Loscil (CAN)

Live set

LOSCIL inner spaces


Loscil graduated from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, where he studied with computer-music pioneer Barry Truax.

A self-released album titled A New Demonstration of Thermodynamic Tendencies caught the attention of experimental music label Kranky, which signed Morgan on to release his debut album Triple Point in 2001. The album features six tracks off his first independent release as well as four new tracks.
Loscil followed up the release with Submers, an aquatic-themed album. Each track on the album is named after a submarine. The last track on the album was produced in honour of the people who died on the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk.

Loscil’s 2004 album First Narrows (a reference to the official name of the Vancouver bridge, also known as Lions’ Gate Bridge) marked the incorporation of improvised performances by a number of guest musicians: Nyla Raney on cello, Tim Loewen on guitar and Jason Zumpano on Rhodes piano. Consequently, the music pieces (or tone poems) on First Narrows are “more organic and looser in nature” than Morgan’s previous work.
Eight of Loscil’s tone poems were featured on the film score of the 2004 documentary Scared Sacred by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Velcrow Ripper.
In 2005, Morgan released Stases, a collection of drones based upon the backgrounds of his work for Kranky. The album was made available as a free download-only release from One Records.

The theme of Loscil’s fourth major album, released in 2006, continued the conceptual ascent that each of his previous albums took, from the “subatomic level” and watery depths of Triple Point and Submers, respectively, to the surface alluded to by First Narrows and the sky referenced in Plume.
Plume also continued Morgan’s musical integration of other musicians’ work into his ambient compositions, including those by Josh August Lindstrom on vibes and xylophone and Krista Michelle Marshall and Stephen Michael Wood on EBow guitar, as well as Zumpano again on piano.

In a 2014 interview with Exberliner, Loscil described a facet of his 2014 album thus: “Vancouver is the ideal setting, and I say that in a sort of ironic way. The nature is so beautiful but it’s coupled with human intervention. [My 2014 album] Sea Island is really inspired by that contrast. That area being a nature reserve as well as an industrial area and an airport is both beautiful and kind of horrific. I relish that contrast. There’s a balance there that I find interesting from a musical perspective. It opens the door to interpretation.”

In December 2016, American webzine Somewherecold ranked Loscil’s Monument Builders No. 4 on their Somewherecold Awards 2016 list.

In 2019, Loscil released Equivalents, a reworking of piano samples inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’ black-and-white photographs of clouds. Pitchfork described the album as “full of wispy high pitches that swirl around waves of pink noise and slowly moving tone clusters.”

In March 2021, Loscil announced the May 28 release of a new 10-track album called Clara. As basis for the tracks, Loscil used a short orchestral recording, which is from a single three-minute composition performed by a 22-piece string orchestra in Budapest. Upon its release, Clara was met with critical acclaim, attaining on reviews aggregator Metacritic a score of 85, indicating “universal acclaim”.