A weekly digest of music discovery. Featured in this edition: Edward Sikorski, Helios, Illuminine, Gabríel Ólafs (rework by Kelly Moran), Pinesong, r beny, Shida Shahabi, Snorri Hallgrímsson, and Tapes and Topographies.
Edward Sikorski – “Autumn”
Edward Sikorski is a composer and sound designer based in Dresden, Germany whose works are featured in documentaries, commercials, film & theater. “Autumn” is a perfectly-weighted, elegant piano piece released just in time accompany its namesake season.
Helios – “Never Will You Be Without”
from the forthcoming album Domicile on Ghostly International
Having released his latest Goldmund album only days ago (read more about that here), composer & multi-instrumentalist Keith Kenniff offers up the first single from another new record, this time from his electronic/ambient alter-ego Helios. After sinking into the calm, billowy waters of “Never Will You Be Without”, no doubt you’ll be looking forward as much as I am to Domicile, which comes out in December and once again features striking cover art from Matthew Woodson.
Illuminine – “Take 3 – Ways”
from the forthcoming album Baptism of Solitude on Ferryhouse
New music is on the way once again from Illuminine, the now well-established project of Flemish composer Kevin Imbrechts. The haunting beauty of “Take 3 – Ways” heralds his fourth studio album called Baptism of Solitude. While the title breaks the ascending numbering pattern that preceded it, the melancholic drift of warm guitars and synths will feel comfortably familiar and inviting.
Gabríel Ólafs – “Think Of Home (Kelly Moran Rework)”
from the EP Absent Minded Reworks on One Little Independent Records
After deconstructing his 2019 debut album Absent Minded on solo piano over the summer, Icelandic composer Gabríel Ólfafs enlists a diverse group of talented artists to reinterpret the material yet again including Bing & Ruth, Niklas Paschburg, Hugar, Masayoshi Fujita, and Kelly Moran featured here in her wonderfully silvery and expansive reworking of “Think of Home”.
Pinesong – “Clearing”
After cultivating a well-respected catalog of ambient & mostly electronic music as The Green Kingdom, Michigan-based sound artist and graphic designer Michael Cottone launches a new side-project dubbed Pinesong which he signals will be focused on “minimal acoustic sounds informed by the Windham Hill label”. Being very familiar with and similarly inspired by the music that came out of that label in the early-to-mid 80s, I can certainly hear echoes of guitar luminaries like Will Ackerman and Alex De Grassi on “Clearing”.
r beny – “mara”
from the EP hum on Moog Music
After a new full-length album and an expansive retrospective reissue of his earlier work this spring, it was a pleasant surprise to be treated to even more new music by Austin Cairns, aka r beny, in 2020. This four-track EP was commissioned by Moog to feature its Subharmonicon analog synthesizer which Cairns capably does in his inimitably evocative fashion. Along with the music is a fascinating interview with the artist about the making of the record which you can read here.
Shida Shahabi – “Prolog”
from the EP Lake On Fire on 130701 (Fatcat)
Stockholm-based pianist/ composer Shida Shahabi expands her sonic palette to include organ and analog synthesizer which she used to create three of the four tracks on her score to Jennifer Rainsford’s short film ‘Lake On Fire‘ presented here in EP form. The film tells “a story from a distant future of two former lovers who are reunited in a virtual forest” created by AI.
“I was excited about establishing a relationship with a new instrument and finding qualities in the organ that was sonically appealing to me. In some of the themes I arranged the organ recordings along with analogue synthesizers when I felt that another tone and quality was needed. I love Jennifer’s artistic practice and her way of working with moving imagery, and it’s been a pure pleasure working with her since she gave me the trust and space to experiment on my own.”Shida Shahabi
Snorri Hallgrímsson – “Haustar”
from the forthcoming album Landbrot on Moderna Records
With an arresting beauty capable of rending even the hardest of hearts in two, this single introduces the first part of a beautiful new double EP called Landbrot by Snorri Hallgrímsson which takes its name from the location of his family cabin in rural Iceland. The album was mastered by Martyn Heyne at his Lichte Studio in Berlin and features artwork by Leigh Wells.
Tapes and Topographies – “Thistle”
from the album Inoculations on Dronarivm
After releasing numerous albums on his own Simulacra Records, Todd Gautreau’s outstanding Tapes and Topographies project has popped up on two different labels in 2020 with the latest being this beautifully packaged collection of melancholic ambient vignettes on Dronarivm on which he sounds as good as ever.