Teo Blake is a singer-songwriter, producer, engineer, and educator from Los Angeles. His musical lexicon is informed by a myriad of disparate sources, which converge in his work as a form of assemblage. While he works extensively as an engineer and producer, he continues to write and record his own music, believing strongly in the artist Arthur Jafa’s proposal that one "should pursue what is singular about [one’s] preoccupation.” The pursuit of that singularity embodies the nature of Blake’s practice and his art.
As a teen in Los Angeles Blake was immersed in the world of underground hip hop while at the same time exploring experimental jazz artists like Sun Ra and Yusef Lateef as well as electronic music such as the work of Apex Twin and Björk. At Sarah Lawrence College he studied classical, jazz, experimental, and electronic music while beginning to write and record his own work. Blake moved to Austin, TX after college where he performed and collaborated widely. It was also in Austin that he developed a love and appreciation for country and folk music.
Returning to New York to pursue his MFA in Sonic Arts from Brooklyn College, Blake dove into his career as an engineer and producer, running sessions for classical orchestras, jazz and rock groups, singer-songwriters, hip-hop artists, and beyond. It was also at this time that Blake began composing for film and new media as well as creating sound installations for galleries. But all the while he was writing and producing new music of his own. The first body of work to come out of this period was his 2019 album, misanthropist’s Heaven. It was initially released as a multimedia art installation that premiered at Evening Hours in Manhattan. Having reassessed his creative perspective and goals, misanthropist’s Heaven represented a turning point in Blake’s career to date.
Blake’s newest release, Flowers / for a ritual, is an elaboration on his recent work. Expanding the number of collaborators and scope of the recording, this album further develops his creative vision and craftsmanship. The first half of the record are original compositions and the second half are covers of artists that have been pivotal in Blake’s development and who have passed away in recent years.