New Release: Polar Realities

Polar Realities is a 2-track, 10 minute album of virtual field recordings and layers of alternate realities.

These are pieces I’ve wanted to make for a long time. Video games have become an even greater lifeline for me in 2020. While life is restricted and pushed indoors, my mind craves open worlds, big skies, birdsong. It has found respite in video games with large maps and open world gameplay, craving complete immersion and escape from the pain of this reality.

A blurring of reality stems from these sounds being synthetically created versions of natural sounds, that I in turn have warped with my own perceptions of reality, agoraphobia and confinement to my physical home and these metaphysical worlds. The virtual field recordings have all been captured from my own gameplay: my alternate realities. Working on the individual pieces was an odd process, observing and editing my reality from the outside. Listeners will find these worlds in their own reality. Our shared experience of isolation and other worlds.

Polar Realities was composed in the same way as my other fixed media pieces. One, or multiple, ‘original’ field recordings are left in tact and layered with details from these recordings I find most interesting; my own instrumental and electronic recordings, and manipulations of the original sounds.

It is likely not a coincidence that both video games used are based in post-apocalyptic realities, which is a strong theme for the album. There are more games and realities and virtual landscapes to explore, and thus more Polar Realities to come…

Before the world ends is a river soundscape with sine wave drones, cello and bowed harp. Virtual field recording from ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’

Ripped apart and put back together is a storm and explosive cluster with ebow and broken, broken-hearted dialogue. Virtual field recording from ‘Fallout 4’

“Where will you go?”

“Elsewhere – and everywhere. There’s so much more to discover before the world ends

Horizon Zero Dawn (2017, Guerrilla Games)

“Everything can change in an instant, and the future you plan for yourself shifts – whether or not you’re ready. At some point, it happens to all of us. This wasn’t the world I wanted but it was the one I found myself in. The Commonwealth, my home. Ripped apart, and put back together.”

Fallout 4 (2015, Bethesda Game Studios)
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