02: Nebula (4:26)
03: Le Paysage (5:37)
04: Earth Trek (6:48)
05: Midnight Sun (6:39)
06: Transformation (7:15)
07: The Shape of Time 2 (5:34)
08: Runestones (6:46)
09: Blue Epilogue (7:05)
10: Slow Swirl (7:43)
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Time shapes our world and our concepts. From earth’s erosion to patterns in nature — fossils, stone formations, crystalline ice, glaciers, or delicate shells — all visual images of forms show us the linear time which passed across them. Simultaneously, there is the quite personal psychological time that shapes our life and memories; it’s how we perceive the progress of our consciousness. Within both, time remains an abstract term with no shape. It can only be explained as a rate and duration of observed change.
Together, these ideas inspired Erik Wøllo in the creation of his latest album.
With The Shape of Time, Norwegian composer Wøllo transforms the abstract into nine compositions of thoughtful and seductive ambient electronic music with melodic soaring themes, vast slow-moving drones and rhythmic patterns drifting in cycles of transmutable harmonies. These hushed and endless moments present an exquisite collection of moods and emotions. Ranging from the vigorous and earthy to mesmerizing, evocative and wistful late-night Nordic light-scenes. All created on synthesizers, samplers, electric and acoustic guitars.
The opening title track choir floats between a few simple but lush chords, an almost neoclassical sound-painting of a vivid panoramic picture. The track returns in a second movement later in the program as a sonic meditation of introspective longing combing the mind and memories; it bears resemblance to the first track via the same virtual sampled choir. The spacious “Nebula”, the instantly appealing and memorable “Le Paysage” and “Earth Trek” carry on from where the opener leaves off: colorful soaring sounds exist within a backdrop of swirling textural sequences and light percussion offering a positive experience. “Midnight Sun” has a melodic form based on the Norwegian lullaby tradition, almost unreal picturing the golden night-times in a Scandinavian summer. Gently sweeping sonic clouds surround the repeating notes that ring out in the memorable “Transformation.” “Runestones” finds its way through a rhythmic drive with a web of mysterious cavernous floating drifts. A sense of peace, calm, and diffusion imbues the listener along the ending path on “Blue Epilogue” and “Slow Swirl.”
The Shape of Time invites one to the procession; it’s a sonic jewel for connoisseurs of shimmeringly expansive ambience traversed with filigreed instrumental intensity.