Allen Cote


The concept of sublimation has roots in multiple scientific doctrines. In the physical sciences, sublimation is the transition of a solid into a gas, sans the usual liquid phase (ie - ice into vapor, without ever becoming water) - this transition is rare, and requires intense amounts of pressure and energy. In the psychological sciences, sublimation generally refers to the transformation of emotions or impulses into socially acceptable behavior - Freud (of course) highlighted the transformation of sexual energy into creative output; whereas Jung referred to a mystical process, with roots in alchemy, wherein the great mysteries of creation are unconsciously revealed through evolution.

The constants between these disciplines and disciples are creativity and radical change. Over the last several years, I have attempted multiple musical experiments based around this concept, involving ever-changing ensembles; songs pulled from the past, present and ether (and in some cases, created on the spot); and most importantly, very little rehearsal or recording time. Though the initial goal was to create a sprawling masterwork, the individual sessions themselves have proved enlightening; and while never perfect nor polished, they are possibly more interesting and complex than anything I could have arranged or orchestrated beforehand.

The Sublimative Sessions - Vol. 2: Darling Hall (RIP) was recorded in a single night at the now defunct home of The Vega Star and Flojo collective rehearsal, recording and living space. Four of us entered the room at 4pm on Friday, April 13, with almost no preparation - three of us had never technically made music together before - and by midnight we had roughly three takes each of five songs. Strings and light guitar accents were added later, using the same improvisational approach, but the performances remain intact; a document of us discovering the music, with some very raw emotions bleeding through here and there.

For various reasons, I spent two years avoiding this session, refusing to listen back and resolving to destroy the evidence. Special thanks goes out to Jackson Messner and Justin Rolbiecki for encouraging me to revisit and relive, and thereby heal some old psychic wounds - Justin, in particular, has worked his ass off to turn these rough performances into something listenable, and for that I am eternally grateful. Listening back with a little more objectivity, I can honestly say this is one of the best things I have ever recorded - I hope you feel the same.