Gabie Strong
Wilding Sun
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Gabie Strong’s latest album, Wilding Sun, is a distinct addition to Dragon’s Eye Recordings’ catalog, consisting of four arrangements titled after medicinal herbs. The album relationally places the listener in synesthetic herbal wash, translating flavor and fragrance into sound through live improvisations, home recordings, and field recordings. Each composition is healing in its own rite; all flourish together to create a complex, organic whole.  

The first track, “Lavender”, is a recording from her most recent performance celebrating the painting exhibition Forest by artist Pamela Jorden at Romer Young Gallery in San Francisco. Both Strong and Jorden share similar movements when manipulating sound and paint, respectively; they both bend, droop, reach, wave, teeter and stretch to manipulate their materials. Strong’s guitar improvisation is an homage to the embodied gestures and luscious pigments which comprise Jorden’s Forest.

“Catnip” and “Dandelion” both blend unique self-recorded improvisations and site-specific field recordings made by Strong in 2021. There is simultaneously a compact, domestic intimacy and an expansive sense of unfurling in each composition.

Finally, “Mugwort” is a lo-fi recording of the artist’s charged 2019 performance at “Hell in a Handbag 8: Handbag Factory’s 8-Year Anniversary” in Los Angeles. The acoustics alternate between hushed static, salient feedback, and sustained drone.

Much like a garden, Strong’s compositions cultivate a sense of external enclosure—the quality of being both inside and out. The four tracks, like their namesakes, are simultaneously delicate and hearty, remedial and temperamental and graceful; the album itself an apothecary, offering up a holistic transmutation of the senses. 

Cover Art: Detail of Pamela Jorden’s painting Dusking, 2021. Acrylic and oil paint on linen. Photographed by John Pearson. Romer Young Gallery. 

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