Noise Pop Presents:
Photay at Swedish American Hall
Friday, September 15, 2017
7:30pm Doors / 8:30pm Show / 21+
Photay’s debut full-length Onism inherits the same historical tensionin an age of climate change and social media addiction. It is also areflection of personal conditions, a meditation on place, community,and its creator’s own embodied history. The word ‘onism,’ inventedby John Koenig, means the frustration of being stuck in just onebody that inhabits only one place at a time.To grasp onism is to be apprised of how little of the world you haveexperienced, are experiencing, or will ever experience. Photay (EvanShornstein) composed Onism in the heart of Brooklyn and shroud-ed by the silence of national parks or on trips home to the wood-lands of the Hudson Valley in between touring the urban centersof foreign countries. Scattered but connected, Onism’s music is aconstellation that rips across the night sky of time, charting an emo-tional reality defined by sadness and joy, dread and wonder.Shornstein contrasts spacious near-silence with bombastic saturat-ed peaks. Fangled robotic tones (‘Screens’) meet with forest floorambience (’Storm’), evoking visual designs for the built and naturalworlds, while the overwhelm of metropolis (‘Balsam Massacre’)and the digital age (‘The Everyday Push’) is eased by the liberato-ry forests of Woodstock (‘Outré Lux’ feat. Madison Mcferrin) andassumptions into imagined realities (‘Bombogenesis’). The demonicswing of ‘Balsam Massacre’ imagines the sounds of a tree’s innardsas it is felled with a chainsaw, while ’Storm’ thunders distantly intriumphant reverie.On ‘Aura,’ Shornstein sings for the second time in his career (“Takethe time to hear yourself”). The message hints at a common denom-inator to his meditations, resonating also as a warning to the world,an everyday push to the role of electronic music in storytelling thefuture of the global environmentalist movement.