Emmanuel Toledo & Lauri Hallilkainen – Leaves Stories (usnea)

Leaves Stories is a project started in Finland by ambient musician & composer Emmanuel Toledo (aka Eeem) and Lauri Hallikainen, who has been recording natural sounds around the world for nearly 20 years.  Hallikainen explains how the project formed and what it aims to acheive:

“This project got started when Emmanuel took contact with me and asked if he could create ‘Electronic Music’ along with the recordings of the nature I had produced. In that way, ” Leaves Stories ” is our first true collaboration, as the result of a process involving many layered iterations and blending digital and analogue techniques. The piece seeks to combine natural sounds and electronic music in the way that these two unusual worlds complete each other” – Lauri Hallikainen

The pair released Leaves Stories (reed) in May of 2014 and began 2015 with the second installment of the series, Leaves Stories (usnea).  Each is a long form single track that transports the listener far from the madding crowd to remote Finnish landscapes and lingers there long enough to acclimate the mind to a tranquil but alert state in tune with the patient rhythms of nature.

Leaves Stories (usnea) is  described as “an ode to wind and Moog modular V” and the piece begins with these two voices in unison,  the rushing breeze raking across tall grass and through the trees in harmony with the oscillations of the synth waves with no other accompaniment other than occasional birdsong in the background.  The listener can almost feel the gusts tussle the hair and buffet the face and smell the scent of the woods carried in the brisk air.  Any temptation to impatience is muted by the celestial tones of the music as it emerges and recedes into the subconscious.

Toledo and Hallikainen have combined their respective crafts seamlessly to create a world of pure ambient bliss, a place of seclusion and renewal to which one may want to retreat again and again. At this writing both recordings are available as digital downloads offered on a pay what you want basis.  The door to a beautiful journey has been opened wide…

Order: https://emmanueltoledolaurihallikainen.bandcamp.com/track/leaves-stories-usnea


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