In his debut recording on slashsound, Canadian-born, Atlanta-raised, and Brooklyn-based sound/visual artist Phong Tran deploys an impressive arsenal of homegrown software synthesizers to explore the forces of sacrifice and reflection, as they appear on the brink of major life changes. A protégé of Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon, Tran balances meticulous structures and forms with frenetic emotive energy.
Initiate [noun ih-nish-ee-it] takes its formal inspiration from the narrative arc of Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, and tells the story within every story in a 35-minute program of immersive industrial sound design, zero-to-sixty instrumental builds, and constantly breaking tides of melody and polyrhythm.
“A lot of people in my life were facing new challenges,” the composer explains of the concept behind Initiate, which is at once deeply personal and universally relatable, “both of my sisters were now becoming mothers, new friendships were forming, and older ones were becoming distant. We all work through the dilemma of how we bridge the life we led previously and the life that’s waiting for us afterwards”.