Micah Templeton-Wolfe aka Stray Theories, has gone from strength to strength recently and is really starting to get the attention he deserves. The Australian, now New Zealand based composer has several self-released albums, with his most notorious, celebrated and my personal favourite being ‘Even Though We Sleep‘; a dose of beautiful, elegant ambient and delicate instrumental pieces.
Micah’s Places Series release however, takes a little more dramatic of a turn than his usual melodic and peaceful productions, to depict the similarly dramatic landscape of New Zealand. And if this is just enough to get you hooked, you’ll be pleased to know Micah has quite a few releases and remixes coming up and is very close to completing a new 8-track album.
We’re so busy navigating concrete jungles and determinedly juggling schedules with mindless routine, it’s a welcome rarity for many of us to experience true postcard perfection. But walking in the shadows of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Micah Templeton-Wolfe found that the snow-capped surroundings stirred something as he travelled through the south of the country.
“’Frozen Skies’ captures the feeling of the first time I travelled throughout the South Island of New Zealand in 2005,” he explains, “I was truly amazed by the raw beauty of the landscapes, from the stillness of the vast lakes to the majestic heights of the Southern Alps. Every time I’ve visited this place, there is an overwhelming feeling of solitude, of being totally immersed in the vast and striking textures of this beautiful place.”
A track that hums into life from atmospheric beginnings, it feels like Karin Dreijer Andersson’s warped yelp is lurking, ready to wickedly cut through the drone. Instead, ‘Frozen Skies’ evolves into a track of yearning discovery, its moody, glacial pace mirroring the cold beauty of the landscape that inspired it.
Awash with fleeting builds and yearning strings, it feels like a mournful journey of a dying day; the sun sinking into the glacial lakes in the distance, a soundtrack to just staring ahead and seeing life, not death, in a ruggedly endless horizon.
(Place introduction by Reef Younis, photo by Brian High)