Nominally, the desert is a ‘waterless, desolate land’, a ‘situation or place considered dull and uninteresting’. Verbally, it speaks of abandonment. Hardly a place for creative inspiration or experimentation then. Yet, Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, is never one to shy away from a challenge. With a string of EPs to his name, including his stand-out 2011 Shadows offering, as well as 2015’s acclaimed debut LP Elaenia, and a PhD in neuroscience to boot, Shepherd seems like the perfect choice to find stimulus in the static desert-space.
Having spent the last two years touring the globe with a live band in support of the orchestral scope of Elaenia, Shepherd’s latest project brings this newfound live element inside the studio, and simultaneously brings the studio outside into the desert.
The first in a series of forthcoming environmental recordings, Reflections – Mojave Desert, is an ambitious audio-visual project. Conceived in the Mojave Desert while Shepherd was rehearsing with his band in-between US tour dates, Shepherd was so struck by the acoustic interplay with the surrounding rock formations that rather than use the setting as a backdrop for his compositions, the Floating Points band wrote and recorded new works to capture this unique setting, and their place within it.
Read the rest of the review in Clash Magazine.
[This piece was published on 29/06/17]