Music / Premieres
Ancient Air - Let's Look At Things Far Away
Words by James Lynch
Wednesday 25th May, 2022
With the release of Ancient Air’s debut solo EP Let's Look At Things Far Away today, the Melbourne-based composer has shared a collection of stunning minimalist ambient soundscapes - a serene exploration into the evocative and the unknown.
Ancient Air is the solo project of Melbourne based composed and producer Jill Farrar. Her debut EP, which she tells us is “the culmination of two decades of artistic deliberation”, exists in a unique space - completely instrumental and developed largely around improvisations, it’s a collection of songs that feel simultaneously fleeting yet anchored in time, that are weighed by emotion yet similarly intangible.

Bookended by two tracks titled ‘What Comes Afterwards Has Come Before’, we’re offered an entry and exit point into the world of the EP, which goes on to play like a transient glimpse into the ineffable universe that Jill has conjured. Instantly tranquil and dreamy, looming vocals hang majestically in the distance atop of a swirl of atmospheric resonances, before eventually giving way to the delicate piano playing that defines the bulk of the EP. ‘One’ is contemplative and considered, expanding around a vivid motif that grows more potent as the track unravels, and ‘Always Begun Again’ is similarly pensive, stretching out even further thanks to its seemingly free-flowing piano work. The EP’s centrepiece is undeniably ‘A Slow, Inverse Field’, a cinematic slowburner that grows triumphantly over nearly eight minutes, blending the indie-classical and experimental elements of Jill’s sound together in a disorientating, transportive fashion.

It’s an extremely expressive listen, and one that manages to crawl beneath our skin in a mysterious yet mesmerising way. Speaking about this idea, Jill shares "This album is all feeling. It’s without lyrics, as we know them, but it is all words. It can be hard to talk about music without words. How do we anchor ourselves in the meaning? But so much of life is without words. In silence, there is a richness. I suppose this album is an exploration of silence - the silence that is between everything. If you listen closely, you can hear the silence sitting still inside my music."

Let's Look At Things Far Away is out today in all the usual places.