The New Wayfarer Records Album “Emergence” a collaboration of three very talented musicians in the ambient music genre


What do you get when you bring together three of the most influential musicians in ambient, rock, and bass? The answer is Emergence, a collaborative album that showcases the incredible talents of Brannan Lane, John Gregorius, and Sean O’Bryan Smith.

This all-star trio of artists has come together under the Wayfarer records label to create a genre-defying record that transports listeners through soundscapes, rhythms, and melodies.

With nearly 80 years of experience between them, Lane, Gregorius, and Smith carry legacies that have shaped the musical landscape. Now, their creative energies merge in Emergence, capturing their diverse styles in one ambient album.

From Lane’s ambient icon status to Gregorius’ visionary guitar work to Smith’s world-renowned bass playing, Emergence manifests the spirit of each artist in an immense blend.

This groundbreaking collaboration is a significant milestone, proving that three music greats can unite to produce something even greater. Let’s examine the iconic careers that led to this album.

Wayfarer Records - Emergence
Wayfarer Records - Emergence

Brannan Lane: Ambient Icon

With 27 years in the music industry and 26 albums under his belt, Brannan Lane has become a leading figure in ambient music. Based in Olympia, Washington, Lane has toured extensively through the US, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. He’s brought his ambient sounds to festivals, concert halls and everywhere in between.

Lane is considered a pioneer in the ambient genre, helping shape its evolution through his iconic releases. He’s collaborated with fellow ambient artists like Willebrant to fuse electronic textures and soundscapes. His work also branches into world music and new age styles, reflecting diverse influences.

Throughout his prolific career, Lane has produced independent solo work as well as releases through the Olympia-based label Wayfarer Records. The label specializes in ambient and electronic genres, making it a natural fit for Lane’s vision.

His solo albums like Echoes of Verde craft lush ambient environments, transporting listeners to peaceful sonic places.

Collaborations have also been a constant in Lane’s career. Dreamscapes, his collaborative album with Perry Frank swirls with atmospheric synths and guitars. And his partnership with Ashera resulted in uncharted musical territory that spans ambient and world music.

After years of honing his style and pushing ambient music forward, Lane was ready to tackle a new challenge. When the opportunity arose to collaborate with Gregorius and Smith, it was the perfect chance to blend talents and make something memorable. The result was Emergence, Lane’s artistic vision realized through this new partnership

Brannan Lane

John Gregorius: Visionary Guitarist

Like Brannan Lane, John Gregorius boasts an impressive 27-year track record as a professional musician.  John was also mentored by David Helpling, with whom he is friends. He’s cemented his status as a top-tier guitarist, composer, and producer through both solo efforts and high-profile collaborations.

Over his prolific career, Gregorius has shown versatility by working in genres like rock, ambient, electronic, jazz and more.

Early on, Gregorius was an in-demand guitar player, recording and touring with artists like East West and Reel Big Fish. But he also grew his skills as a versatile composer and producer, working on projects for Bionic Jodi, Kim Daniels, and others.

His solo albums highlight Gregorius’ mastery of guitar, merging emotional lead playing with rich electronic elements. Records like Full of Life and In Awe combine Gregorius’ smooth guitar textures with ambient soundscapes for a compelling result.

Gregorius has frequently collaborated within the ambient genre too. He’s worked extensively with the label Spotted Peccary Music, releasing beautiful ambient albums like Still Voice and Path to Peace. These demonstrate his unique ability to create immersive worlds through his guitar and production.

Leading up to Emergence, Gregorius continued following his creative instincts. He produced an album with musician Mitch Ross, exploring chilled-out ambient sounds. At the same time, he was honing his style as a visionary guitarist with a gift for emotional expression. When the opportunity came to join forces with Lane and Smith, it was a perfect fit for the next stage of Gregorius’ evolution.

John Gregorius

Sean O’Bryan Smith: World Renowned Bassist

As the bassist on Emergence, Sean O’Bryan Smith anchors the tracks with his deep grooves and stellar musicianship. Smith is considered one of the top bass players in the world, recording and performing with over 100 major artists in his 20+ year career.

