A newcomer to the post-classical and ambient worlds, yet fully formed as he arrives, Jim Wallis is no stranger to musical crossover. A drummer in critically lauded indie bands Modern Nature (members of Ultimate Painting / Beak>) and Still Corners, Wallis is also an accomplished ambient artist in his own right, releasing his debut album on Tip Top Recordings on February 7th on 300 limited edition heavyweight mustard vinyl LP and digital.
Wallis learned the cello especially for the album, something that was a somewhat cathartic experience for the talented multi-instrumentalist: “Since my grandma passed away in 2012, her beautiful old cello had been sat untouched in my parents’ house, so I dusted it off and started taking lessons. It was a strange, sometimes moving experience to spend time playing the instrument my grandmother had played for 80 years from when she was a teenager, and particularly to do so while working on this project where living and dead characters interact” said Wallis.
The album accompanies independent movie ‘Europa’. ‘Europa “Based on a True Story”, will be premiered in the main competition at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam in November 2019, and documents the story of an asylum seeker who takes his own life.
‘Europa’ a film by Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza, is about Simon, an asylum seeker who has recently killed himself, who returns to commune with important people from his life., He is suspended in limbo, which became a central idea to Wallis when writing the score. “I was quickly drawn to sounds and textures that try to create the feeling of being suspended…bowed strings, long synth drones, atmospheric guitar sounds.”
Inspired in part by the work of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, lead single ‘Audition’ is a perfect example of how Wallis creates the atmosphere of suspension. The stirring piece accompanies a scene in which the lead character, Simon, reintroduces himself to an important figure from his past.
The classically trained musician takes influence from ambient artists such as A Winged Victory for the Sullen (whom he shared a stage with at Botanique in Brussels), William Basinski, Tim Hecker, Bing & Ruth and Stars of the Lid.