Interview: Alec Coiro
If you’re already familiar with Gossamer’s earlier work, Imperishable will certainly seem like part of a consistent artistic voice, but you will also notice the turn toward the ambient. It’s a very peaceful turn, a serious one, and also an optimistic one. The album is inspired by Gossamer’s meditation practice and his meditations on the afterlife. That this lead to the title Imperishable connotes the quiet optimism that — to quote Whitman — “All goes onward and outward…and nothing collapses, / And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” The listener experiences this optimism even if they are not aware of any of this backstory because the artist has fully realized the subtle potential of the ambient form.
What type of moods and emotions are you attempting to evoke with the tracks on Imperishable?
There was a lot of reflection on death, what happens thereafter, and how it relates to finding peace and acceptance in life.
Related to the question of emotion, I also wanted to ask about the ordering of the tracks on the album? The enumeration with roman numerals and more importantly the experience of listening all the way through suggests you have an emotional journey in mind for the listener. Is that the case, and if so how would you describe the journey?
It’s set it up as an episodic interpretation of a possible afterlife experience.
What can you tell us about your field recordings both in terms of your process of acquiring them and how you integrate them into your music?
I have a small handheld recorder that’s used for capturing things on the go and a Sound Devices 744t with an stereo mic for the higher res stuff. I’ll usually be out somewhere and hear something I like and that I feel could be of use. If it’s something small I’ll capture it right there with my small recorder. If i’m trying to get the whole space then i’ll come back with my bigger setup. Sometimes i’ll do things to make noise in the space (blank gun, cymbals, guitar amps), sometimes i’ll record it as it is, undisturbed. Then i’ll bring it home, clean it up, throw it into some old samplers I like to use or into my computer and start working on something.
I got into meditation, my relationship with silence and quietness changed, and my life changed because of this.
What did the collaboration with Sonny DiPerri consist of? How did you two come to collaborate?
I like to work with an engineer when finishing a record so everything can be mixed nice and translate well. Jamie from Innovative Leisure introduced us. Things ended up going well in the studio, he was a great second ear and helped me put together the right songs for the record.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but on your second album it feels like you’ve made a choice to go in a more ambient direction. Do you think that’s accurate? What were your intentions when you set out to create the new album?
Definitely. I didn’t really have a specific set of intentions for the album but more so for my life at the time. I got into meditation, my relationship with silence and quietness changed, and my life changed because of this. It’s another chapter in the book, where I’m at.