good afternoon ~
happy today to share (instead of your regular MBB email) a new piece of music from Friends Meeting, my duo with M. Geddes Gengras. Please enjoy "God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance," out today from Going In:
Listen + stream here (bandcamp exclusive!):
"We emerge from an amniotic sleep, gently woken by a lilting guitar riff that ripples into the ether. Daisychains of sunlit arpeggios sway beneath sprawling clouds. Light pours through the trees. Modular plucks echo like bird songs in the morning breeze. Slowly we open our eyes to the great big blue and find we’re not alone; the terror, a mere afterthought in the face of such love, such gratitude, and unending togetherness.
With "God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance," Friends Meeting, the duo of Ben Seretan and M. Geddes Gengras, invites us into the warm hearth of their companionship. Here, we are privy to the true essence of their friendship and raw collaboration. The pair’s approach to music-making is intuitive and free-flowing, with each musician contributing their own unique sound to the mix. “We don't prepare too much ahead of time,” Ben says. “And we usually find our footing in the world pretty quickly. A lot of listening, a lot of intuition, a lot of accepting the foibles and accidental little genius moments of the other.” The result is a sonic tapestry that shimmers and shifts like the stars in the night sky.
Recorded in Ged's basement, the music on this release is a testament to the power of friendship and the joy of making music together. The duo's use of various electronic components, including synthesizers (both keyed and modular), delay pedals and other guitar effects, processed vocals, lap steel, and more, creates a rich and textured sonic landscape that evolves and transforms with each passing moment. The addition of Ben's newly acquired 1929 Steinway piano adds a layer of depth and emotion to the music, weaving in and out of tune with the other instruments during the central movement of the piece.
The title of the release, borrowed from a film of the same name by American documentarian Les Blank, speaks to the duo's approach to music-making. Like Blank's films, the music on this release captures the essence of the moment, with a tender framing that allows the listener to fully immerse themselves in the experience. The title also nods to the Quaker theme of the duo's name, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and community.
Overall, "God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance" is a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to the power of friendship and the joy of making music together. It is a reminder that, in a world that often feels isolating and disconnected, the simple act of coming together and creating something beautiful can be a powerful force for good. But, it must be noted, Ben and Ged didn’t make this piece for Going In. The music wasn’t made for healing, per se. ”As corny as it sounds we simply wanted to be in each other's world for a time, the warm sunny bask of a companion in this life, a puppy and a kitten in a sunbeam.” It's the sound of “joining and fraternity, ease and camaraderie,” as Ben puts it. “Who you care about is the deepest reflection of yourself,” he continues. “And you should care for those homies, too. I hope the folks who hear this are moved to call an old friend out of the blue and catch up.”"
Written, produced and performed by Ben Seretan and M. Geddes Gengras
Mastered by Keith Fullerton Whitman
Art Direction by Andrew Charles Edman
Liner notes by Zoey Shopmaker