Recordings from the Åland Islands has an evocative backstory, with musicians Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer recording the album on a remote Baltic Sea archipelago. But even if you didn’t know anything about the circumstances behind this remarkable collection, you’d likely be just as captivated.
Blending modular synth, piano and viola with richly textured field recordings, Chiu and Honer have crafted something exceptional — an immersive sonic environment that harkens back at times to the work of Brian Eno and Terry Riley without bowing at those particular altars. You could call it ambient music, but that genre tag doesn’t quite fit. This is human music — it lives and breathes, filling the air with strangely slanting light and luminous improv.
Even during the album’s lushest moments, Chiu and Honer avoid getting too grandiose; instead, they seem content to let these sounds peacefully coexist with the Åland Islands’ natural landscapes and inhabitants. There’s magic in here. | t wilcox
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