Robert Stillman, the composer and multi-instrumentalist, has recently announced his eighth album, Rainbow. Stillman has made a name for himself by bringing together the old with the new, past with future, his musical style marrying jazz, folk, and experimental electronica in interesting ways. Using multi-tracked recordings to utilise his numerous instrumental talents, Stillman crafts meticulous and intricate arrangements, with Rainbow seeing an emphasis on tenor saxophone, an instrument Stillman hasn’t put front and centre since his début in 2006 (and a throwback to his early years studying jazz in Boston).
Rainbow is a poignant work, one inspired by Stillman’s personal life. He has dedicated the album to Anna his wife, to his late daughter Ruth, and his second-born daughter Romilly, as well as to his adopted home in East Kent and his blue station wagon (which is apparently named Warren). As the blurb puts it:
“serves as a window into the past four years of Stillman’s own: a time of birth, death, love, and learning, and through these things, a new willingness to look the world in the eye.”
To whet your appetite further, Stillman has released a video by Benjamin Rowley for ‘As He Walked Into the Field’, a quite beautiful collection of images which chop and change with disorientating speed, coupling with the music to create something unpredictable and confusing yet full of natural light. Kind of like life itself.
If all that sounds up your alley (it certainly sounds good to me), then you can pre-order Rainbow now via Orindal Records, with artwork by Anna Fewster (and text from Thich Nhat Hanh). You can get it as a download, CD or on lovely clear vinyl with rainbow labels.