Martin Schiller Unveils Abstracted Album: A Journey Through Experimental Soundscapes and Emotional Landscape

Martin Schiller, the musician and composer from Windsor, Ontario, has made a mark in both performance and composition. Apart from his collaborations, Schiller has also carved out his own path as a solo artist, releasing music independently.

You probably know him for his works with the previously released album ‘Dreams Vol. 1’ (2022), with the ‘Future Prints’ single. Now he has returned with the release of his new album, ‘Abstracted’, a deeply personal endeavor. While ‘Dreams Vol. 1’ explored traditional rock instrumentation, translating simpler melodic and rhythmic ideas into psych-rock folk tunes, ‘Abstracted’ is a collection of sound sculptures, created concurrently with ‘Dreams Vol. 1’ between 2020 and 2021, taking a more fluid approach to music; where the composition is seen as the art of organizing sound, allowing for a more open-ended exploration of sonic landscapes.

“The individual elements that make up this music were gradually constructed over several years, some dating as far back as 2016, but it was during the first pandemic lockdowns that I began editing them, carving them out, and connecting them to create this work as a whole,” comments Schiller, on the creation of the album.

Completed in 2021, the album withheld for release, reflecting a period of significant upheaval and introspection. Conceived as a unified whole, ‘Abstracted’ unfolds in two halves resembling the sides of an album.

The first half comprises a six-part sequence featuring minimalist and environmental gestures, blending playful improvisations with acousmatic computer music. Featuring approximately 32 minutes of captivating electronic music, the whole album transcends traditional genre boundaries, incorporating elements of Ambient, Noise, Glitch, and other experimental genres; resulting on a sonic journey, weaving together layers of soundscapes and textures to create an immersive auditory experience.

Transitioning to the second half, it offers a lengthy exploration of an electronic drum breakbeat with a heavily modified violin drone in “Hyper Plaid Fulcrum,” followed by a 2-and-a-half-minute drifting ambient piece serving as a poignant outcome.

Conceived concurrently with the instrumentals of ‘Dreams Vol.1,’ but meticulously crafted over the following years, ‘Abstracted’ is a work done with all music by Martin Schiller, mastered by Matt Rideout, and artwork by Amanda Brierty.

However ready for quite some time, Schiller chose to hold the release of ‘Abstracted’ as life unfolded and presented its challenges, including the artist’s father’s diagnosis and struggle with Atypical Parkinsonism, and subsequent passing in 2023. The creation of the album itself became a refuge and a means of processing emotions.

The move from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan, further marked this transformative period, as did the release of other music under the artist’s name, including ‘Dreams Vol.1.’

With so much changing, it’s rhetorical how the track “Gone Places” would be chosen for release from the album, as it holds profound significance amidst the artist’s journey.

Check out “Gone Places” on YouTube here:

“For me, this piece [Gone Places] involves themes of the passage of time, the phenomenon of memory, and symbolically being in more than one place at the same time,” enlights Schiller on the track’s creation.

‘Gone Places,’ the final piece of the first half of the album ‘Abstracted,’ showcases the artist’s experimental ingenuity and sonic exploration. Through meticulous sound manipulation, the track incorporates elements from diverse sources, including analog drum machines, Scottish bagpipes, and old television recordings.

Listen on Spotify here:

These sounds undergo extensive processing techniques such as Generative Music, Max-MSP programming, Granular Synthesis, and Michael Norris’ Spectral-Audio processing, resulting in ethereal drones that evoke a sense of mystery and introspection. As a pivotal moment within the album’s narrative, ‘Gone Places’ invites listeners to delve into a world of sonic innovation and discovery.

Known for his dynamic bass performances with What Seas What Shores and contributions to the Noiseborder Ensemble’s multimedia performances, Schiller has entertained audiences globally.

Currently calling Detroit, Michigan home, Schiller continues to push the boundaries of his craft, drawing inspiration from his diverse experiences and surroundings.