Second Inversion presents new and unusual music from all corners of the classical genre… and we mean NEW. Sneak Peek Audio Leak is your chance to stream fresh sounds and brand new music of note with insights from our team and the artists.
Imagine you’re here. It’s the largest and northernmost region of Finland, known as Lapland. Only 3.4% of Finland’s population lives here and the population has been declining for the last 25 years. Peaceful, serene, remote.
Now imagine you’re here recording an album in a remote cabin for one week only. Start to finish, Jon Buckland and Andrew V. Phillips had this very experience, and the fruit that bore is Pale Ground. They had no formal, thematic, or stylistic plans, but rather set with intentions to reflect and react upon the landscape, the vastness, the distance, and their emotions that came with it.
(Streaming through Second Inversion’s SoundCloud has closed, but you can stream and purchase via Bandcamp!)
Beginning with “Close In,” Buckland and Phillips perfectly depict the snowy landscape, the Pale Ground, in all its expanse. Slowly unfolding harmonic and melodic ideas strike feelings of contemplation, longing, and searching. A sparkle, the sound of a sleigh bell, emerges amidst the grey backdrop. It’s a subtle nod to the season, and to hopefulness of finding one’s way through the never ending landscape.
Bell-like tones ring throughout “Nautical Twilight,” evoking twinkling stars and a dreamlike state. By the end, it gives way to a demon, emerging at first with gentle persistence. This “night terror” fights with intensity, but only for a brief two minutes, through “The Machine,” and releases its tension into “Skull Beneath The Skin.” By this point, the album has established an ebb and flow that keeps this listener on her the edge of her seat to hear what unfolds next.
After one week, I don’t know if I’d have cabin fever or would want to stay there forever, but I’m glad to have been transported there for 30 minutes with this music. Whether your day-to-day surroundings are vast or compact, I encourage you to immerse yourself in the simulation of space by way of Pale Ground and travel to this virtual winter wonderland of mystery, discovery, and hope.