A Sonic Cosmic Journey: Terra Fractal

Why do you listen to music? It is a fair question, and one that perhaps we don’t actively think about very much. For example, my wife loves live music, but chooses to listen to audio books most of the time when she is driving or at the office. I on the other hand listen to music just about non stop. Why? It goes beyond genre. It goes deeper. It goes to character and core motivation. Think about it. Do you listen to escape, to numb your mind into a familiar tune and thus not have to think about anything? Do you listen to control your thoughts and emotions, like therapy? Do you listen to something because it has a beat and you can dance to it? Is dancing a rational pastime? Or an emotional one?

Personally, I find that music helps to dictate and channel my emotions and creativity. I use it to inform characters, to set tone and setting. I never use music as an escape. In fact, often times listening to music takes me right down the wormhole of hyper analysis, which is really everything but an escape. In that way, lyrics can sometimes be too much of a distraction, as my mind wants to focus on them rather than my own words, so at those times music without lyrics is helpful.

Terra Fractal

This brings up another example. At the beginning of December for her birthday, my wife went to visit her sister and brother-in-law, Luke, in Portland. Luke works in local music, in some capacity, and on her return I asked my wife what music he was discovering up there. Last time my wife went up there she came back all excited by a band called Addverse Effects. They are pretty awesome btw. But this time her answer surprised me. “They don’t listen to much rock anymore. They listen to this sonic, atmospheric music. It’s almost New Age, but it isn’t. It is like soundtracks, but not. And they listen to it constantly.” She wasn’t annoyed by the music at all, just surprised that it kind of blended and took over the atmosphere of their apartment. “You couldn’t necessarily differentiate between songs, or bands, it was like a cosmic muzak.”

“You should have them listen to Terra Fractal“, I answered, “or Tapestrees or Scattered Melodies. I bet they would like them.” Fact is, there are several bands here in Phoenix that all kind of fit that bill. A blending and fusion of classical music, classical instruments, synthesizers and sometimes lyrics. Hyperbella and House of Stairs also are reminiscent of that vibe. Japhy’s Descent also mixes their albums up between conventional songs with hooks and lyrics, and atmospheric sonic instrumentals that sore from the speakers. Joe Peifer, front-man of Tapestees, writes:

“Dynamics and versatility are incredibly important. I’ve had shows where we tried keeping the same momentum in our music, but it doesn’t have the same effect on the audience as having those highs and lows like a rollercoaster as Jarrod Compton mentioned. I’ve also found that tastefully inserting a familiar melody in your set is also a good way to engage the audience, especially if they’re not used to attending instrumental shows.”

Ghost Songs Book Release at Last Exit Live Photo Credit: Sam Leale

As Terra Fractal mentions in their Story:

“Their debut album, Does Your Mind Travel, is ripe with syncopation, yet it still has plenty of ear catching melodies set alongside ambient and transcendent musical interludes. It creates a middle ground for composition and improvisation to live together in harmony.”

Terra Fractal has three great shows coming at you in the next few weeks! Be sure to mark them on your calendars!

Arizona Rock n Roll Rogues Gallery Spotlight:

Terra Fractal

The idea of these eight questions is to give just a bit of a look into the featured band. Some are completely just for fun!

1. What three local bands in town are people not paying enough attention to besides yours?

Terra Fractal: The Psychedelephants, New River Slim, Ancient Egypt

2. Where do you shop for stage clothes?

Humdinger Festival Ghost Writer Photo

Terra Fractal: Our styles vary, we are all so different. Some times we shop at Nordstrom and the others we hit the thrift stores.

3. Have you ever met Bubba? Explain.

Well… my daughter has the picture referenced below, so here Bubba is with Kim Dangerous of The Bellwethers…. because that is not close at all.

Richie Sullivan: I think Ryan (Cronin) and I met him at Mesa Amphitheater after we played the humdinger festival. I believe that he had us take a picture with his daughter? I’m not sure it was super hot that day.

4. What other bands do you play in around town, if any?

Richie Sullivan: I don’t, Ryan used to play with Sydney Spraque for a bit there. Daniel Robinson, our drummer plays with The Conveyors and Blues Man Mike. Jamison Mcqueen is starting to drum with The Viol8tors this spring.

Humdinger Festival Ghost Writer Photo

5. What is your go to cover song?

Lately we’ve been covering Us and Them by Pink Floyd and I Belong To You by Lenny Kravitz. Both seem to be a hit with the crowd but we’re looking to switch it up and always open to suggestions

6. Besides being musicians, do you have day jobs, and if so what do you do?

Daniel and Ryan are both in sales. Tyler Flowers, our sax player teaches music and Richie is a sommelier at a resort in paradise valley.

7. Ninja or Samurai?

Terra Fractal: We’re a band divided for this one. Some of us chose the ninja life and the others made the right choice and are definitely samurais. I guess we will have to meet in the streets to settle this band feud!

8. As a band what are three of your favorite venues that you play around town?

Terra Fractal: Favorite venues?!? That’s difficult. As far as actual venues, The Rebel Lounge, Crescent Ballroom and Last Exit Live. But when we are really in our element is at my (Richie Sullivan’s) house throwing an party after Casey’s closes drinking some white claws.

Next Up: Ali A & the Agency

Keep the Greasy Side Down, my Friends !

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