Orphan Work

by Ryan Scott Mattingly

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John Carroll
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John Carroll This guy knows how to create amazing soundscapes! He uses those soundscapes to frame his beautiful guitar work. It's a really interesting way of keeping the melody pure and focused while the whole production is still full, lush, and alive. Definitely a unique vision that you'll want to check out! Favorite track: Pentecost.
Scott thumbnail
Scott This pretty album exists on the edge of my comfort zone but proved more rewarding than I initially expected. Points of comparison: it's like a cross between "Branches" by Cyril Secq & Orla Wren and Act One of "An Opera for Four Fusion Works" by vidnaObmana (feat. Dreams in Exile), with a bit of Matteo Uggeri's field recordings grounding it throughout. Very nice! I hope a lot of people hear this (and support the artist and label). Favorite track: Black Ark.
FlownBlue thumbnail
FlownBlue A beautful album, combining acoustic, electronic and everyday sounds in a really imaginative way. Very hard to choose a best track but for me it has to be the lovely 'Gamine'. Great work, Ryan! :-) Favorite track: Gamine.
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Ryan Scott Mattingly’s Orphan Work is a song cycle built on duplex scales, inharmonic bridges and distended, bent wires. In this concept album the traditional lines between acoustics (guitar, banjo, mandolin, double bass) and electronics (stompboxes, synthesizer, pedal steel) are woven into one until those juxtapositions bloom into grandiose, otherworldly textures.
Though the songs are melodically and harmonically structured, there are elements of environmental noise and self-created samples which have been tampered with on cassettes and re-amped.

Orphan Work deals with issues of identity and displacement: it was written at a time when health issues led the author to become increasingly aware of the passage of time. During that particular and uncertain period of his life Ryan recorded a series of songs for his young daughter, which Naviar is honored to publish today.

“For Lisa: I would not be who I am without you. I could not have made this without your support and love. This is a small reflection of that light.

For Sylvia: You are the reason for these songs. I wanted to leave you an honest momento of this time in our lives. Your voice is woven into so much of this record, laughing and playing. Thank you for all of your help.

In memory of Georgia Irick, a matriarch who lived a life full of warmth and love.“

Ryan Scott Mattingly's work blends the rich language of songcraft with prepared instruments and experimental recording techniques. Alongside mellifluous harmonies, he winnows feedback into drones; paired with instrumental passages, worn cassettes draw grace and beauty out of prosaic daily sound.


released February 29, 2020

Written, recorded, produced and mixed by Ryan Scott Mattingly
Cover and video by Naviar Records
image by Serge Kutuzov

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Naviar is a community and label that explores the intersection between music and traditional Japanese poetry.

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