Surge: Wordsongs & Soundtexts is a collaborative album of audiodrama that marries words – usually storytelling, sometimes poetry or drama – with original music.

Though a few names pop up more than once, every piece was created by a different combination of artists.

Each track grew out of its distinct process. Some writers, such as Ariel Abrahams, interwove their own music into the story’s delivery, and completed their tracks alone. By contrast, the director, actors, and musician for “The Letters” had virtually no input from its writer.

Stylistically the texts are equally diverse. “A Diana or Nick Xmas” is composed of alternating snippets of floating thoughts. “Tarpon” combines thrilling action-adventure with coming of age memoir and vivid underwater imagery. “Leave the Stovelight On” is composed of three entirely separate segments: a humorous break-up letter, a late-night talk radio broadcast, and a melancholy character study. “Make Me Smile” includes a cosmic origin myth for Hurricane Sandy.

Some pieces, including “Flow,” use ambiance and effects in favor of traditional music. “The Gift” had its soundscape constructed almost exclusively from assorted free samples. The Wandering Cellist solos through “No Matter What Remains.”

Though most pieces were written specifically for Surge, some like “The Hypnosis Series” already existed and were adapted to the audiodrama format. Rob C!’s music on “Tarpon” is composed of extended samples from his unreleased instrumental album, hey! 

These diverse choices were made by the artists based on how the possibilities of audiodrama spoke to them. The result displays the spectrum of possibility that the form offers.

Have a listen, and join us in the space between.

— William Nava and John Passaro