Ambient Composer Six Missing Unveils New Album ‘Here For Now’
December 15, 2023 BY Emma Orland
It’s not every day that music can truly transform the listener. With his new album Here For Now, award-winning Austin-based composer, sound designer, and mixer TJ Dumser better known as Six Missing, guides listeners to true inner peace. Since his foray into meditative modular music in 2017, Dumser, an avid meditator and inner journeyer centers himself in the present moment to create a deeply textured landscape over the course of twelve songs. Inverted Audio quite correctly dubbed him a “multi-instrumentalist enchanter conducting new age lullabies…” and with Here For Now, Six Missing reflects on his displacement and the perpetual shifts the world has undergone over the last few years.
“My wife and I kept having these conversations about ‘Next steps,’ and I was able to find calm in the chaos by saying, ‘We’re just here for now.’” he explains. “It works well in meditation practice, which I really believe in, and as clichéd as it sounds, it’s necessary to be reminded to live in the now. Our minds can run ahead of us, so you need to be brought back and anchored in the present.”
It’s that notion of presence that acts as a thematic anchor for Here For Now. The very title harkens back to famed guru Ram Dass’ seminal work Be Here Now and encourages the listener to find peace and harmony in the soothing synths and electro-acoustic melodies.
LISTEN & SHARE HERE FOR NOW HERE:
Sometimes we need music that stops us in our tracks and reminds us to connect with the moment we’re currently experiencing, and that’s exactly what Six Missing provides on Here For Now. The new album from ambient artist TJ Dumser is a reflection not only on our current life and times but the totality of existence itself—what it means to face true transience in an ever-changing world, and how to welcome impermanence as its own holistic virtue. These twelve musical pieces are all-encompassing in their beautiful ability to fill every inch of sonic space in their surroundings, composed with a lushness and an intuitive touch that only a truly thoughtful soul such as Dumser could provide.
Here For Now is the latest adventurous work from the Austin-based Dumser, who was raised in upstate New York and has been playing music since he could fit an instrument in his hands. After spending adolescence and young adulthood gigging in a rock band around the NYC scene, Dumser eventually arrived at the revelation that he yearned to move on from the “rigid structure” that being in a traditional band enforced. “I wanted to break out of doing rehearsed performances,” he explains. “I got as experimental as I possibly could and started making ambient loops with guitar effects.”
As Dumser started to explore this new creative side, he began releasing music under the name Six Missing in 2017—a moniker that possesses a literally otherworldly meaning to him. “One of our members had a studio in Pennsylvania, and one of the weekends we’d been out there we were recording for fourteen hours and were exhausted,” he recalls on the incident that inspired him to take on the namesake. “We went back to the cabin, everybody went to bed, and I heard the front door to the cabin open. As I went to see what it was, I was frozen and felt this searing pain in my back, as well as an endless sadness. I was having a supernatural experience, and it really shook me.”
Further research revealed that the cabin was near the site of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brandywine, in which six participants still remain unaccounted for—and, when combined with Dumser’s hair-raising experience, the name Six Missing came to be. “I thought it was a great way to pay tribute to that experience, which had this supernatural tilt that was also in touch with the human experience,” he explains. “It’s what I aim to do with this project in general—to usher people to go beyond what our day-to-day life looks like.”
The follow-up to last year’s Moods, Which, Here For Now is comprised of what Dumser refers to as “musical compost” — a concept that isn’t nearly as derogatorily gesturing towards the material as it sounds. “It’s a bunch of work that I’d previously done that I’d set out to release in its form, but something didn’t feel totally right,” Dumser reflects while talking about how Here For Now came to be. “It felt like I could do better by the material, so I put all of it on the digital shelf and kept coming back to it when I felt inspired. What resulted was work that was much more honest and aligned with who I was as a musician, encompassing my whole journey from a guitar-based musician to the music I make today.”
Here For Now embodies Dumser’s own sense of patience—resulting in a work that always feels flesh and blood, transcending notions of what listeners might come to expect from some strains of ambient music. “This record is a reminder to myself and others that you need to be patient and kind with yourself,” he reflects while talking about this moment in his career as Six Missing. “You don’t just throw parts of you away, you work with them and see where they go when you let them grow. It’s important to allow the vulnerable artist inside of you time to do what it needs to do.”
SIX MISSING IN THE PRESS…
“…the producer has muted into a multi-instrumental enchanter conducting new age lullabies, field recordings and swirls of dewy-eyed ambient…”
– Inverted Audio
“…a meditative quality… the musician dwells in calmer climes, using subtlety as a means of expression.”
“…poetic… effortlessly escorting listeners…”
“…a full on integrative experience… a truly stunning piece of ambient music…”
– Tome To the Weather Machine
Here For Now
December 15, 2023
Nettwerk Music Group