The Seven Storey Mountain is a trans-generation group of highly recognized figures in modern music. Paul Lytton, for instance, has been playing drums with Evan Parker since 1969. David Grubbs is recognized for his work with Jim O''Rourke in Gastr Del Sol, Bastro, Squirrel Bait & extensive solo work. Nate Wooley is one of the most exciting young trumpet players currently working and he''s collaborated with Taylor Ho Bynum, Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson & many others. Wooley is a member of Blue Collar, Attach/Adorn/Decay & the Nate Wooley Quartet. The Seven Storey Mountain is one of his finest compositions to date.
The Seven Storey Mountain is an attempt to represent the ecstatic experience as described by Thomas Merton in his book of the same name, from the uncertainty, to a kind of elation, through the "dark night of the soul" and through to a feeling of peace and communion. It is by no means a religious work, nor is the ecstatic experience singular to Christianity, but is found in many disciplines, religious or otherwise, and most definitely in music from the opening chords of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" to the free jazz movement of the 60s right on up to the modern day noise work, there is an element of the ecstatic experience which draws the listener in.
"I wrote the piece with the idea that it could be performed by a rotating cast of musical personalities over the tape. I was lucky enough to premiere it with two wildly diverse and equally fascinating musicians in Paul Lytton and David Grubbs. Paul is a true experimentalist and a legend of improvisation. He has reshaped how drummers think and during our 2007 tour he completely refocused my knowledge about music improvisation with a capital I. David is an iconoclastic songwriter and soundmaker. After working with him on a few projects of his own, I''ve grown to respect his complete understanding of his own musical aesthetic and his ability to take fine details and weave a powerful ambient whole out of them, while letting the musicians around him contribute unfettered.
The piece is the result of a commission from the Festival of New Trumpet Music, with support from the Greenwall Foundation, in New York for 2007 and was performed to close that festival at Abrons Art Center at the Henry Street Settlement."
Nate Wooley 2009