Last month, Subtext Recordings dropped the new release by Emptyset’s james ginzburg, titled six correlations

Originally composed for a commissioned performance in Berlin and recorded in early 2018 over three days, six correlations explores traditional music from various cultures, most notably Gaelic folk music native to island regions of Scotland, where half of Ginzburg’s family originates from—it also touches on Iranian music, Indian classical, and generative composition techniques. Produced using a hand drum, piano, voice, shruti box, and Roland SH-101, the music is haunting and affecting, fusing the electronic and organic into an utterly captivating emotive whole.

Following the album’s release, Ginzburg has shared a transfixing and hallucinogenic video, which you can watch below, crafted from photographs taken by Ginzburg of his homeland when spreading his grandmother’s ashes, as he explains:

“I shot the photographs that comprise this video on a recent trip to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland that I took in order to spread my grandmother’s ashes. The Uists, the Hebridean islands that part of my family originates from, are mostly very close to sea level and, if you gaze down at them from one of the few mountains that interrupt their barely cultivatable grassy sand (machair) or peat bog, they appear to be more water than land. It was a poignant experience looking down at these beautiful inhospitable topological afterthoughts of the European continent that had sustained my relatives for generations knowing it was more than likely that they would predominately sit underwater in a hundred years due to human activities I was participating in. 

On a cultural level, it is one of the last strongholds of the Scottish Gaelic language which is likewise evaporating from earth, having already been besieged by the English speaking land owners who had forbidden the language to be taught or written. As a consequence the oral tradition that carried their stories and folklore was transmitted through incredible feats of memorization and commitment. 

Many stories in Celtic folklore contain ideas of the compression or expansion of time that could occur if one accidentally crossed over into the other world of the supernatural, and it isn’t hard to grasp in such an isolated place, subject to the full brutality of the Northern Atlantic weather and the overwhelming beauty of a terrain more undulating sea than stable land, that time is a fluid substance which seems to drip irregularly from a realm constructed from the foggy glowing vapors of bittersweet unsettling dreams rather than concrete reality.”

You can pick up the LP here.