A house is something that is so deeply temporary, yet it can hold so much energy. How do we carry or leave behind those energies while transitioning into new spaces? How does each space we occupy for some time shape us and how do we tear ourselves away from it and its influence once it’s time to go? These are some of the core questions behind CC Sorensen’s new album for mappa, ‘Phantom Rooms’ – it’s a record about movement, change, transformation, family, juxtapositions… but most of all, home.
CC Sorensen was reflecting a lot on their childhood home in rural Kansas, USA while working on this music. The album could be characterised by a familial, chamber feel and both of CC Sorensen’s brothers, Ryan and Nyal Ruehlen, make an appearance on ‘Phantom Rooms’, among other instrumentalists. Using a wide palette of sounds – CC Sorensen alone in charge of keyboards, software instruments, voice, electronics, percussion, trumpet, guitar and field recordings, in addition to guests on pedal steel, voice, chimes, saxophone and drumset – the American musician crafts music as mysterious as it is inviting. The idea behind it would be almost surrealist – ghostly rooms in houses where we live – if we all didn’t know exactly what CC Sorensen means. Home isn’t something concrete, but it’s also not just an abstract concept. It’s a space beyond space; home in itself is a phantom room we enter. And what enables us to enter is the object of exploration here.
CC Sorensen’s approach is playful – tracks like “Beat Bot” and “Plastic Portals” are almost fun – but also contemplative. They make thoughtful, meandering chamber music intertwined with field recordings and electronics. Reeds, strings and percussion often set the atmosphere – sometimes airy, gentle, at other points more insistent – as the music grapples with departure, instability, deep reflection and imagined future spaces. Especially in the closing “Bexar” there’s a tangible yearning for a stable home, a longing to rekindle and keep ablaze this beautiful familial connection to a physical place. It’s both music that invites to reflect and music that in itself reflects; desires, hopes and dreams.
released September 22, 2022
CC Sorensen - compositions, keyboards, virtual software instruments, voice, electronics, percussion, trumpet, guitar, field recordings
Damon Dennis - pedal steel (5)
Alan Mudd - words & voice (4)
Nyal Ruehlen - voice, chimes (3)
Ryan Wade Ruehlen - saxophone (4,5,7)
Scott Dean Taylor - drumset (5,7)
"This album is about homes, transitioning between homes and the histories and memories of houses."
A personal, effective work from two of my favorite artists right now. Textures weave back and forth to suggest struggles, acceptance, denials, fear, and celebration all at once. A wonderful album. wc_helmets