Torrey Newhart | Obsidian Animals / Sound In-Sight

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Jazz-Pop Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Obsidian Animals / Sound In-Sight

by Torrey Newhart

Rooted in jazz, this album covers a lot of ground from impressionism to stride piano or samba to hip-hop. The album is intended to give the listener insight into the world of visual imagination that flows from audible sound.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vignette
3:09 $0.99
2. Bang!
3:15 $0.99
3. Sound In-Sight
5:59 $0.99
4. Indecision
5:06 $0.99
5. Nina
3:08 album only
6. Hopscotch
4:24 album only
7. Mbira Interlude
1:04 $0.99
8. Hideaway Merman Nation
4:35 $0.99
9. Song for Molly
3:44 album only
10. Tapestry
5:44 album only
11. Victory and Sorrow
5:59 album only
12. Monadology
2:31 $0.99
13. Adversity
5:56 album only
14. Perugia
1:40 $0.99
15. Obsidian Kitty
3:09 $0.99
16. Beauvoir
7:44 $0.99
17. Taller Shy Boy
5:21 $0.99
18. Sojourn
4:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sound In-Sight: the album title represents both an artistic and a pragmatic intent. The artistic expression found in visual experiences and sonic experiences can both be very powerful. Newhart uses techniques employed by impressionist composers to create images in the listener’s mind. The crossover between the seen and the heard is an intriguing place that can be powerfully transformative to the people who engage with it. On a practical side, the album is intended to give a listener insight into this other world of imagination that flows from sound.

The title track “Sound In-Sight” was originally composed for large ensemble and later re-arranged for the recording session with seven instrumentalists. Torrey walks the listener through this piece:

The piece begins as an abstract artist often does - throw some paint around and see what sticks. The ostinato rhythm in the piano is the connective tissue throughout the piece. The first half was inspired by John Hollenbeck’s “Weiji”, in which performers are instructed to play “as low as possible” or “as high as possible” and there are many pointalistic phrases tossed around the ensemble. The whole piece washes out to a watery B major texture representing an artist finding something beautiful in the midst of all the paint splatter. There is a melody in the bass, piano and tuba. After the development of this section, the piece changes entirely. The piano enters with the ostinato from earlier, this time only on a single note. This moment represents when an artist looks at their work and something clicks. The free alto solo that follows represents the dumping of black paint and a sort of renewal. This moment is also nod to one of the pioneering free jazz saxophonists, Ornette Colman. In the end, the painter finds herself in an even more profoundly beautiful space than before.

Obsidian Animals: When traveling, Torrey takes with him a small kitty carved from obsidian - the inspiration for “Obsidian Kitty”. No more than 1.5 inches tall, this kitty was sold to Torrey in Mexico on the steps of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan when he was seven years old. The kitty has now taken “selfies” in France, Switzerland, Italy and South Korea. In the Swiss Alps, kitty was the focus; while at the Vatican, kitty took priority over priceless sculptures. In addition to being a travel log, kitty now has a following of its own and has become the icon for the band - out discovering the beauty we find everywhere.



to write a review

Jerry Casteel

Complex and Entertaining
I love this album. I've listened to a lot of Torrey Newhart's recording, and this is his best work yet. The depth of the music allows me to be constantly discovering new parts of each song the more I listen. On top of that, the variety of tracks, in style and execution, keep me engaged throughout the whole album. I would definitely recommend this album! I look forward to listening to the vinyl.