“All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music”—Walter Pater

Often in my studio, I’ll stop painting and listen to the experimental thrums, chords and picks my partner Chase McBride makes as he writes music. He exists in a state of play when he works, which, as a painter, makes me curious about the process behind the art of music.

Photo by  Margaret Austin  in our San Francisco studio.

Photo by Margaret Austin in our San Francisco studio.

Watching Chase work makes me feel like I'm privy to another artist’s private world. He sketches with sound by strumming a few chords, finding something right, recording and repeating. Recording and replaying is like flipping through a sketchbook and picking up where you left off before you finalize a composition. I admire his practice. But perhaps what I admire most is the relationship between his singing apparatus and the instrument—both constantly adapt to complement the other. I imagine it's like he's testing colors on a pallet as he reaches high and low pitch with his voice/guitar.

Observing another artist, working in another form, has encouraged my appreciation for humanity’s most abstract art form: music. Music embodies emotional states, symmetry and repetition—all intangible concepts capable of evoking powerful emotions. So, as Chase prepares to release his second independently-produced album, I’m exploring the art of music intentionally. I’m wanting to know who actually wrote the songs I’m listening to—and if the real artists are credited, or a big corporation was involved. I’m trying to be purposeful in how I find music and what music I’m sharing with others. Just like with any artist’s practice, transparency begets authenticity.

Chase's new album is out today. You can listen to it here and purchase a vinyl record, here

Chase’s new album is called “Green Shade”, named after a paint tube I used during our sabbatical in London this past winter. He told me he was drawn to that title because he likes the idea of looking through another lens. This album is a reflection of how we relive memories through heavy filters. Read more about it in this great article on EarMilk.

Following the release of the new album today, you can also join us at Amnesia on Sunday February 11th for the release show. RSVP here on Facebook. Listen to it here and purchase a vinyl record, here


Video by Claudia RochaWritten by Heather Day, edited by Kate Holthouser.