NOW AVAILABLE: Daniel Wohl's "Holographic"


Daniel Wohl's

commissioned by Liquid Music (of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra), MASS MoCA, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Indianapolis Museum of Art

co-produced with Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost), and featuring contributions from Lucky Dragons, Olga Bell, Caroline Shaw (Roomful of Teeth), Bang on Can All-Stars, Mantra Percussion, Mivos Quartet and Iktus Percussion

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New Amsterdam Records is excited to announce the release of Daniel Wohl's highly-anticipated sophomore album Holographic, available everywhere today. The album was co-produced with Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost) and features contributions from Lucky Dragons, Olga Bell, Caroline Shaw (Roomful of Teeth), Bang on Can All-Stars, Mantra Percussion, Mivos Quartet and Iktus Percussion. In a groundbreaking new model,Holographic was commissioned by pioneering organizations Liquid Music (of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra), MASS MoCA, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Indianapolis Museum of Art. Watch the video trailer and listen to a track from the album here.

The album has already received praise from multiple press outlets, including two features from NPR Music, which praised Wohl as "an innovative supplier of colorful sounds applied with a painter's touch" who provides "an arresting space where electronics and acoustic instruments commingle with cinematic vibrancy." In addition, Holographic was called a "complete listening experience" by The Big City Blog, and has been commended for its "gorgeously perplexing soundscapes" by The Boston Globe and "rich...ethereal music" by Time Out New York.

Acclaimed as one of the young artists “shaping our contemporary music scene and defining what it means to be a composer in the 21st century" (NPR), Wohl creates a remarkable hybrid of music that is part mechanical and part organic. Instead of exploring the gap between his classical composition background and his collaborations within the ever-evolving electronic music scene, Wohl strives to close it.

"Holographic is about exploring different worlds–improbable combinations of sounds–hidden and imaginary sonic landscapes both acoustic and electronic," explained Wohl, "By processing or re-sampling more traditional instruments like strings, percussion, or the human voice, I wanted to create music that has a strong link to the past while at the same time being rooted in what I listen to on a daily basis. I was hoping to retain the warmth and inconsistencies of human playing while interfacing with the technologies that are available to all of us."

On Holographic, Wohl pushes his varied sound sources to their limits, and it can be difficult to distinguish between the electronic and the acoustic. Indeed, the first sound heard onHolographic is a deep static drone, which sounds as if it might have been created by a modular synth, but in fact, was captured by placing a microphone on a resonating snare drum. From this murky, warm texture, Wohl creates a percussive exploration that ends with bursts of arpeggios in the vibraphones (tracks 1 and 2:  "Replicate, Part 1" and "Replicate, Part 2").

Similarly, "Pixel" (track 6) investigates the sound that results from the unconventional playing of an instrument: this time a glockenspiel (as heard in the opening). Toy pianos, piano, and percussion collide with Wohl's noisy electronics to create a joyful clatter. On "Formless" (track 3), Wohl uses the strings of the Mivos Quartet to create a weightless texture that is perfectly complemented by dark, pulsating electronics.

The title composition on the album (track 5, "Holographic") stuns with its combination of propulsive rhythms and densely layered melodies.  The instrumentalists of the Bang on a Can All-Stars are merged completely with Wohl's interleaving samples of vocals, bubbling water, and decaying electronics.  

Track 7 ("Source") is a gorgeous piece (featuring vocal contributions from composers Olga Bell and Caroline Shaw) that sets a new standard for how vocals and electronics can work together in music. In Progression (track 8) Mivos Quartet and Mantra Percussion are locked into intricate polyrhythmic interplay with a prepared piano - harmonies get progressively darker over the course of the 7 minute piece. Meanwhile, album closer "Shapes" (track 9) – a collaboration with L.A.-based experimentalists Lucky Dragons – is a shimmering and mournful piece that concludes the album with a somber, elegiac tone.

The live tour of Holographic continues to Philadelphia (FringeArts) on Feb. 5, Indianapolis (Indianapolis Museum of Art) on Feb. 6, to Saint Paul (Liquid Music) on Feb. 11, and to Los Angeles (The Broad Museum) on Feb. 27Mantra Percussion and the Holographic String Quartet (featuring members of Flux Quartet and String Noise) will be featured in the live performances, blending the virtuosic talents of his performers with a newly commissioned visual component and rich electronic creations to bring his spellbinding multimedia work to life. All live performances of Holographic will also feature projections from Los Angeles-based visual artist Daniel Schwarz, called "an eye-catching complement to the score" by The New York Times. Schwarz was engaged and commissioned by The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. 

photo by Nathan Lee Bush

photo by Nathan Lee Bush

Holographic track list:
1. Replicate, Part 1
2. Replicate, Part 2
3. Formless
4. Holographic Intro
5. Holographic
6. Pixel
7. Source
8. Progression
9. Shapes

Holographic upcoming performances:
2/5 - FringeArts - Philadelphia, PA
2/6 - Indianapolis Museum of Art - Indianapolis, IN
2/11 - Ordway Concert Hall (Liquid Music Series) - Saint Paul, MN
2/27 - The Broad Museum - Los Angeles, CA
w/ Tyondai Braxton