Ilm is a collaboration between Alex Smalley (Olan Mill) and Lucia Adam. It yields transcendent music – a narration of the infinite and the minuscule – and it’s the little things and the microscopic details which make it such a beautiful album.
Piano notes lie in between the cracks and dwarfed cells scuttle around within the tight, veined tunnels of its bloodstream. The music delves into the tiny details of life, rustling among leaves at ground level and zooming in on their translucent tributaries as sunlight streams through, displaying a detailed perfection. The wonderful symmetry of nature is visible, unfolding thanks to a spacious piano and a set of wider ambient soundscapes.
The ambient is kingly, and the piano skates over its lush atmosphere. The upbringing is one of love. Together, they concentrate on the blossoming of each individual sound and the wellbeing of every single source, nurturing each one until it reveals a majestic flowering. Because of that, the music is mature, well-tended, and kind. It mirrors nature’s beautiful perfection and grows like a plant set apart.
This is a record that involves itself in nature, science, biological advancement, and the gradual ascension of evolution; baby steps which, over time, add up to mammoth amounts of progress. Gaya is the song of the Earth, its golden harmonies dripping into the world and soaking it like fresh rain. The music is as colourful as a rainbow, as light as dew and covered in topsoil. The atmosphere is a gloopy, glistening sap, with some elements of the fantastical. Rather than enslaving or restricting the piano, the thick atmosphere is ebullient and sets it free to wander.
The design perfectly captures the essence and nature of the project… We would go as far as saying this might just be our most complete design since the label started out. A bold statement I know, but this really is a work of intimate beauty! Featuring antique (circa – 1910) microscopic (handwritten) glass slides related to zoology and nature, page inserts from old zoology books, A6 prints by Ernst Haeckel, letter-pressed GF. Smith covers, anti-static stitched/sealed bags. Truly a work of intimate beauty.
Made by hand,
Letter-pressed 4-panel oversized covers
Printed on GF Smith 540gsm embossed buckram card
Glass mastered CD
20 x A6 microscopic prints by Ernst Haeckel (Tintoretto Gesso card)
1 x antique (circa – 1910) microscopic (handwritten) glass slide
3 x page inserts from antique zoology books:
Samuel Maunder – Treasury of Natural History Dictionary Zoology (1862)
H. A. Nicholson – An Introductory Text-Book Of Zoology (1887)
Parker & Haswell – Textbook of Zoology (1946)
Housed in see-through anti-static bags (Sealed / stitched)
Made with love…
Produced by Alex Smalley and Lucia Adam
Mastered by Porya Hatami
Cover design by Ian Hazeldine
Overall design by Daniel Crossley