Lowercase Noises - Migratory Patterns
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 16, 2011
I open my eyes...I am lying in bed and my iPod has stopped playing music. To my surprise, I had found that Migratory Patterns by the artist Lowercase Noises had stopped playing. No, my iPod was not broken, but my journey had ended. Sometimes music or an album cannot be described with just words or reviews, but by how it makes you feel. Lowercase Noises, made up of sole member Andrew Othling, has created not only a musical journey with Migratory Patterns, but an experience for the listener. Andrew has the unique ability to draw out a single note on his guitar paired with effect peddles and craft a piece of sonic brilliance. In this review I will try my best to explain my experience and journey that I took courtesy of Andrew.
I am a great blue whale. Lying dormant under the dark ocean depths, I float aimlessly along. Still I am eager to begin my journey across the vast ocean and explore the colorful life that exists in a place too big to be called home by just one thing. The light dances along the transparent water to the sound of a note tapping from a piano playing ever so gracefully; however, I am still so tired that I let the current take me. "Song For No One", the first song off Migratory Patterns, can be best described as the water surrounding the lethargic blue whale. The song is slow paced, but has the smallest, most minute force to sway you gently along the ocean floor. The piano glides with ease, playing in unison with the ever changing currents as they endlessly ebb and flow. This, however, is only the first part to my journey across the ocean.
The current picks up and I am off. The second part to my day has begun and I am moving rapidly. Little air bubbles pass along my ridged body as I clear a path for what looks like dangerous waters. My enormous body battles the waves as they rock to and fro taking with them a buoy which was once a safe haven for a lost seagull. The buoy slams against the waves creating a clapping beat that synchronizes with the ocean drift. The bell from the dismantled buoy furiously chimes like a toy xylophone. Not unlike the increasing waves, the second song "Persistence", is both upbeat and fast...ready to change at any moments notice. A soft beat works its way into the song just like the whale does when entering the dangerous waves. What sounds like a xylophone chimes in like the bells from the buoy to accompany the somber beat.
As I escape the battling waves, I find myself where water meets air. I gaze upon an old wooden board with the word "Depths" written, the name of a small ship that is carrying a lost captain named Trinity. The top of the ocean is lighter and more elegant as is the sweet breeze above the water. The preoccupied captain's hat is captured by a gust of wind which is carried along the sky moving up and down following the rhythm of a modern day symphony. Much like the ocean top, the third song "Depths" has an airy feel to it. In addition, the syrupy sounds of cellos swiftly slide in and carry the listener away just like the wind did to the captain's hat.
I find myself intrigued with the captain and his ship. The wooden oars from the ship weave back and forth through the water like the strumming of a banjo. Each plunge into the water is as calculated as if it were the plucking of a steel core wound string by an accomplished musician. "Hold on, Hold on my friend. I will find you" echoed out of the captain's mouth as he searched for his lost friend. The sharp cry from the captain cuts through the water and leaves the ocean with despair. The fourth song, "Migratory Patterns", feels like the captain and his ship. A song that you could lose yourself to. A banjo is slowly strumming along as the ambient sounds of the effect peddles pierce through each note played. Also, this is the first and only song to feature vocals...words which are sung like that of the captain's call to his lost friend.
Unable to help the captain, I head for warmer waters. Still, in the distance I hear the ships oars strum away till I can hear them no longer. The water is glowing as the sun kisses the ocean top and I am happy. A long and strenuous day has come to an end. My body is lifeless again as it sinks to the bottom. The final song, aptly named "Farewell", brings feelings of warmth and joy. The song slows down much like the whale until a single note is held as it gradually fades into the abyss of the ocean. As the long day ends for the whale, so does the journey of Migratory Patterns.
It is not very often music can take you to another place, but Migratory Patterns does so with the ease of an aquatic like dream-state. I cannot pick out a certain song or why it is so special because the album should be treated as a whole, a journey that only you can experience on your own. I can only hope that my interpretations will instill a sense of yearning to experience this piece of art for yourself.