Lowlands is the third edition of the recently launched IIKKI project, a unique concept in which each entry in the series is the outcome of a creative dialog between a visual artist and a music artist which results in parallel imprints – a fine art book and a vinyl record. This one began when Ester Vonplon traveled last year to Spitsbergen, an island in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, where she captured impressions of the calving glaciers and melting ice of the Arctic Ocean aboard a three-masted sailing vessel. The musicians chosen for this edition are Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer, frequent collaborators and potent alchemists in the art of electroacoustic minimalism, who fashioned an audio narrative from recordings made over a 3-year period in locations as far-flung as Iceland, Oregon, Florida, and New York.
The 112-page hardcover book includes 88 of Vonplon’s artistic photos, many of which can be seen in the video preview below. It is a captivating study in patterns and perspective rendered in muted colors and chilled to a perfect melancholy hue. As the liner notes suggest, the images can, and should, be enjoyed and along with the music which so effectively matches the forbidding beauty, frosty textures, and sense of isolation they present. Deupree and Fischer seem particularly inspired by the source material as they saturate the ears with warm, granular loops and sonic ephemera, mesmerizing in their nuance & filigree even as they are stilled to a near quiescence. We are given a glimpse of world simultaneously real and imagined where time passes differently even as its former grandeur slowly fragments and melts away.
Lowlands will be available July 17 with 500 copies each for the fine art book and the vinyl. For anyone interested in obtaining all three IIKKI editions released so far, a discounted bundle is currently being offered as well.