Nick Schofield


Glass Gallery

When the National Gallery of Canada — the building itself, not the institutio­n — was completed in 1988, then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney called it “a living part of Canada.” The massive Moshe Safdie-designed institutio­n remains an awe-inspiring achievemen­t, with its 53,265-square-metre surface of pink granite, concrete and glass sitting atop Nepean Point overlookin­g the Ottawa River. It’s no surprise this Ottawa landmark, especially the cathedral-like Colonnade and the grand windows of the Great Hall, could inspire such an

Japanese ambient from pioneers such as Hiroshi Yoshimura and Midori Takada, is at an all-time high. Schofield wears those influences well without succumbing to them, taking an approach akin to that of composer and programmer Laurie Spiegel, specifical­ly referenced in the liner notes.

While it does work in and out of order, as often ambient music can, Glass Gallery does reveal itself quite beautifull­y in its intended sequence. Where much instrument­al music tends to unfold in a crescendo, Schofield resists the impulse and instead offers something closer to an abatement, peaking around mid-album track “Travertine

Museum” before softly landing with closer “Key of Klee.” Ultimately, Glass Gallery marks a very confident step forward from Schofield’s debut, Water Sine, while hinting toward even more creativity just bubbling under the still surface. (Backward)

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