Vega Trails | Tremors in the Static




Bassist and composer Milo Fitzpatrick (Portico Quartet) launches new collaborative project with saxophonist Jordan Smart (Mammal Hands). Vega Trails is a new project from double-bassist and composer Milo Fitzpatrick, a founder member of Portico Quartet, who has also performed with the likes of Nick Mulvey and Jono McCleary and features saxophonist Jordan Smart (Mammal Hands, Sunda Arc) in a richly powerful duo bringing together two powerfully charismatic musicians. The project which takes its name from Carl Sagan’s science fiction novel ‘Contact’ (a book about signals of new life detected from the Vega system) and was born out of a desire to bring the elements of bass and melody to the foreground in their rawest form and Fitzpatrick explains that he deliberately chose the stripped back approach.


Tremors in the Static was composed during Lockdown as Fitzpatrick immersed himself in music that had space and sparseness such as Swedish fiddle music and Indian Classical music. Jan Johansson’s legendary ‘Jazz på Svenska’ (jazz versions of Swedish folk songs) was another influence, as was a collection of ancient lullabies by Spanish soprano singer Montserrat Figueras. Through exploring the harmonic and textural possibilities on the bass, Fitzpatrick would cycle riffs and motifs whilst singing melodies, and he began to create the music debuted here. However, it was only after listening to Charlie Haden’s album of duets, ‘Closeness’, that the project would come into focus as a duo, and Fitzpatrick immediately knew that the second musician had to be Jordan Smart.



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