Disassembler is a new collaboration between Christopher Royal King (This Will Destroy You), and violinist / composer Christopher Tignor. In many ways, A Wave From A Shore is a beautiful coming together, despite the yawning distance separating the duo.
Living on opposing sides of the United States meant that the entire album was recorded remotely. King sent his analogue synth and tape loop creations, which were born in Los Angeles, over to New York City, where Tignor further shaped the music by adding undiluted string, piano, and orchestral samples.
Their music is also a link between the East coast and the West. The differing lifestyles and cultures run through the music’s circulation and becomes its lifeblood, not only sustaining the music but enhancing it.
For LA: relaxed, wider ambient drifts catch the currents of the breeze as well as its sleepy shoreline waters. For NYC: a studious, well-varnished, and slightly more concentrated form of modern classical music populates the city.
The highly-detailed strings go well with the hazier ambient side of things, elevating the emotional intensity of the music. King’s analogue improvisations are given the freedom to live a full life, spreading innocently like the wings of an angel, and occasionally they provide a faster flourish to rival the blistering pace of Sonic the Hedgehog, fluttering with excitement and pure elation.
Opening piece ‘In Devotion’ immediately sets the tone. Its soaring strings are married to a deeper ambient bass which swells up from the lower register, emerging from the fathoms and trying to ground the music even as it ascends.
The contrast is there from the start – east and west, air and earth, the hope, optimism, and colourful escapism of dreamers and their dreams versus the unsentimental and uniform slabs of daily life. The emotional weight of the music is enough to cast reality aside, though, and the strings in particular seem to stretch and dance upwards until they grace the heavens.
With an amazing depth and space, these compositions are completed bodies, even with the improvised nature of the synths, which glimmer through morphing ambient cloud. The gentle tape manipulations may be at odds with the more traditional and classical acoustic instrumentation of Tignor’s violin, but an emotional connection unites them. Although they both utilise different methods, the two musicians are familiar with the art of emotional development, when to pull back and when to release, no matter the instrument or style. With its dim, gleaming modern classical music lighting up the billowing ambient synths, which entwine around the strings like a lover’s arms, the record makes a strong, lasting impression which, unlike footprints in the sand, never disappears.