Award-winning rock and metal producer, Rob Graves recently dropped a collection of improvisational, piano-based compositions, entitled Solstice, on February 28, 2020. The haunting, minimalist record is a masterclass in ambiance, infused with the raw exploration of an unfettered composer. From unscheduled pauses while Graves decides where to go next, to the creaking of the artist’s chair, Solstice is a particularly powerful collection because it is so firmly experiential; the musician and listener exploring as one.

In the same style as Solstice, Graves composed a new track specifically for V13, and is now offering it to audiences as a free song download. “Safe Passage” is a three-minute glimpse into a calmly spectacular realm of soft, ethereal pad work and transcendent tonality.

On the great piece, the Maine native had the following to say: “Even though I come from the world of rock and metal production, last year I began exploring new areas of creativity with some solo piano compositions. I approached them all from a place of trying to capture the music in as primitive a state as possible. For each song, I improvised a piece and then reworked it only slightly before uploading it to YouTube, usually all within the same day.

As a producer and songwriter, I often spend weeks or even months polishing a song before it’s released, and there’s always a magic in the earliest versions of a production that is difficult to carry through to the end. I’m speaking of the slight imperfections, the hesitations, the general rawness of the first performances of something. With these new piano compositions, I wanted to reflect as much of that rawness as possible, while still presenting something structured and accessible. I ended up releasing the first collection of songs, Solstice, in late February of this year and the response has been great. I composed a new song for V13 in the same method and style, entitled ‘Safe Passage.’

For any musicians interested in the process – I assembled a virtual instrument that creates a natural ambience so I could achieve a wider soundscape as I played, and then I’d do one pass with another ambient pad to add some depth. I hope creators, in particular, will find some inspiration in listening to these songs.”

Artwork for “Safe Passage” by Rob Graves