In Micah Pick and Benjamin Mauch words...The title for this album is an actual snippet of conversation that occurred on the first day of 2020. In the midst of recording music together in Richmond, VA, we took some time to get some fresh air, and were enjoying the unseasonable warmth of the day, but also were reminded that although it felt pleasant in the moment, the warming of the planet is a far from pleasant experience. As enthusiasts of outdoor recreation we have enjoyed warm days in the midst of winter, but have also mourned the loss of forests and land to fires and other hazards brought by the changing climate.
As this album began to develop and take shape, we wanted each track to be a snapshot of a time and place where temperatures are either extreme, or simply strangely warm for their place and season. Each title is a snapshot from around the globe in 2020, which was one of the hottest years ever on record. Our choice to explore Just Intonation scales helps further paint the picture of a new and unsettling world. The intervals used are not typical to Western music and cannot be played on a traditionally tuned piano. For example, one of the scales we used features the interval of 83/64 as the third scale degree.
This is a full quarter tone higher than typical equal tempered major third, giving the music an almost intense brightness. Another interval used in several tracks is the ratio 7/4. This is the 7th harmonic, and as such is not totally jarring to our ears, but because of its closeness to the Dominant 7 interval in western music, it is an interval that brings an almost constant sense of tension. Other tracks stick closer to Pythagorean tunings, giving them warmth, but are still far enough away from standard equal temperament that they feel slightly strange, just like a day in the middle of winter that has temperatures closer to the beginning of summer.