On May 27th, Owen Pallett will return with In Conflict, an album about “liminal states and our loved ones locked in battle with them.” As Pallett explains, “The record is meant to approach ‘insanity’ in a positive way. Depression, addiction, gender trouble, and the creative state are presented as positive, loveable, empathetic ways of being. Not preferable, per se, but all as equal, valid positions that we experience, which make us human.”
It’s not the only piece of conceptualized high-art Pallett’s been at-work on, though. In addition to the album, the Oscar-nominated composer has teamed with Virginia musician/filmmaker Brendan Reed for an audio-visual project entitled “Our Shadows Slanting by the Lamps”.
Little else about the project has been revealed. Their website, ourshadowsslantingbythelamps.com, includes a link to a video along with a description that only adds to the intrigue:
“I played ‘The Swan.’ I remember the early twilight, the way certain windows were frosted, others steamed up, and others clear. Outside the glass, the blizzard was infinite and slow. I remember breathing, and seeing you all breathing, chests rising and falling, under the shelter of my roof. I remember our shadows slanting by the lamps, and touching. My hands passed through the air and I looked at you, just a girl. Already, I knew: you were so many things.”
However you interpret that, the entire feel and aesthetic of the project fits well within Pallett’s Avant-leaning experimentalism. His original score seems to be entirely synth-based, a bizarre, syncopated soundscape very much in the vein of an uber minimalist Kraftwerk. The visuals, though, are where things get triple weird, with shots of swimming fish, breakfast cereals, snowy sidewalks, and lightsabers patched together with little rhyme or reason. It may look like your cousin’s final project from art school, but it’s also new Owen Pallett music, so why complain?
Watch it below. As the website points out, part two will “follow soon.”