Nate Wooley Columbia Icefield

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Nate Wooley Columbia Icefield

From 25 May 2022 to 05 June 2022
Nate Wooley (trumpet and amplifier), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), Ava Mendoza (electric guitar), Ryan Sawyer (drums and vocals)

The Columbia Icefield is an imposing behemoth, the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains, a glacial structure that feeds into the Columbia River, and, eventually, into the Pacific Ocean. It’s alien, unapproachable, and yet, somehow, a striking metaphor for man’s relationship to nature.

With his group Columbia Icefield Nate Wooley, who saw the Columbia river every day of his youth in Oregon, tries to reckon with his relation to the icefield and, more generally, humanity in the face of the unapproachable. This alien entity is laced with contradiction and imposes itself onto the music in a magnificent way. “This record really came down to trying to build structures that have a feeling of being really large and slightly disturbing, but also, natural,” Wooley explains. “it’s earthbound, it comes from a natural place; it’s not an attack on our senses. We understand it.” And this became the chief task for Wooley and his band: how to express what is most natural and most foreign to us simultaneously?

The result is a stirring and staggering practice in being alive and the way our lives are reflected and shaped by our surroundings. For Wooley, that’s a small seafaring town shadowed by the Icefields. Columbia Icefield is about Nate Wooley and his collaborators, making the truest form of self-music imaginable.

“There’s always been this drive for me in all the work I’ve done to figure out the way to best express my own humanity,” he says. On Columbia Icefield, Wooley stares down a piece of nature almost impossible to see one’s self in; that he was able to carve a piece of his world into this glacier is a shock, until you hear the opening notes of “Lionel Trilling.” With Columbia Icefield, Nate Wooley makes it possible to see the humanity in everything.

"The Prettiest, Most Progressive Campfire Music Ever" (The New York TImes)

The group's second album will be released just before the tour in May/June 2022