Entering the Romantic Era with Pat Moon
In the summer of 2016, Track and Field Records boss Kate Davis released the first solo outing as Pat Moon with the atmospherically arranged album Don't Hide from the Light. The record worked with contrasting elements of darkness and light that echoed electronic essences that shine like the way light from the sun is reflected off the surface of the moon to cast a glow on our collective deep pensive evening cycles of thought. Don't Hide saw perceptions of the psychic and sentimental gently glide along parallel rows and pathways to places of warmth, reflection, perceptive enlightenment and more in a quest to discover a newfound peace of heart.
Recently Kate brought more spiritual resonances to the PNW corner of the world with the organic glow of the new Pat Moon album Romantic Era. In an effort to evolve our earth, emotions and atmospheres to a new place of love and healing—Kate, along with a percussive assist by Kyle J. Reigle, together create a universe that feels both personal and infinitely endearing. A lunar glow is witnessed on the lead-in track "Moon in Aquarius" that moves like a summer midnight breeze, as "Medieval Spells" springs to life like antiquated alchemy that sketches ancient recipes and algorithms to summon esoteric forces of mesmerizing magic.
Elements of earth, wind and flame are everywhere like the intoxicating atmospheres experienced on "Air to Your Fire", "Spiraling" through the subterranean catacombs of the spirit, guiding the listener to the intimate reflection pool "Longing for the Infinite", right before settling into the safe chambers of a lavish sanctuary on "I Belong". Star-crossed myths are found on the choral planetarium observatory "Star Maiden", with reminiscence on past and present that are blended on "The Way I Used To", exploring the emotive chasms with "It Feels Like", as the audience are carefully guided like a flock by Davis's creative stewardship toward an outro of deep reckoning with "One Million Reasons".
Kate Davis of Pat Moon shared a variety of thoughts that explore the inspirations that informed Romantic Era:
The creative and personal progression from Don't Hide From The Light to Romantic Era.
There was so much personal growth that happened during the writing and recording of RE. I wasn't fighting fear and doubt with this album, so ultimately I was able to see and create more clearly. In terms of the time between the records, there are some songs on RE that were written right after Don't Hide, sonically and lyrically they could blend into that album well. Then there was a period of experimenting and writing songs that I wasn't really feeling. It was around the summer of 2017 when things started to make sense, it was a dreamy time of smoke-filled skies, the solar eclipse and Saturn return. August in particular had some defining moments that I believe set me on the path I feel like I am on now.
Describe the inspirations that lead to titling the new album Romantic Era.
There was imagery and a definite mood that my heart was set on before the songs came out. I was writing down ideas, words and scenes and found that the title just came to me. Then I started reading more about that time period and found it really intriguing. Personally, I was feeling like I had this renewed sense of wonder in the natural world and a more pure, emotional relationship to the music I was making that felt ageless. I was also thinking a great deal about past lives and re-discovered the artwork of a relative that was a well-known painter during that time and felt very inspired by his work.
Reflections on the importance for an era of love amid our current tumultuous times.
When I write about love, I have a tendency to show some frustration and there's a strong sense of yearning for change in myself or in something else, but they tend to end in a positive manner on this album. Like I've reached an acceptance, I don't have to change or hope or search, I came to understand what love is on a deeper level and now I feel like I can hold up that light within instead of burying it. The album started to take shape when I wrote "Medieval Spells" and "Longing for the Infinite". My mom has a way of giving me books when I need them most, and she gave me one that same week called The Journey of Souls and it was the lyrical inspiration for those two songs. I was intrigued by the idea that we come into this life with souls that we have known in previous lives, and in the spiritual realm, and amidst reading it I was feeling like I was on the verge of losing and failing one of the most important people in my life. There is nothing else more important than to love one another. Everything is love.
Insights into the timeless tailoring of Romantic Era's echoing ambiance.
It's important to me for my music to feel timeless, that is definitely what I am going for. I want it to sound like I'm echoing from a castle tower, a dark candle lit cathedral, an empty dance studio, this is what I imaged. Energy and light that's been kept inside and waiting to burst, flow, twirl and vibrate through old, dark, familiar spaces.
Meditations on channeling psychic sensibilities into cohesive sound arrangements.
My favorite moments in the space where I record are when I get started on an idea and then it starts to flow and form so quickly it's almost hard to keep up with recording. One thing I wanted to work on after recording Don't Hide was being less afraid to re-record takes. I was nervous about losing the sound and the feel, like I'd stray too far from that original idea. I was thinking too that I get why "Medieval Spells" is a favorite. It felt different writing that one and it can still touch this really emotional spot in me when I hear it. It's songs like that one, "One Million Reasons", "The Way I Used To"...the narration changes throughout the song, it's a conversation with the voice inside. Overall it was a lot more interesting for me, creating this album. I felt more in-tune with when I felt most creative, like how at least three of the songs on the album were written while the moon was in the same sign. I had the film Don't Look Now playing whenever I would record vocals to lose myself in the mood I had in mind. It was a fun journey and I'm really excited about how things are going now that the album is out. I'm working on a lot of new songs using the first digital keyboard I ever owned, I think I've had it since I was around seven. As of early April, I've started practicing meditation and yoga regularly and I find after a session is a great time for me to write music. There is less pressure from myself on it these days.
Thoughts on local PDX/PNW artists that have inspired you lately.
I'm most inspired by the people I'm close to, and there aren't very many of them. My partner Kyle is also an artist and he inspires me / my work. He's been releasing music for a while longer and I think we inspire each other in different ways. We also have such different ways of working and writing music, he is very patient and I think it helps me to spend a little more time working on songs before calling them done.
Summer dreams and heartfelt hopes.
My summer dreams are to keep playing shows in Portland and anywhere else I can. I've been happy this year with playing more shows and I only want to get more active with that. Going on tour is a dream. Also, walks on the beach, more time outside, it's supposed to be a more social and creative year for me so I'm hoping to create lots and spend time with friends.
Parting words of wisdom and visions.
I'll leave with some words from others that I've kept in my journal to revisit as often as possible:
Each moment is a precious portal. Each hour a measure of our lives. Each day something we spend either in dedication to our self-actualization or not. It’s easy to squander our lives, talents and time. It takes effort to go against the grain of our ego’s desire — Chani Nicholas
If you want to have the vision of your own supreme self, then become like a clear, calm lake that reflects the moon in it’s fullness. — Swami Chidvilasananda