An unorthodox and engrossing set of electroacoustic compositions, Music for the Moon and the Trees is an intercontinental collaboration between Mexican classical guitarist Morgan Szymanski and Scottish multidisciplinary artist Tommy Perman. Recorded in and around a cottage in rural Scotland, with samples and field recordings pulled into the mix, it is an album deeply rooted in the place it was created and the relationship between the two artists.
The album opens with “Moonrise (Luna de la Rosa)”, a lilting waltz spotlighting Szymanski’s inviting sense of melody. From that seemingly straightforward beginning, the album coaxes you into its world, becoming more mysterious with each track. The sparse, percussive “The Road to the Cottage” follows, the inventiveness of Perman’s production and the fluidity of Szymanski’s guitar coming into focus over the song’s six-minute run. You can almost feel the fog gathering round your ankles in “Danza del Fuego,” or picture yourself wandering into a clearing for “Canción de la Luna (Homage to Debussy),” enraptured by glimpses of nameless stars. By the time you reach the steady thrum of “Sarabande for the Souls,” the music has moved fully into the mystical, the night coming to life in the space where waking and dreams collide.
Unlike many albums that explore isolated locales and musical improvisation, Music for the Moon and the Trees doesn’t fall back on tape hiss or other lo-fi production to create its atmosphere. Clarity is the keyword here, every percussive pluck of Szymanski’s guitar captured with a crisp precision, even if it ends up run through a haze of reverb. As the wind rustles through the trees on closer “Down by Paddy’s Burn,” birds chirping in the distance, Perman and Szymanski return us safely to the waking world—refreshed and renewed, and if we’re lucky, a little more open to the magic of the night.