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Mare Insularum (EP)

by Nathan Clevenger / Mitch Marcus

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Mitch Marcus: piano, tenor saxophone, fender rhodes.

Composed by Nathan Clevenger.

Recorded by Mitch Marcus at home, Forest Hills, NY, Fall 2020.
Mastered by Myles Boisen at Headless Buddha Labs, Oakland, CA.
Cover art by Nathan Clevenger.

Thank you to the Marcus family, Myles, Elective Infinities (Sarah Jo Zaharako, Eric Perney, Aram Shelton, Britt Ciampa, Robert Lopez & Phillip Greenlief), and SK.

* * *

I spent the first couple months of the Covid-19 quarantine composing pieces for musician friends; in the beginning, mostly duos for cohabitating couples and the occasional solo piece. The goal was to create pieces that could be performed and, if desired, documented at home. Low-fi reportage and the classic inspiration of constraint.

It didn't take long to realize that my old friend and colleague, Mitch Marcus, is almost a duo unto himself. Known first and foremost as a monster on the tenor sax, he is also an exceptional pianist, and one of the most game players I've ever worked with. As the founding tenor player in the Nathan Clevenger Group, Mitch was a much-needed source of fearless enthusiasm. The rehearsals with that band in the mid-2000s -- me, Mitch, Aaron Novik, Kasey Knudsen, Sam Bevan, and Tim Bulkley or Ches Smith -- were some of the most hilarious and enjoyable music-making experiences I've ever had. Ever since Mitch moved back to New York, I've been looking for opportunities to make music with him.

These pieces are very abstract variations on a piece I composed for my since-retired Elective Infinities ensemble. While that original tune (and the band) are unrecorded, you can hear a live version at 8:36 in this video from a performance at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZxzkstFjNo&feature=youtu.be&t=516. I am indebted to the original Elective Infinities band featured here: Sarah Jo Zaharako (not visible in the video, but audible on violin), Eric Perney, Aram Shelton, and Britt Ciampa.

Thank you very much for listening and for your support.

November 2020

* * *

In the Night
by Stevie Smith

I longed for companionship rather,
But my companions I always wished farther.
And now in the desolate night
I think only of the people I should like to bite.


released November 13, 2020


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Nathan Clevenger Oakland, California

Composer / multi-instrumentalist / bandleader from Oakland, CA.


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