Woodwinds whiz Joseph Shabason joins former Diana bandmate Kieran Adams (aka Vibrant Matter) for a new EP of slippery ambient surfaces. Fly Me to the Moon was born out of a collaborative routine at Shabason’s Toronto studio, where Adams regularly practised drums and the two would converse over coffees afterward. The resulting work is a harbinger of spring—its slow melt is guided by a spirit of warmth, but with a measured, careful pace that rewards patient listening. Repeated visits turn up new pleasures, such as the heft of Adams’s drum programming on “Rust,” the samples bubbling beneath “Ah Ba Dee,” or the clarion call of piano that animates “Daylight Savings.” Shabason’s treatment of the saxophone is, as always, a marvel, expressing a rich tone that bleeds from longing to awe to grace. For all their emotional tenor, however, these compositions feel most indebted to a practice of noticing, appropriate for its release on Séance Centre’s new Speculative Ethnography series. What might music afford as an ethnographic method, as a way of revealing culture through the situated perspectives of its makers? Fly Me to the Moon offers something of an answer: a beautiful exercise in attending to texture and colour, like touring a commonplace landscape whose contours have become newly visible in the light of a clear morning.

 "Joseph Shabason’s Patient Unravelling," artist profile by Brennan McCracken, published in Musicworks 132, Winter 2019.