FM premiere. Ceiling Spirits unveils complexity and immersion with ‘The Bloodwren Part II’

"I imagine someone fundamentally innocent who is falling endlessly—like off a cliff or something—and just increasingly surrenders to a sort of gracious, euphoric despair"
23 January 2024

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Mario Quadracci, the mastermind behind Ceiling Spirits, is set to release their highly anticipated sophomore LP, The Bloodwren, on March 22 across all major streaming platforms. Following their acclaimed 2018 debut, this new album ventures into more intricate, experimental, and heavier musical territories.

To offer an enticing glimpse of what awaits in The Bloodwren, the album’s first single, The Bloodwren Part II, comes accompanied by a visually captivating visualizer, elevating the overall listening experience.

The Bloodwren came to life with the collaboration of exceptional musicians, including Bryan Devendorf, drummer for The National. Quadracci’s narrative for the album explores the cyclical nature of chaos and the transformation of individuals subjected to cruelty, a theme deeply relevant during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

This album, rich in layers, is perfect for ultra-high-fidelity formats, available on streaming platforms, vinyl, and in immersive Dolby Atmos / Immersive Audio. Grammy-winning engineer Dave Way crafted the Atmos mixes for an exceptional listening experience.

The Milwaukee-based contemporary composer provides insight into the composition, stating, “The Bloodwren Pt. II was meant to have a sort of dichotomy to it. On one hand, the music over the first few minutes is meant to convey something a bit menacing and with a lot of power being bewildered by its circumstance. It grows increasingly frustrated and exertional even as it makes no progress towards its goals. On the other hand, the last bit of the piece is more resigned. I imagine someone fundamentally innocent who is falling endlessly—like off a cliff or something—and just increasingly surrenders to a sort of gracious, euphoric despair. It seems to me like these conflicting moods have melded into something incoherent and inescapable that has informed a lot of recent history.”

Ceiling Spirits began as an experiment in live film scoring, where Quadracci performed solo, using extensive looping, effects, and non-traditional guitar techniques to craft dense atmospheric soundscapes behind self-produced films created from found footage. Over time, the project expanded to include other musicians, including a string ensemble, to further develop the material that originated from the live shows. This material was then shaped to be more compositionally constrained, suitable for a full-length LP.

Ceiling Spirits’ debut self-titled album, recorded in London and Ireland and produced by Gareth Jones, received critical acclaim upon its release in 2018. Now, with The Bloodwren on the horizon, Ceiling Spirits is preparing to make another impact on the music scene, leading their listeners on an unforgettable sonic journey.

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The Bloodwren – Credits:

  • Mario Quadracci: All compositions, arrangements, guitars, synths, and programming
  • Bryan Devendorf (The National): Drums
  • Devin Drobka (Mouse on Mars, Weather Report): Drums and Celeste
  • Eric Sanderson (Augustines): Double Bass and analog synthesizers
  • Yoed Nir (Paul Banks, Regina Spektor, Of Montreal, Mountain Goats…): Violins, Cello, and Viola
  • Rob Schwimmer (Paul Simon, Wayne Shorter, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, John Cale…): Piano, Theremin, Haken Continuum
  • Reid Jenkins (Cassandra Jenkins, Morningsiders)
  • Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Mercury Rev, Kurt Vile, Sharron Van Etten, Jonsí, Frightened Rabbit…): Producer and mixing”