By Amanda Nordqvist
Back in 2014, London-based record label Bigo & Twigetti launched a seasonal series that has now come to an end with its final album – Autumn. The album is a compilation of several musicians own renditions of autumn, ranging from classical to experimental, and is a fascinating exploration of the similarities – and differences – of each musicians interpretation of this colorful season. The album starts off with DEEP LEARNING’s Freedom of Things – a spacious but intimate track with a lot of movement, cold rain, and warm waves. It is immediately contrasted by the distant Faces in a Crowd, by Jim Perkins, with its experimentally erratic drops and a sense of life hurrying before it needs to take that last deep breath and sleep for the winter.
Luca Longobardi offers another new dimension with Autumna – echoes of summer bounce off the falling leaves in his airy, lightly treading track. It shifts smoothly back and forth between lighthearted and slightly troubled, but never loses the youth and innocence of this transitional season. In A Glass Island, Heinali takes the mature but eerie sound of the electronic organ and puts an experimental, modern twist on it – the contrast is fascinating, and the track ropes me in with its slow build into chaotic ringing, the summit of this rushing sensation we’ve explored previously. Then comes Falling by Yoko Komatsu, a soft hand painting in my mind the story of a cold wind moving through a forest slowly falling asleep, a forest set ablaze by the sheer agony of its dying leaves. Madeleine Cocolas introduces another layer to the album with her Autumn Sky, when she utilizes vocals to add depth to her already uncanny sound.
Then comes Seadailer by Olan Mill, where the first few seconds of the track throw me back to earlier days, reminding me of that pathway through the darkest part of the forest, being led only by the comforting clanging of the wind chimes from afar on crisp, late autumn nights. The steady build-up and imminence to nature lull me in completely, only to be awoken to the soft but protruding change in perspective halfway through the track, where the distant warmth of the autumn sun reminds me that winter need not be all darkness and cold after all. Norihito Suda has a whole other sentiment, as Lying in the Hidden Chasm introduces what seems like the noises of a river rushing towards its frozen destiny, of biting winds that leave you cold to the bone – nature seems incredibly close, and invokes an odd sense of slowing down, even in the clamor of a world in transition. The ending to the album, Breathe by Ed Carlsen, is a track that stands out from the rest with its familiar progressions and upbeat, poppy melody. It’s a phenomenal mix of elegant strings and youthful electronics, and shows just how many different ways interpretations can take form.
Musicians usually get whole albums to explore and portray their message, and here they were each given mere minutes to express the epitome of their particular interpretation – however, it makes for an album where each track is filled to the brim with energy and intent, and that in itself makes it an absolute joy to listen to.