Lance Gurisik‘s passion for music was ignited later than most, as he first strummed a guitar at the age of 16 and began teaching himself to play along to his favorite bands. He was soon encouraged to audition as a composer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he completed his Honours in composition.
Cull Portal was an idea that came to life during Sydney’s 2nd lockdown in 2021 when the world was in limbo and time felt like it was standing still. It’s an exploration of modal harmony and improvisation,
Cull Portal definitely nods its head to the past while intrinsically pushes the genre forward at the same time, as Lance explains:
“I set myself the task of writing something as economical as possible that slowly unfolds into larger, more complex structures. The seed idea started as a solo piano piece, which later formed as ‘Cull pt II’ and from that seed, the rest of the album grew organically. At the time, I remember a friend showed me this one particular Keith Jarrett live performance from 1976 called ‘Eye of the Heart’ pt. 2’. I was obsessed and couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s such an incredible journey from start to finish. I hadn’t heard a piece of music that had moved me like that in a long time. I then went on a rabbit dive into a lot of spiritual/ambient/modal jazz records that were recorded around that time and really wanted to explore that sonic world and that musical language, in a contemporary way, that fused electronics and live recorded instrumentation.
“The live instrumentation you hear on this album was recorded remote during lockdown and is a true testament to the abilities of the performers, especially Jeremy Rose who brought so much life and soul to the parts. There’s nothing quite like turning off the midi temp saxophone and then importing the real thing. The same goes for strings. It is incredible how far orchestral samples have come and they are a great tool for the writing process but give me a human player any day of the week.
“I was fortunate enough to record the original Yamaha CS-80 (The synth made famous in the cult classic Bladerunner score by Vangelis) down at MESS in Melbourne for the album, once the borders re-opened and we were allowed to travel again.”
Cull Portal is released on 18 August, 2023 and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.