Nicolas Jaar has released a new LP called Cenizas, out today March 27, 2020. He teased the release with a full livestream of the release as well as a write-up on what he was feeling and experiencing as he wrote this music, which is a thrilling peek into the producer’s brain.
SHARDS…SOME THOUGHTS ON CENIZAS
Posted on Thu, 26 Mar 2020
I want to share some thoughts about Cenizas before its release tomorrow.
The music comes from a desire to feel everything — a few years ago, I stopped drinking alcohol, smoking, consuming caffeine, eating animals, etc., and, for a period of time, I also quarantined myself alone somewhere on the other side of the world to be able to work on music for months on end. I didn’t want to keep feeding the system. Its hunger, its past. I didn’t want to work from ambition. Where I would work to impress first, and love second. I wanted presence first. Love first. I thought that if I had this privilege and this luck, to be able to talk to people through sound, then I better work on myself &get rid of negative shards within me. I didn’t want to unwittingly throw them back into the world.
Of course, this didn’t happen. (Sorry..!) The more I tried to get away from negativity, the more it kept piling up in a dark room, but as shards of sound. A lot of these shards can be heard in the last Against All Logic album, and countless things you’ll never hear (thank goodness!). It made no sense to me that the more I tried to escape negativity, the more it could surface in the creative process. But the shards kept piling up and I had to accept the fact that the darkness that I was trying to get away from would always rear its head. Regardless of what I abstained from. And even more so when trying to orient myself towards the positive. Hopefully Cenizas only shows darkness so as to show a path out of it. I want this music to heal and help in thinking through difficult questions about one’s self, and one’s relationship to the state of things. We are living in a time of complete transformation, a metamorphosis— and the transformations are happening within as well. There is potential for great healing and great destruction.
In a way, the music goes ‘both directions at once’, to quote the John Coltrane record.
Speaking of Coltrane, his record Crescent was a guiding light and reference in the beginning of this new period. What is so special about Crescent is that it is quietly filled with the spirit of metamorphosis. Crescent is wet and dry at the same time: it’s in the middle of a phase transition. It is transcendent in its subtlety — in its humility. This is the feeling I aspire to the most — it is the work that inspires me the most. It doesn’t shout from the top of a mountain or wallow in its subjectivity. It doesn’t rely on anything but a humble faith in melody, rhythm and freedom.
Freedom. Faith in freedom. Personal freedom and freedom for others. I cannot be free if my sister, my brother, my neighbor, and my mother is not free. Politics is the spiritual manifestation of society. It is the juggling of freedoms. So is music. We are what we listen to, who we listen to and who we listen with.
}. }. }. with love,, nico