Opening work “Anew”—co-written with composer/vocalist Hanna Benn (Son Lux, BOOTS)—pairs triumphant vocal fanfare with darkly visceral industrial rhythms, while title track “Until My Last” presents a furiously urgent piano performance (played by Munson himself) in counterpoint with a bed of processed music box tones. “Where Light Escapes You,” the shortest of the three works, acts as something of a palette cleanser in the middle of the album, filtering the delicate percussion work of Alex Wierthrough Munson’s kaleidoscopic electronics.
About the album, Munson writes, “This collection of works selects from material over a three year span, so there is an inherent evolution of style and technique. I hear strong similarities in both form and intent although each maintains a very different character. Commonalities in form have mainly to do with process. My background in free improvisation often sets the framework for a piece. At least initially. The intention with these works was to further graft my history playing popular and experimental music to formal musical training in a way that is more honest and personal.”
Munson continues, “A visual analogy for this album that makes sense to me is rather topographical. It’s as if you are starting at the bottom entrance of a heavily wooded mountain trail. Here, the landscape is intricate but formless as you focus on what is right in front of you. This perception only strengthens as the environment becomes denser, until you reach a clearing at the end. At that point there is a feeling of arrival. You can sense the clarity and connection of everything that surrounds you.”
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All works on Until My Last were written by Jordan Munson with the exception of “Anew” which was co-written with Hanna Benn. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by engineer Doug Bielmeier in Indianapolis, IN. Featured performers include vocalists Hanna Benn and Abby Gardner (Anew), violinist Robin Cox (Anew), and percussionist Alex Wier (Where Light Escapes You). Text in “Anew” derives from the poem “Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil” (1918) by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
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