All posts by penziasandwilson

Solo artist Penzias and Wilson — yes, there is only one of him — is set to release a new single titled “Tantalus Sunset” on April 26, 2024.

The single is part of a seven-track EP called Low Modes which explores the seven musical modes rooted on the note A-flat. “Tantalus Sunset” takes the Lydian mode, often described as a “bright” or “sunny” mode, and turns it dark.

Some of the lightness in the Lydian mode pokes through, but the mix of prepared piano, electric guitar and violin on this new song offers something more contemplative.

“Tantalus Sunset” follows a year after the release of the previous single “Sonata Agita”, and both tracks appear on Low Modes, which is slated for release in Fall 2024. Rounding out the track list is a new mix of the debut single, “Rescue the Fly.”

Penzias and Wilson announces the release of a new single, “Sonata Agita,” on Bandcamp and streaming platforms Friday, March 31.

“Sonata Agita” follows the split single “Rescue the Fly” featuring Empty Ensemble. Where “Rescue the Fly” featured soaring guitars, “Sonata Agita” is also about the beats, with prepared pianos providing an ethereal backdrop.

Part of a forthcoming EP titled Low Modes, “Sonata Agita” tackles one of the most difficult modes in Western music: Locrian. It’s fashioned loosely in the classical sonata form and leans heavy into the tension of an unstable harmonic rhythm.

The official video for “Rescue the Fly” is up on YouTube now.

Over the course of a spring, I filmed time lapses of the Seattle skyline from my balcony, mostly during sunrises and sunsets. Seattle weather can often seem perpetually overcast, but at certain time scales, it’s more dynamic than you imagine.

Yeah, it took a while for me to get around to working on this project.

I knew I wanted it to be a departure from Eponymous 4 and Empty Ensemble, and I knew I didn’t want to sing on it.

But what something is not doesn’t necessarily point in a direction to what it is. So it took a few years of listening and mulling and mulling and listening to pick a direction, and it ended up being post-rock.

When I wrote String Quartet Song No. 6 nearly 15 years ago, I knew it was a post-rock song that owes more than its fair share to Sigur Rós. So it felt natural for Penzias and Wilson to take that on.

Is that direction to which I’ll continue to go? I don’t know, to be frank. I want to be as much a surprise to me as to you.

From the hands that brought you Eponymous 4 and Empty Ensemble, a new music project.

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