My old friend Scott Wiser just put out a really cool new album with his band Mount Desert. Mount Desert is a collaboration between Scott and drummer Jordan Norton. “Fear the Heart” is their second album. The record is a wild blend of thunderous heavy rock with other-worldly ambience. Scott’s production on this record is stellar! Scott asked my daughter Mei Lin and I to lay down some fiddle and mbira tracks to contribute to the world music influenced tune “The River I”. He took our parts and heavily manipulated them to mix into the sonic stew. I LOVE the way it turned out! We were really happy to be a small part of this production!
I met Scott Weiser back in 2000 when we were both working for a mental health non-profit organization in Oakland. I heard he was a musician, so I quickly got to talking music with him. We connected over several mutual musical interests including Brian Eno, Radiohead, U2, Cocteau Twins and Robert Fripp.
We started jamming from time to time, eventually collaborating on an ambient groove instrumental piece, “Splatter Puddle,” which ended up on my 2014 solo record “Soft Sea Creatures”. On that piece, you can hear his atmospheric e-bow guitar playing.
Back in 2020, I was putting together a Tribute album to Bob Dylan’s “Self Portrait”. I invited Scott to contribute a track, and he chose to cover what is perhaps one of the weirdest songs that Dylan has ever written: “All the Tired Horses”. Scott took the repetition of the tune as inspiration to take a layered loop-based approach. Not only did he contribute this piece to the collaborative album, but his piece was also a springboard for the development an interactive, generative music engine/website. The version of “Horses” on the CD is one instance of a randomly generated version of the piece. Mei Lin and I also contributed some vocals and a few instrumental flourishes which can be heard deep in the sonic layers. Check out Scott’s website and manipulate your own infinite versions of “Horses”! https://travstw.github.io/horses/
Even though we rarely see each other in person nowadays, I am really happy that we occasionally collaborate on musical projects! It’s always big fun!
“Fear the Heart” is available now as a digital download at Bandcamp and is slated for a vinyl release in the coming months. Due to current vinyl supply shortages and lack of pressing plants, the vinyl version may take a while. I encourage you all to check it out here…It is Fab!!