“Pétra create electronica using an impressive and virtually unprecedented palette of synth sounds. Aunis is ambient music that uses no drums but still manages to shimmer and throb – and even wobble and squeak – appealingly, pitched somewhere between Aphex Twin and Steve Reich.”
“Aunis [is] a record that is well worth diving into.”
Pétra is a new collaborative music project from Brian Allen Simon (aka Anenon) and Chantal Chadwick.
The duo’s debut album ‘Aunis’ incorporates electronic and acoustic instrumentation which draws the listener into dream-like soundscapes and blends ambient sounds, modern composition, and abstract vibrations.
Primarily written, performed, produced, and recorded on the volcanic island of Nisyros, Greece in late 2018, Pétra means ‘stone, rock’, and the name of the project was inspired by a chance encounter with the photography of Daniel Boudinet as well as the geological formations of Nisyros. With additional work on the album completed in Loire, France and Mexico City, Mexico, the music is a site-specific reaction to all locales and was arranged in a free-form variety of methods with an improvisational energy being the driving force.
Compositions such as the reverberating ‘Aunis’ rely on ethereal sounds and deep repetition while the fluid ‘Landes’ is a weightless moment of sonic beauty and emotional depth.
Elsewhere, the reactionary ‘Fuzz’ and the meditative, hazy sound explorations of ‘Obsidian’ are hauntingly beautiful, while ‘Tavel’ is reminiscent of the melodic repetition of minimalist pioneers like Steve Reich.
Los Angeles native Brian Allen Simon, aka Anenon, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who has received critical acclaim for his work from the likes of Pitchfork, The Wire, The Guardian, and more.
Since his 2012 debut ‘Inner Hue’, Simon has continually and consistently proven his status as an innovator by co-curating an ambient music series at The Museum of Contemporary art in Los Angeles, and releasing critically acclaimed records such as 2016’s ‘Petrol’ and 2018’s ‘Tongue’. An officially sanctioned remix for Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2018 has only cemented this status further.
Chantal Chadwick is a musician, dancer, and founder of Assortment, an agency that supports artists working in photography, motion, and sound with an independent publishing branch for fine art books.
Prior to founding Assortment, she was co-owner of a small gallery in New York City focusing on emerging contemporary artists. She has been quietly making music under the name Bed for close to a decade, but Pétra will be her first release. She is currently working between Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Released on 20 September 2019.
Cover art and design by Em Kei at Odd Studio.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio.