Glacis: Music for the Animation Tohu Va Vohu

Though short at sixteen minutes, the four tracks on Edinburgh musician Euan McMeeken's latest Glacis offering leave a strong impression. A follow-up to his 2011 debut EP, Lost Again on Waking – A Project in Music & Photography (Fluid Audio), Music for the Animation Tohu Va Vohu features solo piano and piano-with-strings settings of markedly elegiac character. The animation project by artist Jamie Mills deals with how the world is made up of chaotic and cyclical patterns, but you'll find precious little chaos on McMeeken's EP.

McMeeken's melodic gifts are on full display in the four pieces, with “Spring/Summer” offering up a particularly affecting series of wistful piano reflections, along with the subtle enhancement of cello textures by Guy Gelem. The melancholy piano setting “Be Silent. Be Still” invites comparison to Nils Frahm for how close it brings the listener to not only the piano playing but all of the attendant sounds that go along with it—various creaks and the action of the instrument itself. Suitably lugubrious in tone, “Autumn/Winter,” with its pensive piano patterns embedded within chilly atmospheric textures, suggests the draining away of summer's splendour in anticipation of the barrenness of fall and the onset of winter's deep freeze. McMeeken's sensitive handling of mood and tempo modulation is clearly evident throughout this fine if modest (in duration, that is) sampling of his artistry.

November 2012