Colin Stetson – To See More Light

«Each record is about something specific but is also a study of balance between two things. So this one deals with death and love and the intrinsic relationship with one another, that they glean meaning from the presence of one another in our lives.»


These are the words from Colin Stetson, American saxophonist and multireedist, about his latest work New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, released on April 2013.


Closing chapter (are we sure?) of the trilogy started in 2008, To See More Light, as its author claims, expands the point of view on universal themes like love and death, bringing us further than the point where the previous chapter led us.

Indeed, if the first volume was the story of people who have been living at sea for generations and Judges, the second volume, told us the story of the landing of one of these people, To See More Light is «a war story. It’s finding your way to this shining beacon on the mountaintop».


Colin Stetson - Who the Waves Are Roaring For (Hunted II)



 Stetson takes us in this journey through repetitive, dark and complex sonic atmospheres that he taught us to appreciate in his previous works and that here are taken to the next step. In fact, the album take advantage of the skill development Stetson has pursued through years of practice, largely using circular breathing, multiphonics and overblowings.

Every sound is recorded live, without loops or overdubs, thanks to several microphones in strategic places including on the side of the saxophone and on the musician’s throat.


The sound landscape is completed by the vocals of Bon Iver’s singer Julian Vernon, who contributes on four tracks to create the environment in which the story takes place.


To See More Light is a difficult-listening album, but it cannot avoid to cause emotions, it cannot leaves us indifferent.


Colin Stetson - High Above A Grey Green Sea (Live in Boston)


by Francesco Rovito