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Christopher Tignor - The Art of Surrender LP


Western Vinyl Records

The Art of Surrender marks a return to life, sown from primal impulses and hard-won emotional truths. Unrestrained melodic rapture soars above a relentless kick drum, speaking a need to move, to dance, to love. The music is as ambitious as its origins are personal. Tignor plays with scale, crafting multi-movement epics alongside one-minute miniatures. The smallest, most fragile violin gestures, where the finger barely touches the string to extract natural harmonics exist side by side with angular, exotic melodies, asymmetric rhythms, and rapid-fire string crossings. On this LP, Tignor digs even more deeply into the violin and its technicolor reimaginings under his electroacoustic treatments.The album title refers to the creative process of letting go of expectations, submitting to the will of the creative process. Following a collapsed relationship that left Tignor alone half-time with his daughter, this period was also one of surrendering to a dark unknown, rebuilding life's basic meanings from passion and creative will. Likewise, Tignor's unwavering approach to live performance embraces the rewards of taking risks: using his custom setup with meticulously controlled violin processing and drum triggered synths, this LP, like its predecessors, was created without pre-recorded tracks or live looping, allowing bodily gesture to invite audiences into the process of music making.The first single, Ritual of a Thousand Limbs is a reference to the extended solo electro-acoustic instrument Tignor has created, processing his violin through software using pedals that also perform synths, an instrument played with both feet and hands including a kick drum with custom triggering software. Likewise, the title alludes to the 1000 arms and hands of the Avalokiteshvara, a bodhisattva associated with compassion. The song weaves back and forth between this impulse and its more somatic, lustful urges, a study in the duality of desire and acceptance. The video for the work is a collaboration with girlfriend Rachelle Somma, who’s unique, award-winning approach to dance blends pole-dancing with modern forms to create a spellbinding interpretation completely unique to both mediums.Off-Centered Hearts imagines a pas de deux between lovers yearning, like so many, to make their own asymmetrical ways of being fit as one. The work's spellbinding dance contains some of the album’s most breathtaking, quietest confessional moments, planting seeds which eventually bloom into a huge, lyrical release driven by processed violin octaves above profound, kick-drum triggered bass.Forms in a Flame, elides multiple scenes together to create the album's largest scale journey, ambitiously blending heartrending synth and violin elligies alongside hyper-rhythmic, dovetailing counterpoint built from Tignor's interactive "mirrored violin" processing. In contrast, the album's one minute closer, Would that I Could is Tignor at his most concise, leaving listeners with a perfect parting prayer, suggesting we discover which, if any, ideals we might consider worthy of surrender.