Release Date: 20.07.2024
Format: Gatefold Vinyl-effect CDR + booklet
Catalog: WLR165

Genre: Ambient, Modern Classical


The Glåsbird project began as an anonymous detour from Harry Towell's previous production work under his own name and as Spheruleus. It embraced Modern Classical composition techniques whilst also exploring the world, through the comfort of his living room. Harry is a lifelong geography enthusiast and on accepting that he will never be likely to experience the remotest corners of the world, he created the 8 album ‘A Sonic Expedition’ series.

Through hours of research including Google Earth explorations, documentary films, YouTube videos, vintage maps and archive footage, each album centered around a particular part of the world as Harry imagined that he'd been commissioned to compose a soundtrack for the chosen location. The series began in the North Pole, descended through Greenland and then over to Svalbard. It continued along the Norwegian fjords, over to Novaya Zemlya and then to Siberia for a double album. The series continued through the Himalayas, right across the Pacific Ocean and the journey concluded at the South Pole, with an exploration of Antarctica. This compilation brings together this series as a compilation, with two curated tracks from each album and ordered in the sequence of the series.

The aim was to evoke an imaginary trip for the listener, through beautiful land and seascapes, so that they might contemplate the enormity of the world around us and how its delicate eco-systems are affected by every change, every action, every inaction.

The music is evocative and adapts according to its environment; the sound for the Greenland album feels vast and perishing, Svalbard feels cold and charming, the fjords glisten with acoustic timbres which reference the colourful wooden cabins that adorn the rugged green landscape and Novaya Zemlya feels harsh and remote, yet both dramatic and sad as the events of 1960s nuclear testing are reflected upon. Siberia feels fittingly enormous, as the largest region on the planet is explored, with more than a hint of a theme around climate change in the longest album of the series. The Himalayas reveal a subtly eastern charm, starting off subdued before the tension builds to a euphoric crescendo, as if to represent the challenges and elation of climbing a mountain. The sound diverges significantly in Pacifica, as exotic rhythms, sun-drenched tape reels and tropical birds tell stories from various islands in the world’s largest ocean. The album concludes with a dramatic and beautiful Modern Classical sound, with its frozen strings, whistling winds and epic choral flourishes.


Written and produced by Harry Towell

Mastered by James Edward Armstrong

Cover artwork by George Korunov

Poetry by Neil McRoberts

Art and design by Andrew Heath



Headphone Commute: "The final entry in today’s ⟪ REW | FF ⟫ column is an upcoming 16-track release compiling two pieces from each of Glåsbird‘s previous eight albums from A Sonic Expedition series, which covered everything from Novaya Zemlya to Siberia to Pacifica and Antarctica, which I highlighted in my Music For Capricious Souls Adrift In Noir-fi Best of 2023 list. This series is officially over, but if you somehow missed out, this compilation is a great way to experience this sonic journey around the world (from the North to the South Pole) in its compact form (even though it lasts about 75 minutes). “There’s an enormity and poignant feel to the music, as melancholy classical notes extend through an eerie chill, or sun-bleached tapes explore hidden islands and tropical climes. The natural beauty of our world can be felt throughout this collection alongside a sense of despair at its apparent demise.” Previously remaining [somewhat] anonymous, it’s no surprise to find that Harry Towell is lurking behind this project, which he put out on his own Whitelabrecs imprint, where he is also known as Spheruleus. A self-described lifelong geography enthusiast, Towell brings this imaginary trip across the land and seascapes directly into your home. This ambitious project is great, but, for me, the music is greater. Although I can’t resist applauding this accomplishment, I’m more moved by the sounds within, and this is why I recommend this album. You can pick up this limited edition release on a vinyl-effect CDr accompanied by a 16-page booklet of photography by George Korunov and poetry by Neil McRoberts when it becomes available for pre-order on July 5th directly from the imprint’s Bandcamp."

Subscribe and stay tuned

©2024 Whitelabrecs