produced by: kopernik
year of release: 2003
Kopernik's self-titled debut, released on Scott Herren (Prefuse 73)'s fledgling Eastern Developments label, is an explorative melding of electronic music and classical orchestration. Its thirty five minutes are broken down into eight tracks, but could well be interpreted as the different movements of one coherent symphony.
"Ondoyant Et Divers" opens with a synthesised pulsating, over which a plucked bass plays until cello strings echo through into a solo melody. This particular movement of "Kopernik" imagines itself as the score to some melancholy tale, until it rises to end with transcendent shimmering electronica.

1. Ondoyant Et Divers
2. Theme For Grace
3. Man, Myth And Magic
4. Ava, Peacefully
5. Kopernistan
6. The Sea And The marsh Are One
7. Faraday (Goodnight)
8. Found Photograph
Drawn strings continue through a lighter ambience on "Theme For Grace", and then "Man, Myth And Magic" provides the first glimpse of upbeat play. The plucked bass returns to keep time in place of a beat, as other strings jump above it, before the mood once again changes, reverting to an echo of the transcendence of the closing bars of "Ondoyant Et Divers."
There are moments on "Ava, Peacefully" and "Kopernistan" when the music amounts to little more than a whisper, and yet still contains and conveys the same feeling the fuller musical parts evoke. At times, Kopernik's usage of layered, strained cellos is reminiscent of David Axelrod; at other times, a lone string instrument plays simply and softly, yet the mood is always preserved.
"Kopernik" reaches its most epic heights on "The Sea And The marsh Are One" (inspired by a Sidney Lanier poem), as orchestrated strings combine with subtle vocal samples to provide a piece of music which ebbs and flows with a glorious refrain. Simplicity and lightness return in the strummed guitar and handslides of "Faraday (Goodnight)" and the album closes with the familiar cello and electronica of the minute-long "Found Photograph".
Kopernik have created an affecting and captivating soundscape that is simultaneously a work of great depth and one which pays homage to simplicity. This is a short but beautiful example of brilliance.
review: cornerstone
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