A Point Between is a perfect example of intermingling disciplines. Abe Pazos’ remarkable cover draws us in, creating intrigue before a single note is played. The music of Floating Spectrum (Mei-Fang Liau) sounds exactly like the art, or vice versa: swirling, generative, open to interpretation. In turn, her music was inspired by a dance performance centered on the cyclical nature of the seasons and its corresponding human emotions. Released on the cusp of autumn, the album is situated at the tipping point of human response. Whether we celebrate the new season or dread it, we can’t help but react in some fashion. Even deeper, the artist created some of her own instruments, as well as “a generative sound system that turns visual data into sound.” She echoes nature’s creation in metal and patch.
While the music is synthesized, it possesses organic characteristics, apparent in the underlying crunch of “Rising Tide, Nourished Soil.” Together, the sines and creaks create an impression of plodding plant growth accompanied by the munching of voracious insects. With no breaks between tracks, the album is allowed to progress as a suite, sometimes pounding, sometimes swaying. “Inner Island” pounds like a giant whose realizes his golden goose has been stolen, stopping at the midway point to listen and look around. But don’t be fooled by the beat; any body movement would be like dancing in glue.
What are the emotions of this new season? Fear, delight, resignation, celebration? Liau captures all in turn. Whenever that beat returns, it pushes the album forward; whenever it retreats, the music settles back to the swirl. One is reminded that when the leaves fall, the trees look barren, but the purpose of shedding is to protect the trunk. Season, emotion and music converge at a point between. By existing at simultaneous crossroads, Floating Spectrum underlines the tension that can only be resolved by accepting that no one, and nothing, is “just one thing.” (Richard Allen)