Photo and words by Ben Montemayor
With a sigh of relief and a curt nod, twilight relinquishes its governance to night. Looking to the left now, light flickers aimlessly on a white wall. Shadows change in gradation from a milky grey to a deeper black. With my attention transfixed, the wall begins to fade, its opacity reaching zero.
At first there’s nothing, just a void — modulated synth notes vanishing like vapor. But now there appears to be an unfurling. A drop of liquid sends a ripple through an emerald stained puddle and suddenly I’m standing in the middle of a suburban street agleam in a rain shower of arpeggios. Sodium-vapor lamps reflect off the pooling fluid, which intermingles with chemical byproducts of combustion past. The imagery conjures conflicting feelings as panning and exacting notes swirl to and fro, creating a poignant collision of beauty and apprehension.
While Steven Hauschildt is an entirely new artist to me, he is no newcomer to experimental and electronic music. “Strands” is his fourth solo release (along with a compilation album) coming off the dissolution of the band Emeralds in 2013. What I personally find so magnetizing about Hauschildt’s music is its ability to imbue a sense of wonder into mundane moments. I find myself coming back to him during solitary activities, on long drives and city walks where a little extra texture goes a long way.