The Gradual Progression is a transformative collection of new music by Greg Fox. The seven pieces of The Gradual Progression activate spiritual states through physical means, Fox’s rigorous inner rhythms the mandalic vessel for unbound expression and arrangement. TGP signals both a reconciliation of disparate musical ventures and a new nirvanic stage in the artist’s oeuvre.
Fox views TGP as an exploration of selfhood, and more specifically, the search for his true voice as an artist. Though such a journey is by nature ongoing, if not essentially elusive, the discoveries along the path are the musical riches of TGP. For his second solo album (following 2014’s Mitral Transmission [DataGarden]), Fox employs new methods of externalizing his polyrhythmic virtuosity into non-physical realms.
This transfer of energy is achieved through responsive environments tethered to various aspects of the performance. Sensors attached to Fox’s drum kit trigger tonal palettes, or virtual instruments invented for each piece, which Fox communes with in the post-Free Jazz manner. That is, locating and emphasizing states of universal resonance in solo and ensemble settings in place of demonstrating individual ability.
Adapting the ‘intuitive gesture’ of action painting, and other responsive means of art-making, Fox developed a musical language constructed to isolate its most emotional and felt states for exploration. The subjective themes that inspired these deep spaces of TGP are numerous: personal loss, self-improvement, and artistic struggle, to name a few.
Another theme, hiding in plain sight, is Fox’s drumming. Years of supplying spin in collaborative bodies (Guardian Alien, Ex Eye, Liturgy, Zs) becomes a symbol of materiality on TGP, of organic animated energy seeking beyond its boundaries. Fox describes this tactile element as “sensing the emotionality and physicality of the world with the senses and through mental processes––about touching the walls of a pitch black room.”
Fox is an active member of Zs, Guardian Alien and Ex Eye. He frequently performs solo in various lucky locations across the globe.
Watch Greg Fox play a live session on a Sensory Percussion Set.
Recorded during PEOPLE 2018 at Funkhaus Berlin.