Invoke's New Album, "Evolve & Travel"
Released on Sono Luminus, the new album features seven original works
Multi-instrumental quartet Invoke announced Evolve & Travel, its newest album and debut with Sono Luminus. The quartet is comprised of Nick Montopoli, violin/banjo/vocals; Zach Matteson, violin/vocals; Karl Mitze, viola/mandolin/vocals; and Geoff Manyin, cello/vocals.
This new record marks the group’s tenth anniversary and features seven original works. Each song reflects Invoke’s growth as people, composers, and as friends with a rich history of shared creative experiences and personal memories.
All students at the University of Maryland, the last place Montopoli, Matteson, Mitze, and Manyin expected to bond over a deep appreciation for new American music was in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, busking for “spaghetti money” on the medieval streets of Siena while there for a summer music festival.
Learning to play and write music for instruments like the banjo and mandolin, Invoke took their creative scope –– both as composers and storytellers –– beyond the bounds of classical convention. Their newest album, Evolve and Travel, highlights seven original works and the works of Mitze and Montopoli as songwriters and composers.
Evolve and Travel was born out of Invoke's experience of (and evolution during) the pandemic and of being back on the road, traveling again. After a strenuous touring schedule from 2018 to 2020, like all other musicians in spring 2020, the members of Invoke found themselves without an agenda.
Violinist Zach Matteson summarizes the experience: "The unexpected bright side of the pandemic lockdown was an excess of time and a newfound drive to be creating music that connected with people in a virtual space on a regular basis. We dug deep to create new work at a faster pace than ever before and Evolve and Travel is a direct result of that. A lot of the new tunes have individual inspirations, but certainly, you can say they express an aspect of what we were interested in during our time in lockdown –– from books that we were reading and other periods of history that we were looking back on, to a need for hope and optimism in the face of great doubt.
"Coming together amid our tenth year together as a group, Evolve & Travel is a culmination of lessons we have learned along the way. From the straight-ahead sound of the string quartet to a blend of voice, mandolin, banjo, and strings, this album showcases the entire scope of our growth as musicians, composers, and collaborators."
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
The multi-instrumental quartet was selected to be the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-2018. The group also participated in the Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford, and was selected as an Artist in Residence at Strathmore, the Emerging Young Artist Quartet at Interlochen, and the Fellowship String Quartet at Wintergreen Performing Arts.
In 2018, Invoke was named a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York, NY, received First Prize at the M-Prize International Chamber Arts competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received First Prize in the Coltman Competition in Austin, Texas. Invoke has shared the stage with some of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the country, including the Westerlies, Miró and Ensō Quartets, and the U.S. Army Field Band.
Evolve & Travel joins Invoke’s discography which began with Souls in the Mud (2015), featuring original works composed by Invoke and works by composer Danny Clay; Furious Creek (2018), featuring original compositions and arrangements; and Fantastic Planet (2021), an original soundtrack composed by the group inspired by the 1973 French animated feature.