taking an experimental journey with me. It was an amazing experience to improvise those tracks with you across the country, over the internet, during the weeks we worked together.
Thank you everyone for your support!
*Portions of this album’s sales will go toward helping support Jai and James in their own artistic endeavors.
Music copyright © Chase Chandler 2022
Album cover art copyright © Jai Mitchell 2022.
UPC: 198003 490963