Eyes Cast Down: The White Island
Released: 1 October 2017
Without words we would communicate by trading symbols. Recording as Eyes Cast Down, guitarist Greg Moorcroft produces music under this assumption. His album The White Island (65’13”) communicates to the listener, not just a substantial intellect, but also the many gray shades of mystery the human experience may touch. The musicianship found on The White Island goes beyond that of the virtuoso, and to a different kind of playing and composing. The addition of several layers of echo, reverb, pitch shifting, long and short delay lines and other forms of digital processing results in a confluence of processes, intuition and innovation. The idea of layering the sounds of a guitar by means of a long delay is about as old as our modern concept of Ambient Music. But Moorcroft aspires to more than he inherited. The White Island does represent his mastery of the equipment that loops, shifts, delays, flanges, filters and phases his plucked, rubbed and otherwise excited steel strings. However, his involvement with the music goes deeper than just a fascination with technology and technique. Consisting of six slow-motion cloud rider tracks, this album might help the mind reduce the taxing task of processing nonessential information. The pindrop performances were recorded essentially in real-time, and wanders from theme to theme in a free association of half-thoughts, lost memories and forgotten places. From smooth and swirling, to tempestuous and dark, the achieved atmosphere seems to be that of sustained calm and wonder – harmonic journeys without the usual conclusion. Characterized by the reiteration of extended phrases and weighted by unpredictable shifts in timbre, The White Island eventually settles into its own unique ambient area – where the ethereal and surreal meet as a cerebral force.