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Composer/Guitarist Joshua Stamper's Trademark Blur Between Classical-Jazz-Experimental Textures in Latest Album soma schema
(Published: October 07, 2022)

"It's the type of music where every note matters." - Greg Saunier (Deerhoof, Mystical Weapons)

NEW YORK, NY (For Immediate Release) - Straddling the jazz, classical, and experimental worlds, acclaimed Philadelphia composer/performer Joshua Stamper celebrates his 12th release as a leader: soma schema. Featuring his jazz-adjacent sextet color as time, soma schema is an opus of compositions and audio-collages inspired by Olivier Messiaen's time-stretching processes, chopped-and-screwed remix techniques, and the harmonic worlds of Bill Evans, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Wayne Shorter.

The music is imbued with love for the wild and mysterious "soma" of the physical world and the complex "schema" of higher-order patterns that give shape and structure to its movements. Reflecting a flirtatious dance between pattern and irregularity, the mathematic and the organic, and the cerebral and the visceral, Stamper's work elegantly inhabits contradictory planes at once. "Composition and improvisation are often described as discreet activities, but the boundary between them is actually extremely porous. It's often unclear where one begins and the other ends. For me, composing is like slow-motion improvising," explains Stamper. "The distinction between the two becomes hazy and the musical air becomes ionized. Things start to glow and spark."

This dance between intention and surprise has always been at the heart of Stamper's music, but the stakes were raised by a slew of technical difficulties in the initial recording sessions that left 100 gigabytes of unusable material in its wake. When the decision was finally made to re-record the pieces under more favorable conditions, the unworkable recordings were then chopped up, slowed down, sped-up, run backwards, pitch-shifted, reassembled in different combinations, set in new harmonic and rhythmic contexts, and repurposed to become recycled audio-collage vignettes. Peppered through the album, Stamper's new micro-compositions offer brief excursions into a parallel sonic universe.

soma schema marks the second album featuring his nimble ensemble color as time. Mike Cemprola, Paul Arbogast, Bethany Danel Brooks, Christopher McDonald and Matt Scarano-concert and session musicians boasting formidable improvisational prowess-travel through Stamper's scores as seasoned cartographers of the liminal and fertile spaces that exist between intersecting musical traditions. The collaboration is between friends on either side of the music stand, a collaboration marked by a deep regard for space, humor, and the bittersweet combination of poignancy and groove.

WXPN's John Vettese describes color as time as "wandering in a post-Radiohead deconstructed piano reverie", while Dusted Magazine describes Stamper's music as "a bit unsettling, but also intermittently beautiful, as emotive pop and austere experiment glance off one other, affect one another and communicate, without ever becoming the mush in the middle." According to producer Lushlife, "Stamper takes cues from prog-jazz, indie rock, and totalism in equal measure, but creates something entirely new, weird, and beautiful."

About Joshua Stamper
Joshua Stamper has been a restless composer and collaborator for over 30 years. His work reflects a deep interest in the intersection points between seemingly disparate musics, and a deep love for the intimacy, charm, and potency of chamber music. Equally at home in the jazz, classical, avant-garde, and indie/alternative worlds, his work ranges from large-scale choral and instrumental works to art-pop song cycles to chamber jazz suites. Joshua has worked as an orchestral arranger and session musician for Columbia / Sony BMG and Concord Records, and for independent labels Domino, Dead Oceans, Important Records, Sounds Familyre, Smalltown Supersound, and Mason Jar Music. Stamper worked extensively with Pulitzer-prize winning composer Lewis Spratlan and has collaborated with such luminaries as Sufjan Stevens, Danielson, Twin Sister, Robyn Hitchcock, Todd Rundgren, Lushlife, RJD2, Emil Nikolaisen of Serena Maneesh and David Hartley of Nightlands/The War On Drugs.

Joshua's work has been commissioned by the Deadalus Quartet, Mantra Percussion, and the Grammy-winning chamber choir, The Crossing. He is a MacDowell Composition Fellow, and is also the recipient of the Lincoln City Fellowship and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship. His work has been supported by the American Composers Forum, the Lilly Endowment, the Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter III Family Foundation, the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, the Eric Stokes Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. JoshuaStamper.com

soma schema
Composer: Joshua Stamper (b.1972)
Label: Adhyâropa Records
Release Date: October 10, 2022
TRT: 66:00

Works: 1. the elaborator 2. with (con) turning (verse) 3. webworkers 4. friction traction 5. synapse dispatch 6. close cover strike gently 7. latchstring 8. hover; face; water; flutter 9. eardrum thrum 10. the abbreviator 11. crater maker 12. telescopes (the smallest eye) 13. sotto voce 14. this light used to be a mountain 15. wonder is the clearer lens

Performers: Paul Arbogast (trombone), Bethany Brooks (piano, accordion, Rhodes, synths), Mike Cemprola (flute, alto flute, tenor saxophone, clarinet), Christopher McDonald (Rhodes, synths, piano), Matt Scarano (drums), and Joshua Stamper (guitar, double bass)

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More Information: https://joshuastamper.bandcamp.com/album/soma-schema

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