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Posts Tagged ‘Cheval Sombre

Guest Mixtape: Cheval Sombre

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Ahead of exciting forthcoming new releases, we’re delighted to present a mixtape by Cheval Sombre (New York-based songwriter and poet Christopher Porpora) entitled “When Summer was in my Heart”.


Cheval Sombre is the New York-based poet and songwriter Christopher Porpora, who since 2009 has released a pair of studio albums and a plethora of limited-run records via independent labels such as Trensmat, Static Caravan, Fat Elvis Records, Fruits de Mer and Sonic Cathedral. The long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s “Mad Love” (Sonic Cathedral) is a forthcoming release, together with this summer’s “Had Enough Blues”, a strictly limited 7” via the wonderful Knoxville, Tennessee-based independent label Fat Elvis Records. “Had Enough Blues” is a moving, soul-stirring folk lament fittingly made for these hard, modern times of political uncertainty and volatility. The E.P. is once again mixed and produced by the legendary Pete Kember (Sonic Boom, SPECTRUM, Spacemen 3). Furthermore, a new full-length album of covers recorded alongside longtime friend and frequent collaborator Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) is also a forthcoming release.

Cheval Sombre – “When Summer was in my Heart” (Fractured Air Guest Mix)

01. Arthur Russell – “Instrumentals, Vol. 1, Pt. 1”
02. The 6ths – “Just Like a Movie Star”
03. Severed Heads – “We Have Come to Bless This House” (Harvey Treatment)
04. Jefferson Airplane – “J.P.P. Mc Step B. Blues”
05. Usha Khanna – “Hotel Incidental Music”
06. Gun Outfit – “Legends of My Own”
07. Kikagaku Moyo – “Kogarashi”
08. Kay Gardener – “Prayer to Aphrodite”
09. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “On the Wall” (Porta Studio Demo Version)
10. Piero Umiliani – “Roy Colt, Pt. 13”
11. Gimmer Nicholson – “Hermetic Waltz”
12. Moby Grape – “I Am Not Willing”
13. Charlie Hilton – “Funny Anyway”
14. Tempelhof & Gigi Masin – “She Left Home”

The very limited Cheval Sombre 7” “Had Enough Blues” is a forthcoming release via Knoxville, Tennessee label Fat Elvis Records.

Written by admin

July 17, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Video Premiere: “If It’s You” by Cheval Sombre

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Cheval Sombre (New York-based poet and songwriter Christopher Porpora) has earned his reputation in recent times as one of independent music’s true treasures. Having released two full length albums to date: 2008’s self-titled debut album (Double Feature Records) and 2012’s moving opus ‘Mad Love’ (Sonic Cathedral Recordings); 2017 marks the eagerly awaited third Cheval Sombre LP ‘Time Waits for No One’. We are delighted to premiere the video to the achingly beautiful lament ‘If It’s You’, the record’s illuminating first single.


On “If It’s You, Porpora’s drone-infused psych hazes infiltrates the human space amidst a windswept beauty of fragile vocals and mesmeric viola passages; navigating lyrical, emotional and spiritual depths. The majestic ballad “If It’s You” conjures up the timeless sound of the early Stones ballads penned by Jagger & Richards interwoven with Robbie Basho’s transcendent flow of lyrical guitar tapestries. A master of intimate mystery. The sparse arrangement of Porpora’s voice and guitar is accompanied by Gillian Rivers’ divine viola playing.

The exclusive vinyl-only release – released via UK independent label Static Caravan Records – are viewmaster reel 7″ records – true pieces of art in and of themselves. The record also features the hauntingly beautiful B-side “Give Me Something”, a haunting instrumental performed as a collaboration by Porpora (guitars) and legendary New Zealand-based artist Alastair Galbraith (elbowed guitars), recorded at the Bhakti Box and Hope St. Studios.

Watch the video for “If It’s You” here:

“If It’s You” is available now (limited vinyl) via Static Caravan Records (purchase online HERE).

The prestigious Fruits De Mer label have also released a split 7″ with Static Caravan, featuring a Cheval Sombre cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”, (purchase online HERE).

There is also a recently finished LP with Dean Wareham which is expected in 2017, recorded between Los Angeles & New York, as well as the third Cheval Sombre full-length album, “Time Waits for No One”, destined to be one of 2017’s hidden gems.



