A Line that Terminates at the Present
is Maria Finkelmeier’s debut album as a composer. With years of experience as a performing percussionist - behind a marimba, ensemble, or orchestra - she now explores her voice up front as a creator through her work with MASARY Studios and Kadence Arts. Stemming from a background in improvisation, her work grows organically from a single theme, melodic idea, or physical setting. This album represents the variety of percussion-based music she’s created, from marimba and vibraphone quartets, to improvisations featuring electronics, and high energy, pop-inspired duos.
The first two pieces, Without Voices and To Know No, are percussion quartets based on her large scale work with MASARY Studios commissioned by The Boston Center for the Arts entitled “Know No.” premiered in March 2017. The works dissect the emotion one feels when hearing or stating “no,” as an individual, minority, or society at large. The works are inspired by the resonance and gravity of the BCA’s historic Cyclorama. To Know No features the voices of 10 collaborating poets: Jourdan Christopher, Danielle Legros Georges, Tim Hall, Krysten Hill, Fred Marchant, Lauren Miller, “Mistah" Matt Parker, and Lily Rush and was recorded by Kadence Ensemble (Maria Finkelmeier, Greg Jukes, Matt Sharrock, and Drew Worden).
Insomnia Suite was created during the many sleepless nights of Finkelmeier’s first pregnancy. With the anxiety and excitement of starting a family, an unrecognizable body, and many aches and new sensations, she often went to her keyboard during the middle of the night to pass the time and calm her mind and body. This suite is a result of these improvisations with new synthesizer sounds and effects. The marimba layers were created in the studio in response to these recordings.
Claiming the title of the album, A Line that Terminates at the Present blends Finkelmeier’s interest in song-like form, beats, and off-kilter marimba grooves. Tim Hall (saxophone) and Finkelmeier began collaborating in 2017 as they began to observe similarities in their histories: raised in the midwest with strong connections to music education and band, followed by sometimes aimless travel and experimentation, before landing in Boston and calling it home.
The conclusion of the album shares two duo percussion pieces featuring MASARY Studios co-founder Ryan Edwards: Come with Me and The Solution. Created in collaboration with the studios’ projection artist, Sam Okerstrom-Lang, the pieces are a multi-media exploration of sound, timbre, groove, and melody. The trio presents the pieces in their touring show “peripherique,” transforming unorthodox venues and outdoor spaces into visceral multi-media spectacles. Videos of the pieces, shot in an abandoned power plant in South Boston, were released and featured by Boston Magazine in September, 2018.
The title of this album is inspired by Alan Lightman’s book Einstein’s Dreams, in which the reader is pushed to ask oneself, what is time and how do we feel it?
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by John Escobar at EscobarMusic
Recorded at The Record Co.
Assisted by Jamie Rowe, Nick Stevens, Kaitlyn Burke, Jonathan Padilla, Dan Shinde
Album Art by Elisa Hamilton
Album Design by Laura Grey