Jacob Long’s third Earthen Sea outing for Kranky, Ghost Poems, further refines his fragile, fractured palette into fluttering arrythmias of dust, percussion, and yearning. Composed during the first wave of lockdowns in New York, the pieces took shape patiently from samples of piano, texture, and domestic sounds (sink splashing, room tone, clinking objects), filtered through live FX to imbue them with an intuitive, immaterial feel. Wisps of melody splinter, shimmer, and refract, like light on water; pulses accrue and dissipate, as if mapping shifting sands. Throughout, there’s a sense of matter made animate, of absences felt.
Long cites notions of “the studio as a dub instrument” and the melancholy of “7th chords on a fake Rhodes patch” as central elements in his process, transforming raw materials into rare thresholds of symbiosis and hypnosis. This is music for night skies in hollowed-out cities, for views across rivers towards unknown shores: restless, placeless, and profound.