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Joanna Mattrey & Steven Long

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Photo by Joanna Mattrey & Steven Long

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Recorded upstate on the coldest day of 2022 and afterwards in a Brooklyn apartment, Strider is the first recording of longtime duo Joanna Mattrey and Steven Long. This recent work is inspired by their track ‘Lazulum’ on Mattrey’s album ‘Dirge’ (Dear Life Records, 2021). Joanna approached Steven with the concept and challenge to make a record of ambient songs. The small pieces are each defined by only one character, which should not be developed, and must remain within the natural range of one clear idea. Sticking to song length, rather than the longer, durational approach of most ambient music, Strider is a collection of concise and melodic, static songs.

For the making of this record, Steven and Joanna banged, blew on, and bowed various dusty pieces of junk, antiques, and old metal franklin stoves that filled her family’s house in upstate New York. They also stood bravely in the 6 degree weather to capture the field recorded sounds of the mighty Hudson River’s giant floating ice chunks clanging into each other as they passed by. The record also features a 1970’s electric Kimball organ, a child’s toy keyboard, a collection of synths, a short-wave radio and the curious and magical Stroh Violin.

Joanna Mattrey is a violist and composer working in free improvisation, new music, and classical music. She uses extended techniques, modern compositional approaches, and electronic alterations to challenge the conventions of the viola. Joanna creates an embodied performance practice centered on ceremony and ritual. Recent solo works include, ‘Dirge’ (Dear Life Records 2021), 'Veiled’ (Relative Pitch Records, 2020). Mattrey is a current Roulette Resident, and past residencies include ISSUE Project Room, Banff's Creative Gesture for Composers and Choreographers, 14th Street Y, Wild Project, and MoMa PS1's ALLGOLD. Mattrey has performed with icons Tyshawn Sorey, Henry Threadgill, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Billy Martin, Elliott Sharpe, Miya Masaoka, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Steve Long, a lifelong New Yorker from Canarsie, Brooklyn, is an artist and organizer working with sound, language, and space. His interest in music began at age 11 when a derelict piece of furniture, formerly known as a piano, was moved into his family’s home. For him, creative work, as a composer or curator, is an act of facilitation. To this end, he constructs situations that allow collaborators to push out into corners and luxuriate in both physical and metaphysical space. His work organizes collective imagined futures unencumbered by incessant categorization. He studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music before receiving his BA in linguistics from the American University of Rome. He received an MMA in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music.  

releases on DLR:

DLR 039 - Strider

DLR 024 - Dirge

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