Beacon Sound have surprise-released a solo piano performance by Luke Wyland (AU/Methods Body), recorded one year ago as part of a Winter Solstice concert at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland, Oregon. It’s available digitally and as a one-off limited edition cassette in letterpressed packaging. You can also watch Wyland’s performance posted online.
A year ago I committed myself to re-establishing my relationship with the acoustic piano. It was like welcoming back an old friend, I was shy and tentative at first but hopeful. There is such weight in the significance of this instrument in Western culture and it’s easy to be intimidated by the lineage of masters who’ve played it. My hands are stocky and my fingers short. I have never been one to practice scales or do exercises no matter how much I tell myself I should. I could easily spend lifetimes learning it and still feel like a novice. I did however set myself a timeline of a year to craft a solo set and was fortunate enough to perform on the solstice right before the Omicron wave hit Portland. I had a pathway, some melodic themes, and an incredible Steinway to find inspiration with and something magical emerged.
Luke Wyland is an American interdisciplinary artist, composer, performer, and arts organizer who is best known as the multi-instrumentalist, singer and founder of the art-pop band AU (2005-2013). He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe and has released records on New Amsterdam Records (US), Beacon Sound (US), The Leaf Label (EU), Aagoo (US), Hometapes (US), Crammed Discs (EU), Inpartmaint (Japan), and Pop Frenzy (Australia), amongst others.
His current project, Methods Body, is a collaboration with drummer John Niekrasz. Their debut album was released by New Amsterdam Records and Beacon Sound in 2020. A follow-up, entitled Plural Not Possessive, is expected on Beacon Sound in late Spring 2023.