Composers, teachers and musicians, Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer, have teamed up on a new album, Records from the Åland Islands. As the title suggests, the project was created at various locations on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden during the summers of 2017 and 2019.
Jeremiah Chiu and Marta Sofia Honer originally met in Chicago as attendees of a performance of Terry Riley’s “In C.” They then moved to Los Angeles in 2014. Honer became a first-call actor for Adrian Younge and Beyoncé, among others, and is also on the music faculty at California State University.
Chiu is a sound artist and also a teacher, serving as an assistant professor at the Otis College of Art & Design. He exhibited/performed at the Getty Center and LACMA and became resident programmer at Dublab.
The new album has a conscious meaning, capturing the beauty of these islands known for their beaches, old townhouses and stunning landscapes. It’s a mix of piano, synths, field recordings, hand chimes and more. They all come together on a smooth, effervescent release that feels like less planned and more coordinated jam sessions. The songs glide along with their elements, often with a satisfying calm. There are others like “Stureby House Piano”, which builds slowly like frenetic piano crescendos.
Chiu is the one who plays piano, organs, modular synthesizer, crumar, juno-60, cs01, op-1, bass guitar and adds field recordings, while Honer is at the viola, crumar and hand chimes.
It’s a nice and soothing indoor album, but the purpose and field recordings bring Records from the Åland Islands outside on a sunny day with a gentle breeze and gentle waves crashing on a beach. Go out and enjoy the day and this music. Get your copy on Bandcamp.