Populist Records Releases New Albums from CalArtians Nicholas Deyoe and Ashley Walters

Album Covers: ‘Sweet Anxiety’ by Ashley Walters and ‘For Duane’ by Nicholas Deyoe (Images from Populist Records Bandcamp)

Los Angeles-based record label Populist Records released new music from The Herb Alpert School of Music faculty, composer and guitarist Nicholas Deyoe and cellist Ashley Walters (Music BFA 07). The official concert release party for both artists’ albums took place on Oct. 20, at the new Thymele Art Space in Los Angeles.

Their concurrent release is no mere coincidence. Deyoe and Walters appear on each other’s albums, as well as a number of CalArts alumni and faculty. The press release notes, “In addition to the community they share, Walters and Deyoe are united by their willingness to take risks – to realize bold visions, daunting technical/expressive challenges. Adventurous, uncompromising, and bursting with creative energy, these two discs exemplify the vitality of LA’s flourishing new music scene.”

For Duane, the 14-track album by Deyoe, features recordings of chamber pieces performed by wasteLAnd, Aperture Duo, Ashley Walters, Stephanie Aston (MFA 06) and Batya MacAdam-Somer. Other CalArtians appearing on the album include Elise Roy (MFA 12), Claire Chenette (MFA 12), Brian Walsh (BFA 06, MFA 08), Archie Carey (MFA 11), and three Music faculty: Ethan Marks (MFA 17), Matt Barbier (MFA 10) and Luke Storm (MFA 09).

Walter’s first cello solo album Sweet Anxiety includes six solo acoustic tracks as well as works by Berio, and features School of Music faculty Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh (MFA 08), Wolfgang von Schweinitz and former faculty Wadada Leo Smith. An excerpt from Walters’ artist note reads, “I present this album as a reflection of the enduring musical collaborations I share with these composers, whom I am proud to call mentors, colleagues, and — most of all — friends.

I seek to challenge your perception of what the cello, a stereotypically gentle instrument, is capable of. Scordatura, microtonality, improvisation, and extended techniques transform the serene ‘swan’ into a snarling, roaring creature, as sinister as it is beautiful.”

Check out Walter’s performance of Lullaby 6 by Deyoe from his new album, For Duane, below:

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