With The Wind of Things and the heralded completion of the Fuubutsushi album cycle all arriving this year, Matt Sage has generously offered further proof of his talents as an empathetic musician and composer. As curator of Cached Media, those same qualities emerge in his artistic vision and goodwill, which are necessarily intertwined. Yet even in the sizable company of such achievements, Wants A Diamond Pivot Bright, his new LP, immediately stands out, thanks to its unique framework.
In short, Sage asked sixteen other artists to spend some time with Wallace Stevens' poetry--"his engagement with sound as a medium and also a carrier of meaning is remarkable," Sage writes in his liner notes--and they each then sent him a track named after or inspired by a poem or line of Stevens's that especially resonated. Bringing closure to this ekphrastic equation, Sage added his own elements, primarily on guitar and piano. There is resonance in Sage's playful but committed invitation to participate--especially so during a time of imposed isolation, sure, but a meaningful gesture at any time--an act of faith that has shaped his discographies as an artist and label head.
Given the breadth of sensibilities here, it would have been easy for the results to sit together more like a compilation of exercises without cohesion. This is not that. This is an album, rich with movements, motifs, and a genuine emotional arc that lasts way beyond the initial excitement of seeing the list of artists involved. "Together we created something prismatic in collaboration," Sage offers--and finally now it's found refracting onto you. "Together we created something prismatic in collaboration," Sage offers--and finally now it's found refracting onto you.