His reputation began as an in-demand L.A. session bassist, supplying tracks for stars like Keith Urban, George Clinton and Larry Carlton. Smith quickly became the first call for A-list artists needing bass. He even played on a Grammy-winning album by Mexican supergroup Maná.

Beyond his session work, Smith has put out a steady stream of solo albums that highlight his skills. Releases like Tapestry and Musings of an Occasional Somebody demonstrate his command of the bass guitar. And his collaborations with guitar virtuosos like Mitch Ross have showcased high-level interplay.

Smith draws on many influences like jazz, funk and rock to create his dynamic bass style. He’s also an author and expert music supervisor, contributing to over 400 albums, films and tv shows.

Through his varied achievements, Smith has cemented his status as a world renowned bassist.

For Emergence, Smith lent his elite bass playing to fuse with Lane and Gregorius. It was a chance to be part of something unique, blending musical minds. The result is an album with rich bass textures that complement the ambient guitars and keyboards.

Sean O’Bryan Smith

Inside the Album “Emergence”

True to its name, Emergence captures the synergistic energy of three greats merging their talent and passion. Lane’s glistening ambient keys give tracks airy lift while Gregorius’ emotional guitar work glides overtop.

Smith lays down grooves on the bass to tie it all together in soulful arrangements.
The album flows with smooth continuity yet visits unexpected musical places.

“The Gate” kicks things off on a cinematic note with an uptick in rhythm and plenty of texture. Lane’s drifting keyboards float around Smith’s pronounced bass notes and Gregorius’ delay-drenched guitar.

The title track “Emergence” features traded solos from Gregorius and Smith, both showcasing technical fireworks on their respective instruments. But the song also maintains a chilled atmosphere thanks to Lane’s spaced-out keys.

“Shadows in Motion” highlights Lane’s talent for sonic manipulation. His vocals fade in and out via effects while Gregorius and Smith improvise over shifting soundscapes. The album includes such transportation to unpredictable destinations, reflecting the spirit of exploration.

Overall, Emergence shows three artists connecting through trust and chemistry. Things gel beautifully thanks to their shared commitment and passion. This makes Emergence more than just a collection of ambient tunes, but rather a journey.

The Verdict: A Triumphant Collaboration

Great collaborations in music require chemistry. When that magic combination happens, the results can be legendary. Emergence earns a spot on that list of special collaborative projects through its artistic achievements.

Most importantly, the album seamlessly merges three distinct artists’ styles into a unified work. And in doing so, it creates something truly unique. The way Lane’s ambient atmospheres intersect with Gregorius’ emotive guitar lead playing is a joy. Adding Smith’s rock-solid bass grooves ties everything together in blissful harmony.

But Emergence never rests on safe ground. It frequently veers into unexpected passages, taking listeners on a dynamic trip. The trio stretches their wings within the songs, giving the album an energetic flow that could only come from masters interacting in real time.

Ultimately, Emergence transcends being merely a collection of songs. It feels alive, showcasing the special meeting of musical minds. When three icons at the height of their powers come together, magic is possible. And Lane, Gregorius and Smith have produced something magical here.
Emergence stands out as a highlight in each artist’s career for its spirit and uniqueness. And it will likely influence more boundary-pushing collaborations in ambient music’s future. When icons unite in the studio, they inspire others to do the same.

Key Takeaways

  • Brannan Lane’s trailblazing work has made him an ambient music icon who brings 27 years of experience
  • John Gregorius’ visionary guitar playing and production talents shine with emotional expressiveness
  • Sean O’Bryan Smith’s world class bass skills anchor the album’s grooves with rock solid rhythmic feel
  • Emergence seamlessly merges three distinct pros to create something fresh and alive
  • It highlights their chemistry through genre-bending songs and live group improvisation
  • This groundbreaking collaboration will influence more artist partnerships and innovations

The musical collaboration between Brannan Lane, John Gregorius and Sean O’Bryan Smith on Emergence showcases masterful artists uniting for a special album. Their combined talents make for an ambient experience that transcends genres and pushes boundaries artistically. Most impressively, it feels like a living, breathing work showcasing synergy

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