Scott Morgan, the Vancouver-based composer who records under the name Loscil, has made a career out of interpreting abstract ideas, images, and objects into sound. Whether inspired by scientific concepts or submarines, Loscil finds the right sonic language to communicate not only what he sees and feels, but also what he’s thinking.
Monument Builders is sourced from the apocalyptic landscape photography of Edward Burtynsky and Philip Glass’s 1982 score for Koyaanisqatsi, an experimental film filled with time-lapsed images of cities and landscapes from across the United States. Borrowing the movie’s glacial pace, Monument Builders slowly descends into the dark abyss of modern industrial decay. There’s movement in these seven compositions, but not forward momentum. Its rhythm comes from the vibration of energy through concrete blocks. Its voice is the sigh of escaping gases. It shudders and pulses like machinery choking on viscous oil.
Monument Builders is desolate. Dramatic. Devastating in the unmovable inevitability that our Earth is forever marked by abandoned cenotaphs to humanity’s greed and petulance. It’s small comfort that art as profound and thought-provoking as Loscil’s would come from industrial rot.