Of Note: Interpreting the American Dream with Scott Wollschleger & Bearthoven

Apr 16, 2019

The paradox of being an American composer in a what is historically Eurocentric, the emotional upheavals of the 2016 election, and the significance of the gas station in American iconography are all factors in the album American Dream, a collaboration between New York City-based composer Scott Wollschleger and piano trio Bearthoven.

"'American Dream' really didn't become the title until quite far into the process," says Wollschleger. "I think what happened as I was writing it I was saying, 'What is this?' And I kept coming back to this idea that it felt like a dream, floating through these different patches of sound."

Wollschleger and Bearthoven combined their skills to create an eerie soundscape whose languid drones are disrupted by crystalline bursts of piano or strings, as if to wake the listener from a sleepwalk. 

"Like most people I was quite plugged into the news and the election cycle, and there was a shock to the system," says Wollschleger. "As an American I felt I was exorcising these extremely complicated feelings that were surging through me."

Listen to the full conversation with Of Note's Katy Henriksen in the streaming link above.