What does your high sound like? Minor chords as played by a deafening, distorted electric guitar? Densely layered electronic music with effects? Laid-back rap that channels your own stream of consciousness? The rumble and hum of feel-good classic rock?
As he has for years, composer Brendan Eder invites you to think outside the box. Bond with a bassoon, crush on a clarinet, fall for a flute, sext with a sax. On “Music for Pot Smokers” — a track that’s certainly for “active” highs — all those and more commingle in a playful, kaleidoscopic way that’s liable to make you forget guitars and computers even exist.
The track appears on the Brendan Eder Ensemble’s new album “To Mix With Time,” coming out Friday.
For the past five or so years, Eder has been the rare beast on the indie scene who devotes himself to instrumental music. “My hope is that people can feel just as vulnerable when listening to instrumental music as they can to something with words,” he says.
Not only that, Eder writes mainly for woodwinds: clarinet, flute, bassoon and alto saxophone. “I love the sonorities of them, and I feel they’re closer to the human voice than any other instrument,” he says. “There is a comforting yet lively feeling when they’re playing together.”
Eder and his merry band of sight readers frolic through 16 tracks (including an Aphex Twin cover) on “To Mix With Time.” The principals include alto sax player Henry Solomon, flautist Sarah Robinson, bassoonist Amber Joy Wyman, clarinetist Vincent Camuglia and electric bassist Logan Kane. The trio of Sam Wilkes, Paul Curtis and Andrew Leonard (all of whom played on the ensemble’s self-titled 2015 album) contribute on two tracks; jazz guitarist Adam Ratner plays on two others; and Colleen Green and Veronica Bianqui add some angelic vocal flourishes to “The Spirit Of.” And Eder mans the drums on the songs, which were engineered by Be Hussey and mastered by Daddy Kev.
As his work as a film composer, other bill-paying endeavors (such as a cannabis salesman and property manager of his building in Echo Park) and his award-winning video for “East Pasadena” suggest, Eder is up for about anything.
Maybe we all should be.