This record was conceived not as something to be performed in front of an audience, but as a poetic, fleshed-out version of what is abstracted in Aufrichtig’s live performance. What exists live as a series of spare and quiet compositions is, on this record, a cinematic voyage through the landscape that the songs evoke.  Voices hover in an out of frame like ghosts. Strings, electric guitars, drones, drums, feedback and bass all swirl around Aufrichtig’s voice, guitar and piano.

The six songs on this record were developed in the year 2013 in a ragtag lineup of strange venues: churches, living rooms, salons, art galleries, collectives, etc. As Aufrichtig slowly worked his way through understanding and fleshing out these compositions over the course of that year, fantastical things kept happening at their performances – bewildering things: audience members spontaneously bursting into tears, audience members passing out from exhaustion, conversational rooms reducing themselves to silence.

As a series of songs, Ocean Music draws influence from sources as varied as Gregorian chants, traditional American music recorded in the 1920s and 30s, electronic drone music, the 2008-2009 era indie-folk boom, and 1970s esoteric film scores. Thematically, the songs touch on subjects as disparate as Rilke’s Duino Elegies, witches in medieval Europe, Baudelaire’s “Le Voyage”, the idea of the literary canon, the myth of the lonesome traveler, the pitfalls of internet dating, psychedelic drugs, ghost stories, the shattering of traditional song, the culture of sharing music in the twentieth century with the advent of recording technology, and the modern isolation of living in a crowded city.

While composing the six songs in this thematic cycle, Aufrichtig ran a multi-disciplinary arts festival in Brooklyn, NY called the Williamsburg Community Circus. Mostly through his curation of this festival, he encountered five other musicians who feature prominently on this recorded album, all of whom bring distinctive elements into its sonic world. These musicians are: Benjamin Engel, Jack Randall, Ben Seretan, Alice Tolan-Mee, Trevor Wilson and Ethan Woods – all lead artists in formidable groups of their own.

A true synthesis of all the mediums Aufrichtig works in, and a vortex of his influences and experiences. A powerful and moving work. This is the first Ocean Music album.