Artist: High Plains
Album: Cinderland

Released: 10 March 2017
Label: Kranky Records

Cinderland High Plains
High Plains, the duo of Scott Morgan and Mark Bridges, sends out music from several opposing angles. Their collaboration Cinderland (36'19") goes down byways you may not have expected. With Morgan providing keyboards and a range of electronic textures, pulses and swells, we hear Bridges' cello effortlessly holding center stage. Our ears reach out to this enchanted realm, as we give ourselves over to each distinctive spell across this album's nine brief tracks. From the restorative and consonant pieces the listener will feel at ease, while further in Cinderland's creeping premonitions become so chilling that the cold just seeps into your bones, and set there. While the nature of these troubled pieces may be difficult to reason through, the dissonance repays all the attention - in showing a pathway to the center of your self. As listeners, once no longer tied to the fate of the world, or the course of the planets, we tend to be drawn to the territories inside. Roiling synthesizer sounds are used to define mass and volume, with rhythm being something reassuring to occasionally hold onto. Organized in understated compositional principles, Bridge's cello plays out its slow melodies atop, through and according to Morgan's various constructions of atmosphere. The audience will encounter each progressive work as a discovery. Some will feel consoling, while others harsh, which is just the point of Cinderland. As we hear these works, and allow them to open inside of us, we experience fully the grip of melodic and harmonic ideas, and another amazing journey through the imaginary space of music.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   10 August 2017

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