Chrysalis

Lewis Banks—saxophone

Plunged into an endless period of uncertainty from the first COVID-19 lockdown, I found myself unsure of what to do musically. With no possibilities to play with other musicians, things looked bleak.

However, it did give me a lot of time to think. Meandering thoughts can prove to be very productive, and one day while staring into space and listening to the music of Stuart McCallum, I became aware of how his music made me feel: a mix of emotions that was hard to pin down. I did some research and learned that I was experiencing an ‘aesthetic emotion’: a multi-dimensional emotion, gently undulating in its own unique way. I later realised that the musicians and composers I like the most write music with these characteristics too: multi-layered, unclassifiable and honest. The three composers featured in this recording represent this beautifully.

This period of time has been interesting for me developmentally. Despite the tragedy of COVID-19 and its ongoing effects on society, it afforded me time to create this programme, which combines the music of three distinct musicians into one performance, linked not by genre but by artistic honesty. Creating this project has helped me start on a new path as a musician, and the title Chrysalis (a transitional state) only recently emerged as a fitting one. I hope you enjoy the results.

—Lewis (November 2021)

Track listing

PLAYLIST: Chrysalis
  • 5 tracks
  • 41m13s
01:23
1
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2
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3
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4
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5
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Credits & Additional Notes

Recorded at Red Stereo, Kilmaurs, Scotland, 20–21 September and 1 October 2021

Producer & recording engineer: Douglas Whates

Instrumental backings and soundscapes recorded by the respective composers.

Personnel on ‘The Distance of Time’: Stuart McCallum (guitar, bass, and sequencing), Iain Dixon (woodwinds), Richard Iles (flugelhorn), Amika (string quartet).

Artwork: Douglas Whates

Thanks to: Electra, Graham, and Stuart for their incredible music and permission to record their work; Richard, Stuart, Iain, and Amika quartet for their beautiful performances; Douglas for his brilliant work producing this album; Creative Scotland for funding this project and continued support; musical mentors and teachers Andy, Carole, Joe, John, and Arno; Mum, Dad, Adam, Vanessa, and Rachael for their unwavering love and support.

This recording was supported by Creative Scotland. ‘A Journey Between Islands’ and ‘The Distance of Time’ are world premiere recordings of works commissioned by Lewis Banks, with funding from Creative Scotland.