Night Stories is a suite of nine pieces that concerns itself with our love for, and our fear of, Nature, our closeness to each other and to other animals; and the personal experience of loss, love, and community.
The form of the suite is programmatic and informed by Taylor's experience with Javanese Gamelan, in particular with the beautiful art form Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppet theater.
A plot synopsis, photographs, videos and bonus tracks will accompany the download.
Review from composer/sound artist Scott Smallwood:
Joel Taylor's new album, entitled "Night Stories," is a delightful journey into a dreamscape, conceived as a kind of shadow play through the night. The album is best listened to as a whole, its 9 sections alternating between melodic "interludes" similar in style to the interlocking patterns of Indonesian gamelan music, and more ambient, textural pieces that contain the dramatic action of the piece. I listened to the album for the first time at night while drifting off to sleep. It was remarkable how the piece guided me into a sleep state.
The first track is playful and light, while the next track seems to feel like a preparation, an introduction. Then, with track 3, everything changes - darkness comes, and a vast floating space. And something is there, lurking, aware, but elusive. Shadows. Then the pause of Track 4, more than an interlude; it feels like I have partially woken from the dream, and I'm trying to remember. Track 5, Lunar transformation, is the gem, back in dreamland, the deepest of the deep, with hints of the other dream, the story, but more expansive and actualized. Track 6, the Children's song, is just the pure void of sleep. No more dreaming, just luxuriating. Track 7, Nightbirds: two shakuhachi lines, following and fluttering around each other. A deep slow morning dream. Track 8 is the pull of day, of awakening and forgetting the dreamworld. Track 9 is the restful opening of eyes, sunlight gleaming through the window, still quiet, anticipating.
"...It's altogether a fine, mysterious and musical release." - Vital Weekly