Saint Disruption, the spirit-driven music collective consisting of improvisational pianist John Medeski and folk-healer, musician Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, today releases their debut album Rose in the Oblivion: https://orcd.co/saintdisruption
The band was created after John and Jeff’s fateful meeting in the heart of the Amazon jungle. The dynamic duo share a devotion to spiritual healing and the natural world, creating the motivation that drives their music. The album is born from the world of spirits but void of the trappings often found surrounding that terrain. “I’m not looking for spiritual music,” Medeski says, “I’m looking for Spirit to come through.”
"For me, music is clearly the greatest language we have, says Medeski. “With this project, the opportunity to use music as a way to express, transform, and heal has been an incredible honor during this time."
“We are not a conventional band, but rather a music and art collective that is about community, trust and supporting each other in creating art,” adds Schmitt. “Our aspiration is that we are sharing something that is true and enjoyable.”
The explosive 7-track collection is a collaborative project that features the Last Poets’ founder Umar Bin Hassan, and a number of Asheville-based artists including Datrian Johnson, Michael Hynes, Austin Haynes of Free Radio, and GRAMMY winners Agent 23 and Debrissa McKinney. Their latest single “Last Poet First / Ukupacha,” is a hip-hop-inspired ode to New York City’s Last Poets and the founder, Umar Bin Hassan, the inspiration that brought the group together and the vision for Saint Disruption’s first song, “Painstorms”.
Previously released singles “Instant Gratification" and “Choke a Man” were inspired by impactful societal issues, from the darkness of consumer capitalism to the ongoing civil rights issues. Rose in the Oblivion’s intent is to illustrate the ongoing issues of identity and systemic oppression while dissolving the barriers of spiritual development.
Recently, Schmit spoke about his relationship to poetry and music with The Untangle Podcast, as well as his mediation practices, his scientific experiences, exploring spirituality, and how it all in turn inspires the music he produces. Listen HERE.
And tune in to Saint Disruption’s Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) at r/Music on Monday, April 12 at 1 PM ET/ 10 AM PT to hear Schmitt and Medeski answer questions about the writing process and how they captured the darkness in the world around them.
The album is also accompanied by an art book that features visual art contributions from 10 North Carolina artists, including Daniel McClendon, Cleaster Cotton, Scott Mills, and nineteen-year-old Sovah Woydak who each created visual art pieces inspired by the album.
“Knowing that there were writers, musicians, and other visual artists all converging on one project takes a special willingness to just dive in because it's impossible to know the source and meaning of everyone's expression,” says. McClendon.