Shortwave’s “Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4)”

I had a lot of ideas of what to post for tonight’s Super Blood Moon. But I scrapped all of them, and randomly selected this psychedelic opus from Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Zagar, aka Shortwave. The song’s titled “Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4),” and it’s about as relevant as can be for the evening’s lunar events.

“Phased (The Sunset, Pts 1-4)” comes from an experimental and experiential endeavor to score earthbound celestial events in real-time. Back in 2017, Zagar had this idea to compose a performance, set to a series of sky-based occurrences … a solar eclipse, a full moon, a sunrise, and a sunset, all as they were happening. He didn’t include a lunar eclipse or blood moon, probably because it didn’t coincide with the timing of his efforts. But he caught a solar eclipse and a full moon, nonetheless. And I’d call that close enough to be serendipitous.

This single alludes to the latter part of the day, a sunset set in four parts. It boasts a whopping sixteen minute runtime, and feels like an ambient prog-rock saga worthy of the sun’s departure. It’s full of focused improvisation, meandering with spiritual purpose, infused with a ’70s psych-folk vibe of warm acoustic guitars and twinkling tremulo. It reminds me of like-minded peers Tycho, but more freeform and kaleidoscopic in scope, or Floating Points, if they were less nomadic.

It’s hard to picture “Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4)” being composed on a Chicago rooftop apartment. It’s way too mystical and mythical to exist in the urban world, feeling infinitely more rooted in the serenity of widescreen open-air vistas, illuminated by starlight … or in tonight’s case, the crescent shavings of an eclipsed blood moon.

Perhaps, that’s Shortwave’s intent, a return to nature’s wonders, an escape from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. “Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4)” is a soundtrack for the skies, a score to remind us all of the marvels of mother nature, and the inspiration she provides.

I’ll leave it at that and wrap things up, before my metaphysical inclinations go too far down the rabbit hole. Here’s Shortwave’s “Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4).” And I’d totally advise approaching this one in its entirety. Spotify’s sample is sufficient. But out of context, it’s hard to picture the full intent. Release and enjoy!

“Phased (The Sunset, Pts. 1-4)” from the 2019 EP “Phased.”