Origin and Echo
Two years in the making, 'Origin and Echo' builds on the foundations of its predecessor, 'Intervals' with a heavy quotient of metallophones, glockenspiels and marimbas at its core, but largely eschews the latter’s chamber arrangements in favour of soaring synth-scapes and a palette of spectral ambient and electronic textures. Despite that, 'Origin and Echo' is a more performative record than was Intervals, its eleven organic, kinetic pieces meticulously constructed by David Sheppard from initial percussive skeletons largely essayed instinctively, in free time, without click-tracks and with almost no guitar. The album is loosely predicated on themes of mirroring and rebounding, whether physical or metaphorical, inspired by everything from the gravity-defying parabolas of space flight to patterns of human migration and feelings of déjà vu summoned by nostalgic journeys. While the album is mostly the work of David Sheppard working alone or in tandem with producer Giles Barrett, it also features cameos from previous Snow Palms collaborator Christopher Leary (synthesisers), alongside Emma Winston (Omnichord), Lauri Wuolio (cupola drum) and Village Green label-mate Angèle David-Guillou (keyboards).
Released November 17th, 2017
LP, CD, DL
Snow Palms was initially conceived by composer David Sheppard (State River Widening, Ellis Island Sound, Phelan/Sheppard, etc) as a vehicle for instrumental pieces based around xylophones, glockenspiels, vibraphones, metallophones and other mallet instruments.
Having set about more than two dozen such essays inspired by everything from Moondog’s 'Elpmas' marimba études to Arthur Lyman’s faux-Polynesian exotica and Carl Orff’s 'Schulwerk' children’s music, Sheppard hooked up with producer/arranger Chris Leary (Ochre) to sort the wheat from the chaff, adding layers of chamber orchestration and discrete electronic textures to many of the intricate, polyrhythmic superstructures.
The duo then expanded the arrangements to embrace woodwinds, a string quartet, classical and electric guitar, harmonium, reed organ, prepared piano, omnichord and synths.