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Matthew Shaw
Inside<>Outside Charlie Frame , July 31st, 2018 07:02

Transportative ambient self-release from UK composer

Inside<>Outside is a single half-hour meditation inspired by composer Matthew Shaw's experiences in a number of different locations, including Edinburgh, Mull, Cornwall, Vienna and Verona. It comes as a multimedia piece, accompanied by poetry and original artwork.

Places, and the spaces between them, play an important part in this work. The poem on Shaw's Bandcamp page references being "between one state and another", and a power being passed from one planet to another. The abstract artwork that comes along with it resembles one of a series of isolated landmasses that could be islands as seen from above.

The music itself was created alone, using just a couple of synths, a melodica and "the streets and temples of Verona" while Shaw was working away. What on the surface starts out as an extended drone, reveals three distinct chords that wash and retreat back on each other like tides going in and out. These warm, melancholy undulations interfere with each chord's gravitational pull, creating tonal fata morgana and melodies that may or may not not be there.

There's definitely something beautiful and lonely about this one. I'd be tempted to compare it to something like Tangerine Dream's Phaedra, or a bite-sized version of Max Richter's soporific 8-hour cycle, Sleep. But rather than acting as a power-nap, Inside<>Outside beggars the listener's deepest, most unbroken concentration: a state similar to meditation where she is neither asleep nor awake. All said, it will take you places.