It is a new year and time for new musical journeys. Featured in the first field journal edition for 2021 are recent discoveries and releases by Atli Örvarsson & Sin Fang, Alaskan Tapes, The Broken Cradle, Freya Lily, Kristina Dutton, Music For Sleep, Olan Mill, Orbit Over Luna, and Patricia Wolf.
Atli Örvarsson & Sin Fang- “Engin Landamæri”
from Flóra (OST) on Inni
The stunning music here is from a collaborative score by Icelandic composers Atli Örvarsson and Sindri Már Sigfússon (aka Sin Fang) for “Just Like a Painting by Eggert Pétursson”. The documentary film features botanist Thóra Ellen Thórhallsdóttir connecting the dots between the experience of Icelandic nature and the floral diversity of Eggert Pétursson mesmerizing artwork. You can can also hear Örvarsson‘s music behind the AppleTV series Defending Jacob and find more of his work on the label side of the publishing & production company INNI which he co-founded in 2019.
Alaskan Tapes – “The Sky Sings Its Chorus (For Us Alone)”
from For Us Alone (self-released)
Toronto-based musician & composer Brady Kendall continues his beautiful peregrinations across the boundaries of modern classical, indie, and post-rock music as Alaskan Tapes with this uplifting preview from his forthcoming album For Us Alone due in the spring. Strings on this piece were recorded and performed by Jonathan Dreyfus and visuals are by Meredith Hama-Browne & Norm Li.
The Broken Cradle – “The City Gates”
from Gilead (self-released)
Traveling the world through music is wonderful, but it is sometimes nice to find connections close to home as well. The Broken Cradle is an ambient/electronic/neoclassical solo project from Eric McLean currently based in Greenville, North Carolina. Gilead is a beautifully arranged five-track EP which he shares “was born out of the weight of this year” and one which tells his story while leaving room for the listener find their own in the elegiac sweep of the music.
Freya Lily – “Patterns”
Longtime readers may remember a few years back when the blog premiered a track by London based pianist & producer Freya Lily. Having further developed and expanded her sound, she returns in 2021 with a pair of enchanting and richly textured solo piano pieces the first of which was released last week.
Kristina Dutton – “Murmurations”
Composer Kristina Dutton works in a wide range of musical settings from traditional concert settings to interdisciplinary work with a focus in recent years on following a path inspired by a life-long fascination with science and the natural world. A sublime expression of that can be found in this work commissioned by photographer Xavi Bou as part of his Ornitografias project which consists in visualizing the beauty of bird flight paths.
Music For Sleep – “A Kindly Exit”
from Music For A Sinking World on rohs! records
Music for Sleep is the solo project of Andrea Porcu from Sardinia, Italy. Steeped in a sense of nostalgia and melancholy, Music For a Sinking World was is based on the recovery of tape loops recorded between March and October 2020. The resulting sonic tapestry woven from “orchestral fragments, static interruptions and blurry depths” seeps into the liminal spaces between time and memory.
Olan Mill – “Photocatalysis”
from Citation Index on Shimmering Moods
Amsterdam-based label Shimmering Moods has announced their winter slate of releases which I am looking forward to delving into soon. Catching the eyes & ears right off the bat is this tantalizing preview of a new Olan Mill album from Alex Smalley, also of Pausal, Ampersand, and ilm.
“Energy has become a theme in my work. The albums titles and artwork are based around common methods of energy production. It seems our mastery of physical energy has accelerated many things, so the slow movements of this album aim to counter that in some small way.”
Orbit Over Luna- “JP (fade 01)”
from “faceless we flicker / JP(fade 01)
It is great to get some new music from Shannon Penner’s Orbit Over Luna project, especially one that showcases multiple dimensions of his sound. The title track which references a phrase from the poetry of Jessica Cotten is a swaying shoegaze rock instrumental with a soaring chorus while the B-side is a piece written in memory of a friend, a wistful drone which calls to mind his outstanding 2013 ambient release ‘Transit’.
Patricia Wolf – “Position From the Sun”
This journey ends on a peaceful and meditative note with this tranquil long form piece by Portland-based musician, sound designer, and curator Patricia Wolf. Her simple invitation to the listener – “to bask in warm memories, think about what you are thankful for, and challenge any cruel thoughts you have about yourself or others”. Indeed, once you sink into the music, you’ll find negative thoughts peeling away with surprising ease.