Vast emptiness from initial perspective, infinitely detailed as time flows on. Antarctica: Music from the Ice is a sonic time capsule, beautiful field recordings from time lived on the planets most unpopulated continent. Cheryl E. Leonard is not just sharing what she recorded, she has spent years creating a composition without boundaries. The eight tracks within Antarctica: Music from the Ice are curated with future listeners in mind. What were unique sounds in an array of many locations, are now a symphony connecting the entire experience together. Allegros, adagios and minuets from Antarctic field recordings? Yes, Cheryl E. Leonard has taken the time and love to create more from an isolated world of infinite wonder.
The sounds within this composition reach in limitless directions. The chaotic anti-cycles of “Greater than 20 Knots”, is a selection showcasing the difficulties of recording in the forceful winds. “Meltwater” revels in an opposite path, natural rhythms from icicles melting above glass. A beautiful piece akin to winds and chimes but with a glacial timeless depth. The selection “White on White” was created without field recordings. A little bit on the drone side, all sounds made from use of Antarctic objects with a highlight of penguin bones. “Fluxes” is a beautiful piece Cheryl E. Leonard created contrasting the vast emptiness of life in the large reaches of ocean apposed to the moving density of life near the coasts. This track was a little bit of a tipping point, not so much as a comparison but more of where Antarctica: Music from the Ice fit in thoughts. The Residents would have been delighted if they could have at least listened to Cheryl E. Leonard’s compositions before creating the 1981 album Mark Of The Mole. The pieces described above are only a small glimpse of Music from the Ice. There is so much to listen too, so patiently and gorgeously created.
Antarctica: Music from the Ice is a compact disc release on San Francisco’s Other Minds Records. The love and time going into the packaging builds on the devotion of creating this composition. The compact disc includes a full color book with photos and thoughts on all eight selections included in the composition. Cheryl E. Leonard describes the conditions she lived in and how her sounds took form. This is a complete package for otherworldly creations and the explanations of how they came to be.