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"Much of what this entire record represents to me is the process of healing and going deeper into one’s own mind in order to do so," Ruth says." Desensitization and reprocessing are the foundations of EMDR therapy. While conceptualizing this material I was deep into guided EMDR sessions attempting to reorganize the way my brain had been processing a lot of past events. The closest analogy I have is being under the influence of psychedelics. It allowed me to objectively revisit and evaluate traumatic memories in a very new manner. The overall tone of this piece reminds me of that intensity. I wanted to create an eerie landscape that built into an aural wall of force reminiscent of doom or drone metal. Going through EMDR felt like I was lurking about in hidden pathways of my own brain and reliving parts of my memory I didn’t know were there."
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Rich Ruth – a.k.a. veteran Nashville-based musician Michael Ruth – took a break from touring with various bands in 2018 and dedicated himself to composing ambient music in his small home studio, focusing on the diverse traditions of ambient, new age, spiritual jazz, Kosmiche, and minimalist music. His ideas became fully realized with the inclusion of additional players, pairing his repetitive, droning synthesizer movements with spur-of-the-moment improvisation to transform the material into something much more lush and unpredictable.
One summer morning, Ruth was held up at gunpoint and carjacked by two people outside of his home. His music allowed him to work through this personal struggle, infusing his 2019 debut album, Calming Signals, with striking layers of angst and emotion. Where There’s Life followed in 2021, a collection of meditative pieces written in the early months of the pandemic manifesting the collective sense of uncertainty and solitude of the time.
Recorded in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and in the wake of a series of tornadoes that wreaked havoc upon his North Nashville neighborhood, I Survived, It’s Over sees Rich Ruth pushing his music even further into heretofore untapped sonic and emotional terrain. Melding inventive sound exploration, complex instrumentation – from shredding guitars and swelling strings to flutes, saxophones, pedal steel, and more – and a transcendent passion for nature, Ruth has created a milestone work of organic, symphonic power, a deeply affirmative musical movement that transforms the unease and sorrow of this difficult era into something strong and true and beautiful.
“Working on this music is a daily meditation,” says Rich Ruth. “I wanted to encapsulate the tranquility and disarray found within this process.”
I SURVIVED, IT’S OVER
(Third Man Records)
Release Date: Friday, August 12
Older But Not Less Confused
Desensitization and Reprocessing
Heavy and Earthbound