“For me, writing music was integral to starting that process. And this process of building identity, it never ends".”
Photo by Nanne Sørvold
Falling into Carlisle Evans Peck’s is both a transient and grounding experience. Though his compositions are otherworldly, with lyrics spoken like incantations and a combination of methodically constructed instrumental melodies and collected sounds, Evan Peck’s work draws us toward a mirror he holds up to our own consciousness.
In Electric Porcelain, Evan Peck is constructing a narrative for those of us who feel un- and underrepresented in the great stories that connect humankind. For the queer community, creating a shared history has been long-centered around non-traditional forms of information gathering and distribution. Evan Peck sees these communal stories as non-linear, but steeped in magic, and incredibly important to establishing a sense of place and perspective in the world.
“When your personal experience has no point of relation or connection in the world you inhabit, it feels awful and isolating,” says Evan Peck. “Folks of any marginalized identity HAVE to think about identity all the time because they don't have the luxury of falling back on cultural narratives that approximate their experience. They must construct their own, and thereby construct their identity.”
In writing music, Evan Peck has undergone deep self-reflection to understand his own place within a world of myths and legends. Evan Peck began composing at a young age, but it wasn’t until he began to self-identify as queer that he was able to begin expressing through lyrics what he was communicating in melodies. From that point on, Evan Peck was able to connect with others who shared similar experiences and understandings of self.
“The cool thing about figuring out who you are and letting yourself live as yourself is that it opens you to finding other folks with similar experiences and then a great big community starts forming,” says Evan Peck. “The stories of these folks you meet inform your experience, so on and so forth, before you know it, there's the story that includes you that you've been seeking forever and ever. For me, writing music was integral to starting that process. And this process of building identity, it never ends”
For Evan Peck, community is an important part of the artistic process. In Minneapolis, Evan Peck has found a creative family that have helped Electric Porcelain take shape.
“I've played with many of these folks since I transplanted to Minneapolis three years ago, and it feels like our personal relationships are woven into the fabric of the music,” says Evan Peck. “Abby LeGare's drumming is incredibly emotional, full of sensitivity, care, and drive. Michael Kuhn's guitar is the electricity that is shot through the shiny porcelain of the classically-tinged arrangements of the album. Julia Floberg, the solo cellist as well as quartet member, is a force of nature. The album would be nothing without their expertise.”
A number of visual artists contributed to Electric Porcelain’s physical manifestation, as well. Photographer Joey Meinert’s black and white film photograph graces the cover of the album, emulating Peck’s great-great-great Aunt Mae, who informed Evan Peck’s persona in the album. Videographer Nanne Sorvold brought Electric Porcelain’s heart-beat track “Crystalized” to life with the help of dancers Cullen Propp and Hannah Antle Hebl. Evan Peck’s close personal friend, Vatina McLaurin, sculpted pieces for the music video, as well.
“Electric Porcelain is really emblematic of the rich community that I feel so held by in Minneapolis,” says Evan Peck.
It’s the point where togetherness and shared history intersect that creates the mythos of Electric Porcelain. With each new listen, the album is carving away at it’s place in the oral tradition of the queer community.