Owen Pallett | DNO259
"With its scope, its musicality, and its willingness to be unexpected...Heartland is a true successor to Mr. Wilson's opus, Smile." – Wall Street Journal
"The scope of breadth and mood of it are all grander, more assured, making ever more of a case that the guy shouldn't be viewed as a side note." – Pitchfork [8.6/Best New Music]
Heartland exists. The third Final Fantasy full-length and the first for Domino, it is the product of nine months of work in four countries. Heartland is a fully orchestral record, designed to exist simultaneously as an album, a 45-minute piece of orchestral music and a set of songs for looped violin and voice. Owen Pallett explains:
"The songs themselves form a narrative concerning a farmer named Lewis and the fictional world of Spectrum. The songs are one-sided dialogues with Lewis, a young, ultra-violent farmer, speaking to his creator."
"The album was compositionally modeled upon the principles of electronic music. The principles of analog synthesis informing symphonic writing, like an inversion of a Tomita record. These songs, too, were designed to be as dense with polyphony as the Final Fantasy live shows can become. While writing it, I kept an image in my head of putting so many notes on the page that the paper turned black."
"This record encapsulates a whole year of work for me, and was difficult to see through, but immensely proud of the results. I hope you enjoy it."
Work began in earnest in November 2008, when Pallett and Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara flew to Reykjavik to work at The Greenhouse, Valgeir Siggurdsson's studio (Björk's Medulla, Bonnie "Prince" Billy's The Letting Go) with engineer Mio Þórrison at the board. The orchestra was recorded January 2009, in Prague, with the Czech Symphony. Other guests include Matt Smith (Nifty), Reg Vermue (Gentleman Reg) and Nico Muhly. Rusty Santos, who produced Animal Collective's Sung Tongs and mixed Panda Bear's Person Pitch, was taken on as mixer.
He and Owen worked together in Toronto and New York over the summer of 2009 putting the finishing touches on Heartland.
1. Midnight Directives
2. Keep The Dog Quiet
3. Mount Alpentine
4. Red Sun No. 5
5. Lewis Takes Action
6. The Great Elsewhere
7. Oh Heartland, Up Yours!
8. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
9. Flare Gun
10. E Is For Estranged
11. Tryst With Mephistopheles
12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now?