Loud Sounds 48
Cover photo: Greg Dallas
"Loud Sounds" are some of the best new tracks we've found. We are coming back with the 48th installment of the series.
Greg Dallas & Jan Esbra – Deep Dive

Experimental artists Greg Dallas and Jan Esbra whose music we featured before are back with a new single Deep Dive from their upcoming album Confluence. If you ever wondered where jazz meets new age, then this might be your jam. This piece of organiс piano ambient is adorned by out-of-this-world vocals from Catey Esler. Read our brief interview with the musicians.

Greg Dallas
— What was the genesis of Deep Dive?

— There were a few steps that went into the making of Deep Dive. The first part of the process was an improvised recording session with Jan Esbra. We mic'd a grand piano and ran the signal through Jan's ornate chain of effects pedals, while I sat at the piano, playing whatever came to mind. Jan used his pedals to mess with the signal. We did that for about 15-20 minutes, exploring as many sounds as we could within that vibe. Everything you hear on the track is just acoustic piano and vocals.

— I'm curious what the effect pedals are.

— These are the pedals that Jan used:

❁ Chase bliss mood;

❁ Meris Ottobit Jr;

❁ Venetia reverb;

❁ Strymon el Capistan.

— The song features vocals from Catey Esler. What is the story behind the collaboration?

— While we were finishing up the album, Jan and I knew that we wanted Catey to be featured somewhere on that album, so after some thought we arrived at this song for Catey's vocals. I was confident Catey would do something beautiful for the song, but when they sent me the stems I nearly cried! Her vocals breathed something entirely new into the song.

— What are the song's and album's musical influences?

— It's difficult to pin down an influence for these tracks, but I think it mostly comes from mine and Jan's history as jazz musicians. Jazz is a style of music where no sound or texture is truly off limits, and that is the spirit we wanted to bring to this music. It's all about exploration and trying to find a sound that we didn't necessarily conceive of before it came into being, instead we found it.

— What would be the perfect place and time to listen to Deep Dive?

— At an underwater ancient ruin at sundown inside of a whale's dream.

Jan Esbra
Deep dive is based on a rising piano arpeggio that was part of a longer improvising session. It is also a collaboration with vocalist and songwriter Catey Esler who improvised a few takes over the music and Greg then edited those into the soaring and glitched out vocals one hears on the track. The name Deep Dive comes from the sense that the music has after the halfway point, where it keeps sinking. The piano figure is continually pitched and slowed down so that by the end of the piece we arrive at the depths of the figure. Every note is drawn out and the sound choices become more dense while Catey's voice soars over the top of it.
Also check out the duo's earlier single Sea Foam and a beautiful piece of ambient electronica from Greg.
The Reverend Joseph Patrick Pillsbury Costello, III – No Expectations

The new tune from the prolific banjo player is a cover of The Rolling Stones' classic. The honesty, intimacy and rawness that Patrick brings to the song are unmatched. We asked the outstanding performer to share the story of how he got into music and talk of the most vivid first memories from the times of learning and beginning to play the banjo.

The Reverend Joseph Patrick Pillsbury Costello, III
I know that is a simple question for most musicians. In my case, there is a twist: I am almost deaf.

I'll take a moment this evening to condense the back-story into something that is not overlong or come across like a melodrama. It will be on your way sometime tomorrow.
Just so you don't think I'm bonkers, here is a video of the activation of my first BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid), and I got to hear my guitar for the first time:

The Reverend Joseph Patrick Pillsbury Costello, III
The short version is that music was a way to connect with other human beings. When I jam with people, there is a silent conversation woven into the music. We start a song as strangers and feel like friends before the second chorus.

My most vivid memory of that time… I usually tell a funny story in response to this question. Learning the craft is a myriad of intensely personal experiences, so it's easier to go with something light.

To be honest, the moment I find myself going back to for comfort when I am frustrated or in pain is jamming with my dad for the first time.

We were at each other's throats when I was a kid. I couldn't hear, so communication was difficult. Making music with another musician was even more so. We sat together for hours night after night for months and nothing worked. It seemed like we would never find the harmony I longed for.

My father, good man that he is, switched instruments. He took up tenor banjo so that I could see his right hand. That helped me stay in rhythm long enough to learn how to play with him.

It had started to come together, albeit haltingly, until one night we were too tired to get it right. I stopped thinking about my hands and anything else. I went on autopilot. We knew each other better after that. Before long, we went from battling father and son to best friends.