Album Review of
Field Theory

Written by Joe Ross
April 9, 2021 - 10:49pm EDT
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After a couple releases (Conduits in 2005, Tapestries of Song in 2011) that have emphasized his guitar’s natural acoustic sound, Matt Panayides has decided to paint his original musical palette with different sonic colorings, effects, feelings and ideas. He reached out to his friend, colleague and wind synth player Matt Vashlishan with whom he had experimented and recorded with in grad school at William Paterson University.  The, he recruited Bob Sabin (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums) and took the music on the road to Shanghai and Seoul in 2018-19. When Panayides decided to document the music in the studio, tenor sax man Rich Perry was enlisted to add nuances and colors to the project.

Field Theory emphasizes the fact that we all exist in different fields at any given point in time. These fields of time, space and sound allow us to have new and different experiences as they interact. In the title track, this quintet captures the essence of the moment’s unique, emotional content. Each different musical selection, like “Kite Flying,” “Energy Mover” or “Self Narrative” will allow you to connect with your own personal memories from both the near and afar.  With emphatic elements of surging modal jazz, the group’s tonally free music is impressionistic and exploratory. In Panayides’ four tracks in his “Penta Folk” series, you will “Arrive,” “Coalesce,” “Ascend” and “Depart.” Each piece personalizes itself to your own experience, and you should try to live the music rather than just hear it. If you allow all your senses to converge into one, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderfully refreshing and renewing experience as Panayides and company deliver ethereal textures and energetic cosmic wavefiles.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)