By Courtney Faulkner
LETHBRIDGE – Multi-instrumentalist Jon Martin’s sophomore release Seas of Dawn is a layered alternative, progressive rock album. Self released on September 15, it’s the introduction to a multi-part epic that will be followed by its counterpart in early 2018.
“I realized half way through [writing this album] that I was writing another record,” says Martin.
“But I didn’t realize it because everything new is exciting, and so I wanted to put everything new on this record.”
The overarching theme of moving through irreversible change is what connects this collections of songs together, and anything outside of that Martin recognized as being another body of work.
“Moving through perpetual change; that would be the single concept of the album. So sometimes change is good, and sometimes change is scary, and sometimes change just happens, and it is exactly what it is.”
Fittingly, the album will evoke different emotional responses in the listener with its seemingly odd genre shifts. Effortlessly shifting from a subdued form of indie folk to jazzy soundscapes reminiscent of Genesis style prog in a single song, it was recorded, mixed and produced by Martin in Lethbridge and takes the listener on an varied nine-track journey. Heightened by a host of musicians and the mastering of João Carvalho, it’s available now on CD and digitally.
Correspondingly, the record was influenced by an experimental sound project, Open Doors and Parallel Windows, which Martin exhibited at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) from May through June of this year. The piece, as a part of his master’s thesis researching music psychology and electroacoustic composition, explores the relationship between timbre, the perceived sound quality of a musical note, and a person’s emotional experience and reaction to that sound.
“How does sound, and the colour of sound, and the shape of sound, and the familiarity of sound, how does that affect and influence emotional response?” questions Martin.
“There isn’t even really a specific narrative I was trying to imply with that piece, nor at any point specific emotions, because you can’t,” says Martin, perhaps intentionally drawing parallels to his similarly sensory and varied music.
“But what you can do is you can connect those things together in parallel and in sequence that will make you feel like something has occurred, because you’re going through transforming emotions.”
The New Weather Machine play November 11 at Owl Acoustic Lounge (Lethbridge). Listen to and purchase Seas of Dawn at https://thenewweathermachine.bandcamp.com.Owl Acoustic Lounge, The New Weather Machine