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Objects I've Been Given

by Taylor Deupree

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Objects I’ve Been Given was a monthly creative project I embarked on during the rather tumultuous year of 2020. The project is based around creating music with small gifts given to me over the years by friends and family, maybe for a birthday, or as a present when visiting their country. It is also, in many ways, a return to the more experimental work of mine from the early 2000s. The objects range from a tiny brass bell, to a handmade sculpture to an antique wooden zither, to an iconic vintage synthesizer, from the simple to the ornate. To me they are much more than simple gifts or noise makers, they hold souls, stories and memories and have been cherished over the years.

During each month of the year I created a piece of quiet, abstract music with one or two of the objects and, for the sake of purity, used the barest minimum of recording equipment and a set of self-imposed limitations in the studio. The idea was to explore not just the sounds these objects are designed to make but to also highlight their surfaces and materials. Some of the objects were not even musical by design such as the book or the coconut ladel. My desire was that you hear the physical material of each object as they were struck, bowed, or scratched as I tried to utilize the entirety of their form, musical or not. Experimental in nature, I did not set out to create grand pieces of ambient composition but rather small, personal sonic odes to these humble forms. The core concept of the project also greatly forced me out of my comfort zone to explore different sonic palettes and arrangements.

As the year the planet collectively suffered comes to an end I look back at the strange work I created and can’t help to feel amazed and a little bit proud that I saw the project through to completion. It’s very imporant, I feel, as an artist, to sometimes reach for insecure creative territory, successful or not and I feel, in the end, that I grew as an artist because of this.

Objects I’ve Been Given is a thank you to those who have given me these special gifts and is dedicated to my friend and fellow artist Steve Roden. Steve’s amazing early recordings with non-musical objects have been a huge inspiration to me over the years. The trajectory of my entire musical career wouldn’t be the same without his work. I also wanted to extend a huge warm appreciation to all of the listeners who followed the project month by month as I released new pieces, sometimes with eager excitement and sometimes with hesitation.

- Taylor Deupree, December 23, 2020


released January 20, 2020



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Taylor Deupree Pound Ridge, New York

Taylor Deupree is the founder of 12k, an independent record label based in a rural area north of New York CIty. Started in 1997, 12k has pioneered a form of experimental ambient music involving delicate hybrids of digital technology and acoustic instrumentation. ... more

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