An Empathic Approach to Fight Climate Change
Recorded in 2010 and 2015 during two trips to a cabin owned by Morgan Hendry’s family for generations, Longcove was originally intended as an ethereal study in time and memory. In 2017, while on paternity leave from his rocket scientist day-job, Hendry finally settled into producing his work. It was during this time that the direction of the composition fundamentally changed after the United States pulled out of the Paris climate accord in June. The result is a haunting composition that not only celebrates the beauty and diversity of Long Cove, but also warns of the impending threat of climate change, the effects of which could forever alter or silence this coastal community.
“For over a year, I have struggled to find a response the radical, anti-science movement that has taken root in the United States,” Hendry says. “While my engineering jobs on Earth Science satellites have exposed me to the science of climate change, I realized that my background in music could help craft an empathetic bridge to reach people that the science community may have otherwise overlooked. Without a doubt, every person has their own Long Cove.”
Longcove draws on Hendry’s experience in creative sound design and electronic music composition. In both his solo work and his time with Beware of Safety, Hendry seamlessly weaves a wide range of source material into his compositions: from underwater percussion recordings and spectrally sampled paintings to broken industrial equipment and the sound of a Mars rover landing during a drop test. “Given my deep connection with Long Cove, I was incredibly cautious during the production of this piece,” says Hendry. “It would have been all too easy to chop the source material beyond recognition, run it through 10 plugins, and fully decontextualize it from its source. The challenge was to walk the thin line between faithfully representing the source material and providing room for melodic composition and expression.”
As part of the rollout campaign for the album, an Instagram collage was assembled between January 1 and March 30, 2018 to tell the story behind the album. It has been preserved here, along with additional details on its intent.
Longcove is available now at morganhendry.bandcamp.com, and all digital music outlets.
Composer - Drummer - Synthesist
Morgan Hendry has been a longtime drummer, synthesist, and composer based in Los Angeles. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, he began playing drums and percussion in the 4th grade. After building a solid foundation under the tutelage of his grandfather, a former member of the Navy band and student of jazz great Cozy Cole, he began studying with Tom Palmer of the University of Delaware. A surprise opportunity to play drums and percussion in one of Arturo Sandoval’s all-star student bands led to positions in two Delaware all-state jazz ensembles. Shelly Berg, one of the conductors, and then head of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Southern California (USC), convinced Hendry to move cross country to study engineering and music, which he did in 2001. He left with a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics) in 2006, and a multitude of experiences in jazz combos, live electronic music ensembles, and radio broadcast.
Hendry was a founding member of the instrumental rock band Beware of Safety in 2005, where he played drums and keyboards for over a decade. His drumming with the band has been called “explosive” (Consequence of Sound) and “world-destroying” (AbsolutePunk). The band released It Is Curtains in 2007, and was quickly selected as Amoeba Records’ Homegrown Artist of the Month in June of that year. Their debut was followed by dogs in 2009, Leaves/Scars in 2011, Lotusville in 2014, and Mabon in 2015. The band receives regular airplay on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” has accumulated over 4.9 million plays on Spotify, and has been featured in film and television, including Fight Night (Rigged), Another Woman’s Life, MTV’s Teen Mom 2 and 3, and BBC’s Horizon. Over its 11 year span, Beware of Safety played shows throughout the US, Belgium, Germany, and Poland, before going on hiatus in 2016.
Hendry has released a number of solo albums, several with a tie in to his background of engineering. These include 2012’s Permutations and 2016’s Benthos, which used custom software to spectrally sample Deborah Sigel’s painting “Sealife” to create a unique instrument for the piece. His recent work has included live modular synthesizer performances (composed and improvised), including one synced with the 2017 Solar Eclipse, and several through Los Angeles’ monthly Modular on the Spot.
Available at morganhendry.bandcamp.com.
Drums/Keyboards/Programming. Available at bewareofsafety.bandcamp.com.
For interview, press, or booking, please email.