That was my first thought based solely on the project name and the track titles, but it’s safe to say mathematics has had an influence on the artist Prisms & Portals. Not cold, calculating arithmetic, but more of a philosophical, abstract maths that have to do with concepts of quantum physics and metaphysics. This influence is particularly evident on his new album The Fossil Lights.
Combined with the design and imagery of the album, which is colourfully creative and features portions of constellations and a human possibly being abducted, the listener gets a feeling that they’re listening to the score of a sci-fi animation. Aside from a few voice samples, the album is instrumental and is the work of Shaun Riekena of Des Moines Iowa. In addition to being a musician Shaun is also a graphic designer by trade. He does his own album art work, which is in sync with the music in a way that clearly expresses his artistic vision.
For the most part the album is ambient electronica, but also has some heavy base and atmospheric guitars. The seven tracks run almost 45 minutes, with an average track length of a little over six minutes. The album has a good flow and it’s easy to listen to it from beginning to end. The third track “Intercept Linear 7” was one of my favorites; it’s ambient and also has a funkiness to it that reminded me of Trent Reznor. The title track “The Fossil Lights”, which features Todd Riekena, is 11 minutes long and is quite an epic piece of music that could totally be the climax to the fictional sci-fi animation. I really liked how he ended the album with “Wavering Sun.” It’s the shortest track on the album and ends with the music fading away abruptly as if it were an emanating signal that has just passed the range’s thresh hold heading into outer space. The album was mastered by Matt Sepanic at The Sonic Factory Recording Studio, also in Des Moines.
Written by Joey Beaudin