Upsweep is one of a collection of unexplained sounds recorded by the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The idea of an unresolved origin of sound is transfixing to me. In the unusual case of Upsweep, the overall source level of the sound has been declining since the early nineties. There is something so beautiful and melancholic about the concept of a sound whose origin is unresolved and may never be before it fades to nothing. It's relatable: it feels like the arc of a life. And so it seemed a fitting title for a catalogue of my own assorted sounds, which are in essence - as with most earnest things in life - unexplainable.
That being said, I can offer you the shape of parentheses in which you can, if you'd like, contextualize this record. Iris and Amelia are the supporting characters in a screenplay I've been breathing life into this last year. The story follows the manic devolution of a young man called Skyler who experiences a damning series of breaks from reality when his life becomes riddled with interpersonal traumas. Iris and Amelia come to represent two systems of order in our protagonist's otherwise chaotic and damaged world.
And so the bifurcation of the sonic voice on this record, expressed through the divergent voicings of Iris and Amelia, helped release me from the paralysis of my own kind of broken reality and aided a process of reconciliation with a social reality that proved inhospitable for my brother, who was and will always be an integral part of how I identify with all the dimensions of the mad world. For every voice in this world there exists a different version of reality, but we're all searching fundamentally for moments of connection with a world that exists materially and spiritually outside of our selves. And so Iris and Amelia sing different versions of the same songs. They are contradictory fragments of all of us, I suppose ... ecstatic, damaged, exhausted, compassionate, narcissistic, ambitious, self-loathing, loyal, imaginative, misunderstood, and yearning for connection.
released September 16, 2016
Composed, arranged and performed by Hannah Epperson
Amelia (Side A):
Produced, engineered and programming by Stint
Iris (Side B)
Produced, engineered by Zubin Hensler
All tracks mastered by John McCaig of panicStudios
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