Trackpacking: Eluvium

by Keith Savage · 7 comments


Eluvium

Trackpacking is a recurring series highlighting musicians that inspire me to travel.

Eluvium is a geological term that refers to sediments and soils derived from weathering. The stripped-down music of Eluvium sounds like the creation of a man who has endured his own fair share of weathering.

Merry Christmas. Seriously, stumbling on Eluvium several months ago now feels like an early Christmas present. Allow me to happily pay it forward.

It usually takes two sightings of an artist before I venture off into the woods of Wikipedia, iTunes, and MySpace for more information, so when I saw Eluvium’s name connected to a remix by Four Tet and a remix of Explosions in the Sky, two Trackpacking alumni, I knew it was time for action. To be honest, I was confounded at first; Wikipedia notes that he hails from the swamps of Kentucky and Tennessee but his music sounded like the heavenly ambience you’d expect to hear in the Legend of Zelda’s fairy fountains. My goodness.

Throughout my recent travels around Argentina, Eluvium, more formally known as Matthew Cooper, was the musician I kept returning to on my iPhone. From the long bus ride to Salta to hours writing in my apartment to relaxing in sun-dappled parks in Buenos Aires, Eluvium consistently provided the soundtrack. His music is a unique mix of classical piano and ambient textures; each song like a mood captured in amber. I fully admit to being a sucker for this kind of contemplative soundscaping, but anyone seeking relaxing and calming tunes should look no further than Eluvium.

On his latest album, Similes, Eluvium introduced percussion and vocals into his music for the first time. Among his fan base this was a controversial artistic change in direction, but to my virgin ears it sounds like a masterful decision. Though this is what I’d call “laptop music,” Eluvium does tour and I think it would be incredible to hear him live. Finally, let me give a shout out to Jeannie Paske, the outstanding artist behind Eluvium’s album artwork. The art is whimsical, marries perfectly with the music, and has provided a consistent visual “brand.”

Pack These Tracks

Create a Moment with Eluvium

  • Travel overland, windows, and Eluvium. Is there anything better than this?
  • Look out over a field of snow, a forest of frozen trees.
  • Write a postcard to your loved one and enjoy the process.

What music moves you? I love finding new music for my travels!

Original photos by kelleytoombs and reutC, respectively, via Flickr under Creative Commons


KimNo Gravatar January 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Late but I just downloaded all your Eluvium recommendations. I had never heard of them – thanks! I like these a lot. Do you have last.fm?

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Eluvium’s great, isn’t he! I have used last.fm – nice site.

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Olov LindgrenNo Gravatar December 17, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Just what i needed for some late night contemplation about life. Thanks for the tip! Can see this music working it’s magic at 10 000ft. I’ll try it out on my next trip;)

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Definitely, Eluvium is excellent in-travel music. Let me know how you like it!

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akafixNo Gravatar December 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM

It really is excellent. I had never heard it. Thanks.

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