The natural world is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration for moments of introspection and reflection. Many have attempted to replicate these inspirations through technological means but rarely is any of it as effective as the real thing. It is these subtle textures that ambient composer Willebrant harnesses in a fantastic manner. A lush and serene journey of contemplation through the textures of nature, ambient composer Willebrant’s EP Fern____ encourages the listener to fill in their own blanks.
Through three tracks of pure serenity, I was entranced by the masterful use of natural textures of rain, birds chirping, and insects. It became immediately clear that these are not just stock sounds, but actual field recordings by the composer. The amazing clarity of the recordings combined with the soothing pads and basses create an atmosphere ripe for reflection.
The EP opens with the soothing sound of heavy rain and birds chirping along with a slowly rising lush pad. This is a consistent feature of the entire EP and the transition between tracks is absolutely seamless, almost as if we were listening to one slowly evolving track. The sounds of nature fade in and out throughout the runtime, giving space for these shimmering and wonder-inducing pads, softly plucked basses, and other magnificently crafted sounds to lead us further into reflection.
Fern ____ is a serene journey into the mystery, wonder, and beauty of the natural world. What is particularly ear-catching is Willebrant’s use of these texture-laden field recordings as both the basis of and transition between each track in order to create an immersive experience. As each track ends and the next begins, the sounds of rain and birds rise as the instrumentation slowly fades away giving the listener a sense of thoughts coming and going as they stare at the wonder of our world and become lost in the moment. Or, at least, that is what I felt as I listened with my eyes closed while becoming completely lost in the sound.