We went down to our basements.
We stayed for hours and days; weeks, months and years.
We listened and we played. Alone. Together.
With what we had. With what we could get.
Hierarchies reversed. Outcomes were uncertain.
Structures were dislocated.
We went upstairs. Liminal Phase.
Weaving avant garde tonalities and captivating melodies into expansive improvised soundscapes informed by ambient, jazz, psychedelia and West African musical ideas, Liminal Phase features deVon Gray (Heiruspecs) on bassoon, flute and keys, Adam Levy (Honeydogs) on guitars, Lisa Hirst-Carnes on oboe and harmonium, Joey Van Phillips (Mystery Palace, Dessa) on drums, Dan Zamzow (Cloud Cult, Deep Soul Deities) on cello and experimental electronic musician Nathan Brende adding diverse electronic textures.
Liminal Phase takes their name from the anthropological concept that describes a period of transition during which traditional limits on thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed, a fitting name for the experimental project focused on composing and performing in an intuitive, collaborative manner. "There's a lot of similarities between what we're doing now and what Miles Davis was doing in '69," pianist deVon Gray comments. "He would just get up on onstage and play. 'What was that called?' Call it whatever you want. Often the material determines when it's done. The music has these natural breaks. You can pick up on a where a new movement begins or the definitive end. We look around and smile at each other...we'll look at our drink situation."
"As a musician, one of the cool things I would say about this project is surrender," says guitarist Adam Levy. "A lot of times in bands there is a sense of a leader and someone who is calling the shots. In this band, for me, it's about saying, 'Look at all these other ideas. Where is that going to make you go?' and allowing this band to create a sort of living animal every time we play a song.”
The band approached the recording of LP with little advance planning or existing compositions; the idea was that they would create in the studio and in the moment. Someone would introduce a musical idea, the others would respond and the songs would develop a short evolutionary life as they played. Deviating from the traditional process of recording a part multiple times, the band was able to relieve some of the pressure and just enjoy themselves. In the end, they had hours of recordings that cellist Daniel Zamzow sifted through to find the right pieces, resulting in eleven songs ranging from roughly one and half minutes to an almost fourteen minute track.
Drummer Joey Van Phillips commented, “This was really fun, just to keep that kind of passion alive longer.”