Continuing in the development of eclectic music that blends spiritual conversations and modern music, Chair and Microphone Vol. 1 spotlights the songwriting and performing talents of Ben Pasley, 100 Portraits, who not only wrote all of the songs on the album, but produced them as well with no overdubs and only a handful of microphones.
Describing the vulnerable nature of such a recording Ben Pasley says, "For a musical era where slick production, vocal pitch correction, and glossy promo is the norm, doing a project like Chair and Microphone, Vol. 1 is both frightening and freeing. I have written songs in the quiet of my living room for years, but I usually imagine, even during the writing process, the other instruments and the other artists, that will accompany the final song. To write songs knowing they would have to stand-alone was a challenge both to my musical ego and to my musical ability. I have a great admiration for those singer-songwriters who, as a creative commitment, write and perform in the vulnerable loneliness of the 'Chair and Microphone' styling.
"On the other hand," continues Pasley, "being able to write a song, record it in the same hour and then change it on a whim the next day without concern for any greater arrangement was an incredibly freeing experience. Several songs were recorded right from the loose, hand-written notes of my journal, filled out in front of the microphone improvisation ally, and then simply left alone because they felt complete. This is the way I like my concerts, and now, I can say, that it also is an intense way to make a record."
With a musical history in Southern Rock, Folk and World Music, Pasley blends a simple guitar style with a masterful collection of emotion set to lyric. All the themes are unapologetically spiritual and are purposely set to guide the listener through different layers of conversations with God.
"This recording bleeds out the heart of Ben Pasley in conversation with God," says Kirby Trapolino, Grassroots Music Distribution. "There is compliment and complaint, loving anthem and stiff argument. It is both polite and brutal."