Written by admin

January 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Whatever You Love You Are: Cheval Sombre

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To mark this Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated debut Irish concert by Cheval Sombre (New York native Christopher Porpora) we are delighted to publish – in Porpora’s own words – the key inspirations (spanning visual art, poetry, film and music) that have helped shape Porpora’s own art as both poet and songwriter. Porpora has released two studio albums to date – self-titled debut (Double Feature) and ‘Mad Love’ (Sonic Cathedral) – as well as various vinyl issues and a live album recorded at St. Pancras Old Church, London, with longtime friend and collaborator Pete Kember (Sonic Boom, Spacemen 3).

Words: Christopher Porpora


Words have always held great importance for me. Choosing one word can be the work of many mornings and nights, the work of many long hours. As I say of music, we all might consider what sounds we contribute to the world – and words too – sonorous as they are. Are they beautiful sounds we are producing? Are the words, the sounds we choose, enhancing the quality of our experience of life? Might we lift this life up to the light? Can we see it as glorious?

To ask such questions is to be bold in the face of a cynical society. One must risk criticisms of naïveté, sentimentality, idealism, even romanticism. I have risked all these long as I can remember, in the name of what I experience as the beautiful, especially in writing.

But I have always discovered wondrous support along the way – artists who have sustained me, atmospheres which have held me, all nurturing my pursuit of the written word, of beauty.



Joan Ambrosio Dalza

A seemingly anonymous lute player from Italy brings this luxurious atmosphere in which to write – this just improves the quality of any room, any hour of the day.


Terry Riley

This recording of a 1975 concert in Köln, with Don Cherry, is the sound of reaching for the stars, or reflecting them, and nothing less.




Alastair Galbraith
Green Dream

A master of intimate mystery.




Krzysztof Kieślowski
La Double Vie De Véronique

This film had an immense impact on me when it first came out, and still, to this day. Its atmosphere is utterly dreamlike, and Zbigniew Preisner’s accompanying score hints strongly at the reality of magic in our daily lives.


William Butler Yeats
When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


In Yeats’ lyricism I have always found the flourishes of how exquisite a quiet moment can be.




Georges Rouault
Bouquet de Fleurs

Georges Rouault’s paintings always reminded me of another everyday miracle – stained glass. He
worked with glass as a medium, too. His work helped to define the cover art for the first album.



Five for Ireland

Limited Edition of 99 copies
letterpressed, each hand-numbered



Five for Ireland began as a simple celebration of my first proper show in Ireland. I had played in Galway years ago, in the streets, and fared alright. Ireland was very kind to me then. But I didn’t have any proper songs then as I do now. So I thought to work on something for the occasion. I had to find an arc, a theme of a kind. Hearing about the beauty of Cobh, I immediately began dreaming of the sea, and I had heard that folks were still listening to Mad Love there, so there it was – the sea / mad love became the theme from which to choose and order the poems. After a few days, I had twenty, looking into older works and recent pieces, all suggestive of this double-theme. Thinking about format, the broadside came to light as an unexpected suggestion. I began to think of a time when poetry’s venue was the street – of times when one might encounter a poem slipped between the pages of something else amidst the hassle, or walked through crowds in a pocket. It became time to slim the collection down. Space would now be limited, and very. Remembering Rouault, I began to sift for poems smaller in size but evocative of the landscape of paintings – images which could then suggest the sea / mad love, alternately, by leaving impressions in which to get lost, standing in the street or otherwise, anywhere.





Cheval Sombre’s debut Irish concert (with special guest Margie Jean Lewis) takes place at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork this Saturday 17 October. 

TICKETS are priced €15 and can be purchased HERE.

Event Page via Sirius Arts Centre HERE.


Written by markcarry

October 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cheval Sombre (USA/Sonic Cathedral) plus Margie Jean Lewis (AUS) / Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork / Sat. 17 Oct. 2015

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Fractured Air presents:
CHEVAL SOMBRE (USA/Sonic Cathedral)
plus special guests

Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork
Saturday 17 October 2015
Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE).

“Once we admit our humanity, the experience of this life becomes tinged with authenticity.
And the flicker of what is authentic illuminates – always.”

—Christopher Porpora (Cheval Sombre)


CHEVAL SOMBRE crop St. Mark's Church_J. Valdina_web

CHEVAL SOMBRE (USA/Sonic Cathedral)

Cheval Sombre (New York-based artist Christopher Porpora) has earned his reputation in recent times as one of independent music’s true treasures. Having released two full length albums to date: 2008’s self-titled debut album (Double Feature Records) and 2012’s moving opus ‘Mad Love’ (Sonic Cathedral Recordings); in 2013 Sonic Cathedral issued the limited cassette comprising Cheval Sombre & Sonic Boom’s celebrated live performance recorded at London’s St. Pancras Old Church. On the latest record, ‘Mad Love’, Porpora is joined by long-term collaborator Sonic Boom (Peter Kember/Spacemen 3) whose fusion of drone-infused psych haze and illuminating soundscapes form the ideal backdrop to Porpora’s fragile vocals and warm acoustic guitar. In addition, the special guests on the ‘Mad Love’ sessions included Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT (in whose Brooklyn studio it was recorded), Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna), Britta Phillips (Luna, Belltower) and Nick Kramer.

