PENUMBRAS 1 & 2 - OUT NOW
Get them now from Bandcamp
Penumbras is a reflection on human impermanence spread across two complementary releases of atmospheric electronics and piano-based contemporary classical music.
Taking as inspiration the idea everything we are, and all that we love, is borrowed and will be someday returned, Penumbras' evocative melodies express by turns wonder, hopefulness and gentle melancholy. Analogue electronics are juxtaposed with reverb-drenched piano, set against tightly-focused percussion arrangements and bound up in layers of gauzy ambiance and tape saturation. The result is an emotionally-resonant exploration of our transience between the shadow of non-existence and the light that we are destined to become.
The five tracks of "Penumbras 1" open with the rhythmically-oriented "Nothing" and the dense, enveloping "More Than". From there the release moves to the shimmering piano motifs of "Stills" and to the optimistically up-beat "And". The contemplative "Points of Light" gently concludes.
The second installment begins with the elegiac piano piece "Borrowed", then moves through "Then" and "Quietly", nostalgia-steeped pieces for piano and synthesizer. The final track, "Returned", ends the release on a gently optimistic note.
Check out the video for "Borrowed" here.
LUCKY YOU - OUT NOW
Get it now from Bandcamp
From Hidden Shoal:
On Lucky You, Medard Fischer’s creative process was influenced by his father’s struggle with cancer and tragic passing. While coming to terms with his loss, Fischer was intrigued by recent studies suggesting that more than two-thirds of cancerous mutations may be caused by random replication errors and was inspired to explore how chance and its implications shape lives in both ordinary and profound ways.
Taking its cues from generative music and sound collage, stochastic processes are central throughout Lucky You; they define timbres, melodies and entire song structures. Elements pop in and out like sparks, driven by random number generators, multi-tiered probability gates and feedback loops cycling through old electronics. Yet, despite its conceptual underpinning, Lucky You has immediate emotional resonance, befitting the circumstances that inspired it. Pieces shift from playful to contemplative and from hopeful to haunting – tracing contours of moments lived in the shadow of chance, by turns beautiful and tragic.
Check out the video for "No Input" here.
ANTHEM - OUT NOW
From Hidden Shoal:
After years away, Medard Fischer’s Arc Lab project returns with Anthem, a retrofuturistic sci-fi travelogue. Folding classic analogue timbres and detuned FM ambience over fragmented radio broadcasts, forgotten NASA program materials and layers of deep space noise, Anthem is in turns menacing and contemplative, forbidding and epic.
The album shifts between claustrophobic tension and widescreen, cinematic expanse. Crushes of static and thundering percussion sit alongside diminutive synth studies, all plotted against an almost palpable narrative of anxiety, struggle and, ultimately, salvation. It’s the grandeur of classic space opera, refracting darkly through a contemporary lens.
Check out the preview vid and a couple of music videos here, here and here.
FOUR SONGS FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK - OUT NOW
From Hidden Shoal:
On his new EP Four Songs for the City of New York, Medard Fischer brings all of his considerable musical sensitivity to bear to create exquisitely moving neo-classical ambient. Although best known for his solo work as Arc Lab and Tyyson, and as half of Hidden Shoal’s electronic duo Down Review, Medard Fischer’s eponymous solo work distills the warm ambience and impressionistic piano work of his previous releases into cohesive new forms.
Four Songs for the City of New York pays homage to a dynamic, incomparable city. Opener ‘The Imaginary City’ traces icy outlines in high-register piano notes before a celestial drone and unnerving voices subsume the mix. ‘Five Years Almost to the Day’ is similarly reflective, but infused with undeniable hope and warmth. ‘Monument’ and closer ‘A Light That Doesn’t Go Out’ are perhaps closest to the iridescent electronica of his Arc Lab work, yet they radiate a depth of yearning and melancholy that is indescribably touching.
"Whichever point in the day you choose to listen to Medard Fischer’s Four Songs for the City of New York will simply be the most beautiful 18 minutes of your day. Moving neo-classical tinted with the soft light of ambient, these are graceful and gorgeous comments that, though brief, come through with strong, human resonance." - Hypnagogue
"Fischer is a sensible, sensitive and careful musician and componist, creating impressionist, ambient electronic music merging classical music and ambient pop ... quiet memories brought into sound." - Luna Kafe
THE TRAIL BEYOND
My track "Five Years Almost to the Day" is featured in a trailer for the wonderful in-production documentary The Trail Beyond, together with a beautiful track from Liminal Drifter. The film, scheduled for release in 2016, documents the innovative Trail Beyond program which is aimed at inspiring and empowering women to achieve their goals and strive for more than they thought possible. Directed by Cassie De Colling (founder of Natureel).