Arthur King’s Changing Landscapes series can be both distilled to and defined by two factors: the process, and the location. The process, or artistic methodology, is exactly the same wherever they go; it is the unchanging framework that allows the location to truly serve as the meat of the art. Because of this standardized framework, each project in the series has the location uniquely embedded into it. With its focus on field recordings, what comes from the process could literally not have happened anywhere else. The Scottish Isle of Eigg was no exception.
Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) was invited to be a part of the Howlin’ Fling festival on the island, and thought, “I’d rather not do this alone.” Enter his pals in Arthur King, and the invitation ballooned into spending a week as artists-in-residence on the island through the festival host Lost Map Records. The days began with exploring, field recording, and generally absorbing as much of the island as they could reach by foot, bicycle, and the occasional hitchhike. Throughout, the group collected a vast amount of audio and video source material. Along with video and photography, Arthur King recorded the sounds of sheep, wind turbines, streams, waves, the local pub, rain, and wind. These efforts documented souvenir shops, ferry landings, local commentary, tourist banter, electrical transformers, birds, cows, and everything in between that you might hear if you spend a week on a remote Scottish island. These collected artifacts were then input into the artists’ computers, to be sorted and edited for use in a live improvisational performance. The process was underway.
The album opens with a shimmering tremolo synth pad as a medley of field recordings weave in and out. Half-intelligible conversations, a vague rustling, wind, a rooster's cawing. The pulsing thud of a kick drum slowly creeps in like a heartbeat. The song culminates in a swirl of drum machine and guitar feedback before dissipating into the quiet, plaintive musings of a small church piano. Raindrops fall on the roof overhead. This musical composite introduces the remote sonic landscape of Eigg. This palette reaches climactic heights in the album's opus "Eigg Electric," a fever pitch of industrial electronic percussion, synthetic drones, and crashing waves. The journey reaches its conclusion in "St. Franny's," where an elegiac string synth procession commences as birds chirp and sheep bah in the distance. The album closes with the reverberant trail of a lone dove’s call.