Skrontch Music is the project of New Orleans’ musician Byron Asher. They are a large multi-genre, multi-generational ensemble who sit within the New Orleans jazz tradition, but bring to it a sense of a modern big band sound with nods to quasi-classical, minimalist writing.
We are delighted to be premiering the new video for the forthcoming albums single ‘Elergy’, and we spoke to Byron about the project. He told us “This track, Elegy, as well as the entire ‘Skrontch Music’ project, is about looking back to the early 1900s, the early jazz period in New Orleans, for insight into the present moment. The album features sound collage and collective improvisation, and it was important to me that the film visually reflected those techniques. The archival footage of the New Orleans port overlaid onto street scenes of the city today is a perfect visual analog to what we’re doing musically.”
There’s threads from everywhere in ‘Elergy’, as it grows out of this simple clarinet figure. As it unravels, so it steps through this modern take on an Ellington-esque sound, with nods to New Orleans and even Gershwin. As it gains momentum so it really begins to forge that modern jazz sound, the orchestration expansive and the melody this sad, biting earworm before it dies away to nothing. Brilliant stuff.
The video’s director, Zuri Obi (of Femme Noir Films), told us “Byron and I share a mutual goal of honoring the roots and architects of Jazz. With this piece, I wanted to acknowledge water as an architectural force that shapes the living history of the birthplace of Jazz. Water is what makes New Orleans magical in its mere existence”.
Check it out, here