“I envisioned the record as a journey through human expression over the course of one day,” says Chicago composer and ONO member Jordan Reyes. When planning the album, Reyes wanted to consider the trajectory of American music, drawing a throughline from the oral traditions enmeshed in blues, country, folk to contemporary underground music, splicing together acoustic instrumentation with an experimental, electronic sensibility. The album begins with human-constructed wind on opening song “The Pre-Dawn Light.”. From there, Reyes adds acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap-steel guitar, trombone, keyboards, and an electronic drum to the compositional mix.
“I wanted to push myself compositionally,” he says. “My first album Close was all eurorack synthesizer, a lot of which was automated by control voltage, but Sand Like Stardust has no modular synthesizers, seeking to channel the warmth, immediacy, and vulnerability of hand-played instruments and voice.”