David Helpling’s new album IN will be released on April 15, 2022. Now the first single WAVES DREAM OF BREAKING is available.
Before David Helpling released his trilogy of epic ambient collaborations with Jon Jenkins, before his shimmering guitar records A SEA WITHOUT MEMORY and RUNE—he had an idea that would evolve to become IN. A massive double album composed over ten years, IN was born from finding wonder in the tiniest of places. Only one square inch of forest holds a world of color and life. On this miniature scale, a shard of lichen is a monument, a twig a skyscraper, an arm’s length a universe. IN is an exploration of that magic space: an expanse of delicate subtlety and minuscule vibrancy that suggests a poignancy of existence itself.
IN builds this world with sounds from across Helpling’s career. Diamond-bright granular textures twinkle atop churning synths on wistful opener Waves Dream of Breaking. Chimes and echoes conjure cavernous yearning on The Cold Distance Between, while the climactic In Waves of Fire ascends on thundering drums before a shattering crescendo. Across this cinematic album, analogue synthesizers, digital synthesizers and ambient guitar entwine, untangle and entwine again. Yet here, Helpling explores new instruments as well as familiar ones. A 1981 Yamaha CP70 Electric Grand Piano summons a classic, fresh organic sound as it explores the vast scenes set by his textural guitar. This piano murmurs across chasms in the aftermath of In Waves of Fire, augmenting the well-established sound palette cultivated throughout years of previous works.
Unique and diverse artists stepped into David Helpling’s vision with their own inspired expressions. Portland fine art photographer Brandt Campbell captured IN’s micro-world in breathtaking macrophotography. Co-producer Howard Givens worked closely with Helpling to explore the hidden nuances of this album and elevate each piece to its final form. Matthew Schoening’s electric cello is enchanting and elegiac on You Already Are. Miriam Stockley lends her rich, ethereal vocals to Slipping and I Too Am Coming Home, balancing hope and melancholy with each ebb and flow of her voice. Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer plays the Esraj, an expressive bowed instrument from India, on the buoyant The Bliss You Always Carried. Vocalist Nidhi Bhatmuley gives a soaring performance on the post-rock flavored This Burning Sky, an emotional epic that evokes Hans Zimmer’s work with Lisa Gerrard. Through these significant contributions, Helpling has realized a macro-focus on his contemplation of life.
Inspired by the vastness of small spaces, IN is both simple and intricate, both expansive and intimate. And just as the spaces that inspired them, these thirteen pieces unveil new images when examined. Here, a pebble by a stream is a fjord falling into the sea. Here, nature wrought in new colors; the greens and blues of tree and sky replaced by microbial fuchsia, folded violet. Here, a world—vivid, vibrant, waiting.
For more information and music samples, see spottedpeccary.com.
Text source: Bandcamp.