Portrait Imperfect is notable for the way it foregrounds the voice, with Elodia’s sensitive and insightful lyric writing taking center stage on most tracks. Dickson’s singing, with its airy expressivity, has a way of guiding Elodia’s creative ruminations throughout the album. “I love the drums, and most of my first musical heroes were drummers,” says Elodia, “but I also have a deep and abiding love for language. I studied English literature in college in addition to music, and these days I find myself perhaps just as inspired by the writings of Fernando Pessoa, Jane Hirschfield, and Natasha Shüll as I am by the drumming of Terri Lyne Carrington, John Hollenbeck, and Deantoni Parks. For this project in particular, I was inspired by texts such as Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death, Susan Sontag’s On Photography, and Byung Chul-Han’s Good Entertainment, each of which provides a unique perspective on how we might conceptualize our digitally-mediated subjectivities”
These literary influences are apparent throughout Portrait Imperfect, in lyrical references to the “spotless decay” of digital archives, the “placeless modernity and pageantry” of social networking, and the “contingencies of salvation” that are woven into our productivity-obsessed culture. “I’m continually asking questions about the affordances of digital technologies – both in regard to how we live our lives, but also in thinking about the role of music and art in our hyper-connected moment. In what ways do these technologies propagate an increasingly avaricious and materialist cultural disposition? And how, as musicians and artists, might we be able to both attend to and challenge that way of relating to the world?”
About Chase Elodia:
Based in Brooklyn, composer-drummer Chase Elodia has garnered critical acclaim since his move to New York in Fall 2019. In 2021 he received ASCAP’s Young Jazz Composers Award for his song “The World Is Now Your Own,” composed in honor of the birth of pianist Glenn Zaleski and violinist Tomoko Omura’s child. In July 2020, he received a grant from the Boulder County Arts Association to record his forthcoming debut album Portrait Imperfect. He was also awarded the MacDowell Artist Residency Fellowship for Spring 2022. In addition to his own projects, Chase has shared the stage with Emma Frank, Morgan Guerin, and Allegra Krieger. He performs regularly with the Alex Hamburger Quartet and the ensemble Echoes. His writing has been published in Music & Literature, Drum! Magazine and the Percussive Arts Society.
Release Date: May 13, 2022, on Biophilia Records