Portland composer and pianist Derek Hunter Wilson returns with his second album, entitled Steel, Wood, & Air. Ten lush, expressive pieces featuring piano, bass clarinet, and strings, this collection reflects the efforts of a young musician challenging himself and discovering his voice in the process. Inspired equally by the contemporary neoclassical scene and early recordings on the ECM label, Steel, Wood, & Air stands, timeless and buoyant, on its own. After releasing his debut album, Travelogue (BNSD 016LP, 2017), Wilson set about re-examining what it means to be a composer. This reappraisal revealed a path toward self-discovery that in turn led to the gradual unfolding of Steel, Wood, & Air, a surprisingly rich endeavor given its strict palette, elemental mindset, and determination to avoid overdubs. Wilson was also invited to contribute a track to Thesis (Loscil, Julianna Barwick, Dustin O'Halloran), the label curated by artist Gregory Euclide. His response, the 10-minute A New Way of Thinking (In Three Stages)", hinted at things to come and was paired with fellow Beacon Sound alumni Rauelsson for a limited edition split 10" release in late 2018. Early on in the process of writing the album, Wilson stumbled across the lectures of David Lang, about which he writes: "Listening to him talk about composing and seeing his enthusiasm for being a composer, and the field in general, made me feel like I had permission to feel that way too. It made me more conscious about what could be possible in contemporary classical music. Listening to him impressed upon me the importance of honesty in creating music. It creates a need as the creator to examine what is essential to them, and that in one sense is what music is or can be -- it's a tool to use to figure out who you are as a person. And honesty is key to this. It's a journey that I'm just at the beginning stages of." From the attention-arresting opening track "Different Opinions" to the unabashedly gorgeous "Knife Fight", and through to the meditative resolution of "Steel, Wood, & Air #7", this is an album with open arms bringing gifts for those who listen carefully. Cover photo by Brett Kallusky. Design by FISK Projects. Recorded at Type Foundry and The Map Room in Portland. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll. Includes two-sided insert and download code; edition of 300. "An evocative cycle that promises to be one of the season's highlights." - A Closer Listen.