THEODORE CALE SCHAFER
Students Of Decay 122 / USA / 2019
Patience is the debut full-length album by Sante Fe-based artist Theodore Cale Schafer. Alternately murky and narcoleptic and bristling with grit and light, this collection of eight pieces is a delicate play of contrasts. Impressionistic settings unfurl with an unhurried gait, opening with the dreamlike disorientation of "Gold Chain" in which a degraded location recording gives way to a soft web of treated piano motifs. Schafer’s compositions are sumptuous yet unfussy, recalling perhaps the concise, vignette-oriented tape works of Andrew Chalk, which seem to prioritize spontaneity and ephemerality over preciousness and decorum. This approach yields substantive results, as on "It's Late", which marries a dolorous, clanging guitar sketch to the sound of change jostling in the pocket of a walker and the laughter of friends or passersby. This is diaristic music - rough-hewn, confessional, and teeming with possibility.