Compilation album curated by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The directive for the composers featured on Breathing Instruments was, in effect, to accentuate the ways in which instruments sound like they are breathing. Some have recreated the literal experience of feeling or hearing the human breath. Others take a more abstract approach, where “breathing” is more motif than object of emulation.
From hushed pulsations and distant vocals in Kathryn Shuman’s Objects creating a womb-like environment to Julianna Barwick’s blissful Newborn the tracks give sonic form to the experience of emerging from the womb.
There is also a striking concurrence of woodland sounds throughout this collection from the ghostly tones of Emily A Srague’s Flew to Cool Maritime and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s dew dripped Daybreak.
Meanwhile the undulating seascape of Geotic’s Uncaught conjures moments of Evening Star by Fripp/ Eno, but supplants that album’s crystalline production with the warm crackle of vinyl.
If we learn anything from Breathing Instruments it is that we are inextricable from the natural world.