Cheval Sombre’s rare live appearance at Sirius Arts Centre is Porpora’s first ever Irish show and will be only his third live appearance of 2015. Furthermore, audiences will be treated to a solo acoustic performance that will also include some poetry readings. In the words of Porpora: “the show will offer a look into the stark essence of the songs, stripped-down so to speak, as it will be acoustic and solo, favour of an intimate experience, which is increasingly rare in such times.”



“Beautiful” — NME

“music that needs time to unwind and reveal its treasures.” — The Line Of Best Fit

“… its Porpora’s disconsolate vocal performance that steals the show.” — Drowned In Sound

“it slowly creeps into the subconscious, unsettling and calming as it works its magic.” —

“Porpora has managed an album that is at points a tiny bit distressing, yet it offers sweet refuge from the uneasiness he himself creates.” – The Quietus



Read a recent interview with Christopher Porpora:

Watch ‘Someplace Else’ official video:

Listen to “Incandescent Innocent”, a mixtape compiled by Cheval Sombre:




Special guest on the night will be Australian musician Margie Jean Lewis. Hailing from Adelaide, Lewis is a classically trained violinist and jazz vocalist who has been based in Dublin for the past six years. From a young age Lewis began to pursue the violin, she would later study both composition and jazz voice at the Adelaide conservatorium. Lewis’s intricate live setup comprises loop station, zither, violin and voice where the spirit of both improvisation and experimentation lie at the heart of her soul-stirring sounds. Lewis has collaborated extensively with many Dublin-based artists in recent times, including New Jackson, Rhob Cunningham, Paperdolls, Ickis Mirolo and Queens of Neon. She has also performed extensively both nationally and internationally, including performances at Body&Soul, IMMA and Kilkenny Arts Festival.


“…nothing short of jaw-dropping” — Hot Press




Fractured Air presents:
CHEVAL SOMBRE (USA/Sonic Cathedral)
plus special guests

Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork
Saturday 17 October 2015
Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE).

“I find playing music a highly charged moment, whenever and wherever I play.”

—Christopher Porpora (Cheval Sombre)


Mixtape: As Tears Go By [A Fractured Air Mix]

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As Tears Go By [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:



01. Georges Auric ‘O Willow Waly’ (‘The Innocents’ OST) [Finders Keepers]
02. Calexico ‘Dead Moon’ (‘Algiers’ Deluxe Edition) [Anti-/City Slang]
03. Norbert Glanzberg ‘La Sorcière’ (‘The Blonde Witch’ OST) [Finders Keepers]
04. Cheval Sombre ‘As Tears Go By’ [Trensmat]
05. the Marquis de Tren and Bonny Billy ‘Solemn 28’ [Domino]
06. Delia Derbyshire ‘Pot Au Feu’ [BBC Radio Enterprises]
07. Lucrecia Dalt ‘Esotro’ [Other People]
08. Tarentel ‘Home Ruckus: Double-Sided Air’ (Side B) [Type]
09. Dino Valente ‘Tomorrow’ [Tompkins Square]
10. Tindersticks ‘No More Affairs’ (Instrumental) [This Way Up]
11. Cat Power ‘Dreams’ [Matador]
12. Mica Levi ‘Love’ (‘Under The Skin’ OST) [Milan]
13. Rachel Goswell ‘Coastline’ (Ulrich Schnauss Instrumental Mix) [4AD]
14. Kevin Shields ‘City Girl’ (‘Lost In Translation’ OST) [Emperor Norton]
15. The Notwist ‘Sleep’ (Odd Nosdam Remix) [City Slang]
16. Lambchop ‘Low Ambition’ (Stratus Remix) [City Slang]
17. James Yorkston ‘Woozy With Cider’ (Jon Hopkins Remix) [Domino]
18. Nils Frahm ‘Them’ (‘Victoria’ OST) [Erased Tapes]
19. Sufjan Stevens ‘Fourth Of July’ [Asthmatic Kitty]
20. Alex North ‘The Truth/The Locket’ (‘The Bad Seed’ OST) [Finders Keepers]

A collection of some of our most treasured vinyl. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

To follow Fractured Air you can do so on Facebook HERE, or Twitter HERE.