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Stillness In Motion

by Stu Pender

supported by
Kareem Ali
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Kareem Ali Wowww! What an amazing piece of art! All the feels. Just beyond beautiful. I can tell that every single song was crafted with absolute love. Best music I've heard in years. 10/10. This will be my go to hiking and camping music for years to come. Much love to you Stu for sharing this with world. I am so genuinely happy to see how far you've come as a musician since we first met at purchase college 10 years ago. Favorite track: Birds of Peace.
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Desertbloom 04:24
Peaks 03:16
Palms 03:50
Tributary 03:05
Duet 03:14
Ravine Dream 03:30
Shared Space 02:34


Above the clouds and between the folds comes Stillness in Motion, the ethereal label debut by American guitarist and composer Stu Pender for New York’s experimental Youngbloods imprint. Across nine ephemeral pieces, Stu’s work achieves a blissful amalgam of ambient soundscapes, serene vocals, and six-stringed daydreams floating in a phantasmic, reveric state.

Stillness in Motion, both as a concept and album, finds meaning in the context of lockdown. Prior to 2020, Pender’s life as a studio musician and performer proved complicated and arhythmic. Days were consumed by teaching guitar lessons and apprenticing at a local piano repair shop while nights were streaked by a flurry of rehearsals, recording sessions, and performances with contemporaries Photay and Pender’s band, Brooklyn Jazz/Hip-Hop outfit Poetic Thrust. In many ways, this is what Pender had aspired to become. A graduate of SUNY Purchase’s prestigious music program and a student of the legendary ECM pioneer John Abercrombie, he strived to find success as a performer. He moved to Brooklyn and began planting roots as a go-to guitar savant, collaborating with local up-and-comers Elijah Wolf, Allison Ponthier, Kareem Ali, and Topaz Jones and performing at iconic and trend-setting venues including Beacon Theatre, MoMA PS1, and the United Nations Assembly Hall.

Pender’s career performing with his peers has been fulfilling and promising, albeit exhausting. Making a point to fill the liminal spaces of his schedule by creating solo works of his own, Pender challenged himself to record a new idea every day by capturing an array of field recordings, guitar loops, and piano improvisations on a portable digital recorder. In an effort to achieve separation and find some new inspiration, Pender embarked on a fruitful 2019 trip west to California’s Big Sur. Awe-stricken by his surroundings, the expanse served as a visual, sonic, and meditative mood board for which he used to organize his collection of audio notes. Upon returning to his hectic schedule in early 2020, Pender took stock of his work to-date and, in the little free time he had, he began to assemble the pieces of an overarching album concept. Suddenly, everything stopped. Shows, guitar lessons, and rehearsals were each cancelled one-by-one as lockdown took effect in New York City and beyond, leaving Pender with nothing but time and an ache to finish his record.

Throughout all of Stillness In Motion field recordings of California’s big nature quietly rustle like gentle wind against a tree, adding character and depth that bind all of Pender’s nine-pillared contemplation. Each individual piece radiates a palpable sense of intimacy from early days of lockdown. Fine details and care inserted into each work hum sweet musings and messages like inside-stories made only for the listener should they choose to pay close enough attention. The early days of March saw Pender on his roof writing string and horn arrangements in tandem with the rising sun, drawing inspiration from Marcel Camus’ film Black Orpheus and paying homage to the soaring sounds of Arthur Verocai in Electric Petals, Desertbloom, and Tributary. Duet and Ravine both take cues from serendipity in Pender’s waking life and subconscious, with the former derived from an actual performance with one of Pender’s students. The latter came to him in a dream, only to be actualized in a dazed state after grabbing his guitar to record a voice memo. Palms, a song deriving from an after-hours session at Pender’s piano repair shop, joins Birds of Piece and Shared Space in a trio of vocal experimentations, all ruminating on finding inner solace and connection during times of social and personal stagnation.


released January 27, 2022

All songs written, produced, and performed by Stu Pender

Nat Ranson plays trombone on Desertbloom, Electric Petals, Tributary, and Shared Space
Jaedon Alvira plays saxophone on tracks Electric Petals, Tributary, and Duet
Juno Arreglado plays the synthesizer on Desetbloom

Mixed by Stu Pender
Mastered by Steve Kitch at Audiomaster in London

Artwork, design, and layout by Stu Pender and Nicholas Concklin
Executive Produced by Nicholas Concklin & John Moses

Published by Mushpost LLC (ASCAP)
P&C 2022 Youngbloods


all rights reserved



Stu Pender Brooklyn, New York

Guitarist & music maker.

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