Album Title Where The Branches Begin
Release Date 6 October 2023
“Fascinating and brilliant music” BBC Radio 2: Jamie Cullum
The notion of psychedelics enhancing creativity and musicianship was commonplace in decades gone by, but for Barcelona-based, Irish composer, producer and bassist, David Duffy, the exploration of his inner world through supervised psychedelic therapy became the bedrock to much of the music on Where The Branches Begin, his debut album as a bandleader.
Duffy is a widely respected jazz bass player, yet it’s his years of experience composing in the digital arts world and use of electronics that he brings to the David Duffy Quartet. Joining him in the ensemble are four players on the fringes of jazz – the Catalan Marc Martin on piano, Swedish saxman Emil Nerstrand and fellow Irishman Davie Ryan on drums, each with a distinctive, non-traditional approach to the genre. Here, Duffy’s work with electronics and penchant for heavily processing audio becomes a foil for their impressive, classic acoustic jazz quartet sound. Together with Warren Walker (Kandinsky Effect) on additional synths and electronics, their sound takes in ambient electronic jazz with a Scandinavian sound blurring the lines between jazz, contemporary classical and electronica.
Released on 6 October (Jazzville Records), ‘Where the Branches Begin’ is a deeply introspective and musically immersive creation that delves into Duffy’s personal exploration of consciousness through encounters with Somatic Healing Therapy and Psilocybin ceremonies where he would take a controlled dose, don a blindfold and lie in stillness for hours. The result is a is a richly textured 8-track continuous-play set of beautiful, cinematic, sophisticated, original music. It’s where Jan Garbarek and Cinematic Orchestra meet with Jon Hopkins and Rival Consoles with the textures of Colin Stetson and undertones of Nils Frahm.
David wanted to create a journey for the listener. “Recently I have been exploring my inner world, through Psychedelic Assisted Therapy, breathwork, cold therapy and Somatic Healing” he says, “and I wanted to take the listener to the places I was going to at the time”. It is this that became the source material and where the track titles came from.
‘Pulse’ is the first single to be taken from the album inspired by one particular Psilocybin Therapy session. Duffy recalls experiencing a 3-hour vibrating pulse. “There was an intense speed to the pulse, yet I was in a relationship with it so able to slow it down to arrive at pure stillness”. He adds, “words are unable to describe these experiences, but the wisdom stays with you long after”. This is reflected in the music throughout the album; we hear a constant contrast of speed, and density, with space. “I love the feeling of sparse melodies floating on top of dense textures” says Duffy, “It is these dense textures I thrive working with. Blending clarinets, bass clarinets, harmonium, synthesisers and bowed double bass, since its these that reflect my internal experience, yet the beauty and stillness is always present, whenever you have space to hear it”.