UK trio GoGo Penguin (pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner) announce their new EP, Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film. The five tracks draw inspiration from GGP’s celebrated live soundtrack for Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 cult doc Koyaanisqatsi.
Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film follows GoGo Penguin’s critically acclaimed 2018 album A Humdrum Star. The Washington Post called it “the group’s most hypnotic recording yet,” while NPR Music brought them in to perform three songs from the full-length for a Tiny Desk Concert. Different worlds have always collided in the sound of the trio; they conjure richly atmospheric music that draws from their shared love of electronica, their grounding in classical conservatoires and jazz ensembles alongside indie bands, and a merging of acoustic and electronic techniques. The band has an affinity for poetry, too — the EP’s title nods to a quote from 13th-century Sufi scholar Rumi: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
The inspiration for the recording came from the audience response to their live performances of the original score. “People kept asking if we’d release the music as an album, but that didn’t feel right to us,” Chris explains. “The film has a great score already, but we really enjoyed the project and specifically writing music for film, so that provided the inspiration for Ocean in a Drop.” The electrifying intensity of GGP’s live performance has translated to this record too. “Performing the soundtrack live is hugely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recording was no different,” Chris continues. “We recorded the tracks together live like we have with our previous recordings, not overdubbing and layering individual parts together.”
There is an immersive power within the finest detail of Ocean in a Drop, and an emotional resonance that lingers, even beyond the final note or frame.