“Done right, tribal ambient music twists its way deep into your head to become something of a mass for your primal mind, a harmonic key that opens a path to your inner pre-Dawn-of-Man self and connects, in part, on a purely instinctual level..” John Shanahan
For more than a decade, Shane Morris has been producing expansive and uncompromising ambient, tribal, electronic music both in studio releases and live performances. Defying any easy categorization, Morris draws from a well of sources including Electronic music, Ambient, African and Caribbean drumming, Pre-Hispanic music of the Americas, Jazz, Psychedelia, and Folk traditions from around the world.
The core of Shane’s unique sound is an amalgam of polyrhythmic drumming, ethereal soundscapes, and indigenous wind and percussion instruments. With these instruments, Shane creates sonic spaces that reflect out, as well as introspects. Morris brews a worldly modern mix of organic acoustics and digital electronics that pay tribute to old and new while creating a new language for the present. Shane’s undivided attention to detail and dynamics, sound and spatialization, textures and harmonies, are features that can be found in each of his compositions.
Morris grew up in the Ozark mountains where he developed a love for nature and the arts at an early age. The regional sounds of St. Louis and Memphis helped fuel his interest in music and cultures from around the world. In 2005, Morris received a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Music from Missouri State University. During this time, Shane studied Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on the African diaspora, Western music theory and history, Art history, and Religious studies.
Outside of academic work, Morris continued studies in percussion traditions from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America. Shane has been fortunate to study with some of the world’s greatest percussionists including Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio Hernandez, Jamie Haddad, Michael Spiro, Regino Jimenez, Jesus Diaz, and Mamady Keita. Shane has also had the honor of performing with members of Los Munequitos de Matanzas and the Nakatani Gong Orchestra.
In the early 1990’s, Shane co-founded Springfield, MO. based psychedelic rock band, Jupiter Hollow and toured the mid-west U.S. The band was known for it’s lengthy improvisations, searing guitar, and thick pulsing percussions. Jupiter Hollow released one independent album in 1997, self-titled “Jupiter Hollow”, which is now out-of-print. After spending time in a studio previously, Jupiter Hollow self produced the release in a home studio using Adat technology. The time spent recording this album laid the foundation for Shane in audio and recording engineering. Morris co-wrote several songs on the album, including the opener “Nyabingi Dub” which was a precursor to his tribal ambient music of today. Famed poster artist and fellow Ozarker, Wes Wilsondid the cover of the album.
In the 2000’s, Morris co-founded and toured with Eckobase, a “live-tronica” band based in Fayetteville, AR. Eckobase combined electronic grooves from Dub, Drum n Bass, and Trance, together with Jazz and Rock sensibilities and improvisation.
Also during this time, Shane organized and led Z#Sharp, a rotating band of musicians exploring total improvisation. The music of Z#Sharp would cross borders from Jazz Fusion, Indian-style ragas, Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Experimental, and Avant Gare.
In 2008, Morris began pursuing his own solo music in ambient and “world” music. In his solo works, Shane bridges his musicality and experiences from previous ensembles and academic studies, with the minimal aesthetic of ambient and atmospheric music, shamanism and trance, ritual music from around the globe, digital and analog electronics, acoustic percussion and wind instruments, and field recordings. Morris’s approach creates an overall sound experience that combines music, art, and nature. The music of Shane Morris is about the mysterious, the unknown, and transcendence. Every composition and live set tell a story. The details of that story is left to each individual listener.
Shane began releasing ambient electronic music on various net labels through creative commons licensing in 2009. Many of Shane’s first releases were live sets. Monthly and weekly live sets streamed at electro-music.com and stillstream.com were common from 2008 to 2012. Morris continued refining his skills with recording and engineering, mixing and mastering, and released his first commercial album jointly with Australian artist, Disturbed Earth titled “Suburban Catacombs” with the relaxed Machinery label. Around this time Morris also began releasing independently on his bandcamp page. In 2011, a collaboration of all acoustic instruments in a dark ambient soundscape about prehistoric time, landed Morris and Mystified on the prestigious Spotted Peccary/Lotuspike label. Morris co-released two more albums with Mystified closing a trilogy known as “Inspired Evolution” which brought great reviews and wide airplay. Continuing with Spotted Peccary, Morris co-released “Blood Moon” and “Eclipse” with fellow tribalist, Frore, which has also garnered great reviews and respect among the ambient community. Frore and Morris are on the cusps of their third collaborative release due out with Spotted Peccary in 2021. Please view the extensive discography section to listen, read, purchase, or download Shane’s music.
Contact Shane for general inquiries, live performance, or film scoring.
Shane Morris live at Electro Music 2010 Huguenot, NY – 9/11/10