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      — Alec Soth’s photo for the cover of “Things You Already Know”

      Alec Soth Cover Art
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      — Joe Johnson mixing sounds and structures in Minneapolis

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    I’m currently working on putting together photos and sound samples of some instruments I’ve built or customized.  Check the soundcloud link to hear some of the instruments in action, or look at the “Sounds” gallery for more info soon.



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    Big Alcove

    For a list of past work and scores please contact composerchriscampbell@gmail.com

    For music licensing information or sound use please contact composerchriscampbell@gmail.com or Nick Floyd at Naxos.  NFloyd@NaxosUSA.com



    Grant Cutler and Chris CampbellIMG_6614


    a couple things on Things You Already Know

    my friend Steve McPherson who’s a talented musician and writer wrote a couple of things about the upcoming album:     Any composer brings a new recorded project into being through a fundamental three-step process. It begins with the first stirrings of a way of seeing the world and the slimmest notion of how that connects to a way of hearing the world. As that seed begins to grow, the concerns of how to best build an ensemble, a human machine to share this vision, begins to come to the fore. And then, when all of the grit and sweat has been poured into it by every hand involved, we are left with the thing itself; if the work is good, it’s more a place than a recording, a space to sink into and explore.   There are thus three parts to Chris Campbell’s Things You Already Know: the conception, the construction and the recording itself.   As a concept, Things You Already Know represents the confluence of a set of interlinked questions and concerns. It stems in part from the idea of absorption, the question of how something becomes a part of your life. There’s an inescapable element of time involved in this question: things (ideas, concepts) outside of ourselves are first encountered as foreign, then challenged or understood in pieces until they eventually sink into the marrow of ourselves, becoming inseparable from us.   Beyond time, though, that process of becoming also involves movement, even if it’s only internal. Represented musically, these concepts manifest themselves as a slow becoming, a gradual approach from an aural distance. In some ways, it makes Things You Already Know a demanding, yet not challenging listen. It demands your trust and your time and doesn’t push you so much as pull you.   Bringing all these threads together into the music was the first step, but the hard part is finding the right people to realize the music in a collaborative way. In order to accomplish this, Campbell brought together members of local bands Zoo Animal and Aaron and the Sea with top players from the Saint Paul Chamber and Minnesota Orchestra. Thus the recording itself came to embody the bridging of certain distance between two musical worlds, between the unwritten and the written, the heart and the head.   Campbell also brought in unique tonal colors thanks to instruments like homemade propane tank drums, bowed psaltery, singings bowls and other unusual objects to work alongside more traditional bowed instruments, drums kits, keyboards and guitars. Running all of this through amps and pedals further warped and softened or hardened the sounds and the formal structure […]

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    the twin cities music community

    Doesn’t need me to say how great it is-it’s doing just fine without me cosigning.  That said, Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the most collaborative musical places I’ve ever encountered.  Musicians and makers get together and talk, eat, drink, and create.  It’s a very kind atmosphere. I couldn’t have actualized, absorbed or really done much […]

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