A Sense of Place: Grønland by Glåsbird
Glåsbird is an alluring new project inaugurated, we are told, under a cloak of anonymity by an established artist within the ambient/modern classical scene to focus on chosen themes and develop them into carefully crafted conceptual soundtracks. The first published material from this project was the highly evocative Drift Stations which took a mere ten minutes to put the listener in thrall to the austere beauty of the Arctic Circle. While the EP held its own as a compact narrative, it was also a prelude of much more to come as the “Land Ahead” at the end of its 2-track journey turns out to be the sprawling ice-capped island country of Greenland which is majestically explored on the full-length Grønland now out on Whitelabrecs.
All the tantalizing promise shown by Drift Stations is realized on Grønland in spades. Violin, cello, guitar, and filigreed tape effects form a lens through which we can take in the sweep of a wondrously imagined geography. We can see the icy shimmer and glinting light of its stark landscape and the feel the profound sense of isolation and tranquillity. Where will the mysterious Glåsbird take us next? Grønland is a beautiful place to linger while we wait to find out.
Grønland is available in a limited deluxe edition gatefold vinyl-effect CD (100 copies) as well as digital download. Cover image by traveller/photographer Lennart Pagel.
Glåsbird returns following the debut EP ‘Drift Stations’ which was a digital only release on Whitelabrecs just prior to Christmas last year. The eagerly awaited full-length debut album is something that this currently anonymous artist has carefully shaped over a lengthy period of time and it is entitled Grønland. Those looking to the themes of the North Pole and travel through the treacherous Arctic Circle which were contained within Drift Stations, will see a pattern of travel or rather, migration developing. Next stop – Greenland, the world’s largest island as well as one of the most uninhabited landmasses on the planet, which is thanks to stark temperatures and the permanent ice sheet which occupies most of this land.
Glåsbird imagined that they were assigned the task of scoring the soundtrack to a film about Greenland and spent a great deal of time researching the subject. Hours of documentaries, drone helicopter footage, NASA and satellite images, Instagram traveller accounts, 360° photos, web articles and maps were surveyed, to the point where this artist felt sufficiently immersed in this sub-zero but beautiful land. One such traveller/photographer who has physically witnessed the splendour of Greenland is Lennart Pagel, who kindly provided the cover image; the shot not only captures the essence of this country with its iced mountains, freezing lake and primary-coloured cabin but also there is a bold starkness which lends itself to this soundtrack.
Two releases in and whilst we’re no clearer as to who is behind this project, it is clear that Glåsbird is becoming synonymous with storytelling and specifically travel or migration, if you prefer.
The music itself adopts a Modern Classical approach with icy piano shards shimmering alongside glacial violin and cello drones as well as the occasional hint of grounding electric guitar. We’re told that the artist even recorded some sections of sounds to cassette before placing the tape in the freezer to give an added chill factor.
We’ve decided that such an impactful concept would suit a special ‘gatefold LP’ style packaging that we’ve run a couple of times as well as an increased run of 100 copies. Where will the Glåsbird land next?
Creditsreleased February 9, 2019
Written and produced by Glåsbird
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Lennart Pagel
Packaging design by Harry Towell