Jamais Vu Jacob Taswell



release date: June 14, 2019

release date: June 14, 2019

Jamais Vu is from composer Jacob Taswell, and is the result of efforts to consider his sound, composition process, and artistic goals.

The release is available exclusively through New Amsterdam’s Bandcamp subscription as part of the Windmill Series, a digitally-focused set of releases for subscribers in addition to our existing release schedule. Subscribe today to receive the album which will be released on all other platforms on September 13, 2019.

Notes from the artist:

During the summer of 2017 I lived in Brooklyn and frequently rode the train to and from central Long Island. Traveling without instruments, I tried sketching passages of music using only my laptop. As I grew more absorbed in the sketches, this initial constraint became my binding method, no matter where I worked, in an effort to realize a kind of hyper-deliberate music. Laptop only became my rule for both recording and editing. MIDI sequencing became an obsession.

This is the process that evolved into Jamais Vu. The music is not the result of jamming or discovering the notes that fall under my fingers as a pianist. Making the record was like slowly putting in place each molecule, one by one, of a giant crystal. At the same time, I wanted to replicate the feeling of a band playing together in a room.

A few months after I started the project, I moved to New Haven, taking a restaurant job with shifts that went late into the night. I got up every day to compose, but the slow pace, combined with isolation and constant self-evaluation, drove me into an increasingly altered state of mind. I worked compulsively, doubting whether I could achieve the uniquely evocative quality I hoped for in the music. It was far from the uninhibited, exploratory sketching I did on the train. The work was corroding my ability to function normally.

As my sense of self grew intertwined with the music, I became intensely aware of encountering objects, settings, and people from my daily life as if from a distance. Experiencing the loss of something in each of these moments was extremely unsettling, and it gave me the impulse to title the record. Jamais Vu is music for an age of desensitization—listening is discovering where the residue of memory and spirit remains.  

Track listing:

  1. One

  2. Two

  3. Three

  4. Four

  5. Five


Jacob Taswell – all writing & production,
laptop, field recordings, vocals

Peter Formanek – tenor saxophone (1)
Keren Abreu – vocals (2, 3)
Paul Wiancko – cello (3)
Jack Broza Lawrence – electric guitar (4)

Mixed & mastered by Michael Hammond
Artwork & booklet design by Shu Ohno