Playing music to the soundtrack of the listeners’ life, Santa Cruz-based Sage and The Chemists combines the unique paring of a violin and didgeridoo over the more traditional music of a keyboard and drums to create a surreal mix of sounds that are haunting, beautiful and unlike anything else on the music scene.
“I think it seems, from my entry into this, is something in the vein of avant-garde cinematic rock,” says violinist Ayden Graham, who became the missing piece to Thomas Sage and Nicholas Priess’ music about a month ago. “It’s something that tells a story without words, and kind of transports people to picture things in their head and really feel a story coming through the music.”
Sage and The Chemists’ music is just that – cinematic. With music that doesn’t just fill up space in a quiet room, but consistently builds; telling a story with each stroke of the keyboard, breath into the didgeridoo, strike of the drum and sound from the violin.
“We’re called The Chemists because we find people who can create with us in the moment and it’s chemistry,” says Sage. “Nick and I knew were were perfect to play with each other because the first time we played it was perfect. The first time we played [with Ayden] it was perfect … My intention is to pretty much make music where I can visualize something when I play it and get lost in that kind of world. I think that’s mostly the goal. I compose a lot of the pieces while looking at art. I’ll look it at, create a story and then I’ll just play it.”
“We don’t fit into any kind of preconceived style,” says Graham.
“I think it’s easier to explore your influences when you have other people who have similar tastes,” says Graham. “Then you can all choose your roles accordingly and what’s interesting is the for a long time I really wanted a rhythm section behind me – some people who could really add to the groove that I had the melody for and it seems like inversely, they were looking for a melodist.”
“It almost feels like something above us,” says Sage. “I know I wouldn’t be able to create such good stuff without these guys. It’s a really nice feeling.”
Sage and The Chemists recently released their first full-length album, Chemistry, at Santa Clara’s Studio Bongiorno, where they often perform. The CD can be purchased at Studio Bongiorno, 500 Lincoln across from the Mission Cemetery, or through www.thomassagemusic.com, CD Baby, iTunes and other online retailers.