Album Review: Loscil - Clara

Loscil's 13th album was built from a single three-minute composition performed by a 22-piece string orchestra in Budapest.
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Loscil

Loscil

Scott Morgan a.k.a. Loscil has released his new album Clara. Over his 22-year career, he has often used different themes as the central topics for his albums, whether it is photographs of clouds and piano samples for 2019's Equivalents or life's resistance to dark forces on 2016's Monument Builders. Clara explores a different path, extrapolating a 70-minute album from a single three-minute composition performed by a 22-piece string orchestra in Budapest.

Sometimes limitations can be bad and other times they can be good, even freeing from the endless tools we have at our disposal these days. This is one of those times limitations can help focus a record. Clara opens with “Lux,” a track that gives you a good idea of what the album will sound like with slowly building strings and soft pads. “Stella” is the longest track on the album, swirling around itself over that time with a similar motif like a whirlpool.

“Vespers” is one of the softest tracks with its whispering strings and choir elements. After a sunny “Sol,” things continue to stay bright and uplifting “Aura.” The album ends with two pieces on the opposite emotional side of the spectrum. “Orta” is serene and hopeful, bringing back some of the elements from the opener, before the tense title track finale that eventually smoothens out and settles down for the final couple of minutes.

Created from a three-minute piece of music, Loscil manages to extrapolate that into much more. It is hopeful and serene, while also at times tense. This is an album for days looking for something slow and relaxing to do. Pick up a copy on Bandcamp.

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