You may remember Scott Gray from a September blog post about his solo project The World Next Door. The musician, author, label runner and heaven-only-knows-what-else is releasing a new two-hour-plus album from Lunar Lemur, a character with a rather murky backstory, Dec. 31.
Here’s how Gray tells it: “Lunar Lemur [is] a person (?) I randomly encountered in Toronto, Ontario at Dufferin Grove Park in the summer of 2015 around midnight, sitting under a tree wearing a cheap lemur suit and chunky headphones. She, he, it or whatever, was hunkered over an old laptop. When I approached and asked: ‘What are you working on?’ The lemur didn’t say a word, just looked up, handed me the headphones and pressed play. It took less than a minute before I was fumbling for my wallet and asking if I could buy whatever it was I was hearing. The lemur said nothing. I handed back the headphones. The lemur handed me a small data stick then tapped its keyboard with furry glove-covered fingers. A Stephen Hawking voice said: ‘Take it. Share it.’”
Keep in mind that this delightfully improbable tale comes from a man who recorded a song called “Suck It, Eagle Beak, I’m Taking the Side Exit This Time.” He’s also the man behind The Beard, a web-based “sci-fi satire about an idealistic eco-slacktivist that thinks his beard is trying to communicate with him.”
The more I learn about Gray, the more I like him. And if my suspicions are correct, and Lunar Lemur is just one more in a lengthy line of Gray personas, we can add ambient music maestro to his resume.
How Do You Know You’re The Same You When You Wake? is an extraordinary collection of 20 beautifully nuanced pieces featuring gentle drones, light bells and reverb-heavy piano.
More complex electronics show up at various spots throughout the album. But because the work is presented with such subtlety, the result is never jarring. Lunar Lemur – whoever she, he or it is – is one to watch.