Episode 121: Caspar Sonnet

Air date: 9.24.2014

Caspar Sonnet Photo by Rafael Hernandez

Experimental art can be an acquired taste, but once it gets into your head nothing else will do.  Classical composer John Cage built a career on doing things differently, and The Beatles transformed from a garage band ripping off Chuck Berry to the biggest band that ever was by experimenting with just how far a pop song could be pushed into unknown sonic territory.  Caspar Sonnet’s music exists in a world that is at least partially free of the conventions of what most people recognize as pop music.  In Sonnet’s world, song structures do not conform to traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus forms and melodies are juxtaposed against a richer harmonic palette that most ears find familiar.  Listening to Caspar Sonnet’s music can be jarring at first, but if listeners have the courage to abandon comfortable conventions there is a discordant beauty lurking below the surface.  It helps that Sonnet is talented enough to both sing his angular melodies and accompany himself on instruments that have been modified to fit into his mold-less mold - ukuleles are played through amplifiers with a bevy of effects, a lap slide dobro is played a manner that is anything but blues and guitars are “prepared” in ways similar to the manner in which avant-garde classical composers modify instruments to evoke sounds that their inventors likely could never have dreamed possible.  So open your ears and expand your mind to a new definition of what music can be, because Caspar Sonnet will take you there if you’re willing to tag along.   

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