ANDREW HEATH – LANDSCAPE STUDIES NO.1
A lot of ‘ambient’ music relates to different landscapes or surroundings. To name one example, I simply can mention one of the milestones of ambient music: Brian Eno’s ‘On Land’.
But there are of course many ways to get inspired by landscapes and to interpret them into music.
Landscape Studies No. 1 is the first in a series of EP’s (this one is 26 minutes long) that focuses on landscapes which impressed Andrew Heath. The album opens and closes with short field recordings, and in between, there are three long tracks dealing with his fascination of how “the way light falls differently, birdsong changes and even the soundscape shifts”, his love of Beech Trees, and his love of the rivers in the chalk valleys he grew up in.
Of course, there are field recordings included, resulting in a nice warm summer feeling because of the twittering birds. But most of the music is instrumental – the environmental sounds are relatively small details. You don’t have to share the exact memories with Heath: the music conjures peaceful visions of natural areas that everyone can relate to in their own way.
Perfect music to escape from dark and cold winter nights.
F.M. GRI – LITTLE DROPS
F. (Francis) M. Gri is a Swiss composer running the (Italian) label Krysalisound. Little Drops, however, is his first release on the Amsterdam-based Shimmering Moods label. His basic philosophy is: “out from the musical rules. No contracts, no deals, just love and passion for your music”.
Little Drops was not created with a specific release in mind but simply started out as experimentations: impromptu playing “following instinct without being caged by a concept”.
Releasing yourself from the burden of expectations can lead to refreshing paths: this much is demonstrated by Gri’s selection of tracks that resulted: a set of eight tracks “with a strong overall sense that I called Little Drops.”
FRANCIS M. GRI – THE ROPES
The Little Drops release is almost immediately followed by a full album release on James Murray’s digital-only Lifelines series: The Ropes – “an accomplished and compassionate
examination of the bonds that join us and the ways they can fray and break.”
Compared to the spontaneous, somewhat lo-fi creation process of Little Drops, these (six) tracks were produced more thoughtfully, resulting in a different kind of sound.
Somewhat ‘cleaner’ perhaps, but this doesn’t mean ‘less personal’.
There’s careful sound-design involved, but it is not overproduced in any way. It’s personal music, “vulnerable and emotionally charged – offering insight into a delicate interpersonal dance and the regret found in the knots and divisions caused by our missteps.”
This could in fact also describe the Lifeline release series, to which this release is a beautifully fitting addition.