Montréal saxophonist Jason Sharp Shares New Track “Gates of Heaven”, accompanied by experimental film


Jason Sharp has been a fixture of Montréal’s experimental/improv scene for many years, chiefly as a saxophonist exploring eletcro-acoustic and durational music, and in a wide variety of jazz, avant and contemporary music ensembles.“Gates of Heaven” is an 18-minute through-composed acoustic recording and Sharp’s first official new release since Stand Above The Streams (2018). The single accompanies an experimental film by Guillaume Vallée.

Jason reveals, “this recording captures a solo bass saxophone performance in the Gates of Heaven, a small synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin. After an exhaustive recording session elsewhere, I visited the synagogue en route to the airport to quickly record a solo piece. The engineer and I had only a couple of hours to capture something before catching our flight home to Montreal. Microphones were set up at varying distances throughout the synagogue and I improvised a solo piece using the acoustics of the space. We had just enough time to record what became an 18 minute multi-tracked piece. Each layer was a first take and a response to the previous. It began to rain heavily towards the end of our session audibly rattling the synagogue, we tore down the mics, and hurried to the airport. Taking this fleeting moment for myself to play in this beautiful resonant space was both nourishing and revitalising. I returned to this recording when the pandemic hit in mid-March as a way to focus my attention on something positive and future-driven. Listening back to this acoustic document during this unprecedented time, I once again felt the support this space had provided – and was reminded of the fragility that improvised music can often reveal and the strength it can restore.”

Guillaume Vallée adds, “along with the musical beauty of the piece, the context of recording was an inspiration to me. When Jason explained to me that he recorded the piece in a place of worship, I imagined something soft & dark, some sort of suggested figurative visual ambiance. After listening obsessively for days, I began to work on a three-part narrative structure that follows the music’s progression. Everything comes from Super8 images that I shot years ago and got processed and scanned during isolation. Flowers, walls from the Middle Ages, a church – in colour and black & white that have then been heavily processed through analog video tools. I wanted the images to be sculpted by the music, as a pure depiction of the emotional states of mind this piece puts me in.”

Jason Sharp Single Cover Art
Jason Sharp Single Cover Art

Jason Sharp “Gates of Heaven”
Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series Constellation 2020

Bass saxophone performed by Jason Sharp Recorded at The Gates of
Heaven, Madison WI
Engineered by Vid Cousins Edited by Vid Cousins and Jason Sharp
Mixed and mastered by Jesse Zubot
Video by Guillaume Vallée

“Gates of Heaven” is exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for the first week of release, during which time Sharp’s two Constellation full-length albums will also be digitally sale-priced. Proceeds from all these sales go 100% to the artist, as part of Constellation’s pandemic initiative for immediate artist support.

Jason Sharp Image By Gwendal Le Flem
Jason Sharp Image By Gwendal Le Flem

About Jason Sharp

Since the release of his acclaimed second solo record Stand Above The Streams in 2018, Sharp has toured the album in Europe with sound artist Adam Basanta (including appearances at ReWire, Atlantique Jazz Festival and BRDCST), written and performed with spoken word artist Kaie Kellough (2020 Griffin Poetry Prize) in Canada, performed and recorded duo sessions with Roscoe Mitchell, and appeared on albums by Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush and Elisapie among others. Sharp composed the original score for the apocalyptic prepper drama Jusqu’au déclin (Québec’s first French-language Netflix feature production), Kimberley de Jong’s dance piece “The Day the Wild Cried” and the forthcoming film by celebrated experimental filmmaker Daichi Saito (their second collaboration).

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