All ideas streamlined into a single flow of creativity. Smiltė.

LA offices

Graham Holliday

drawn to… Hill, Flower, Fog by Emily A. Sprague

Emily A. Sprague recorded Hill, Flower, Fog at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, I have a feeling that, in the future, this LP might end up reminding me of these times more than most music of this period.

She recorded its six instrumental tracks in a single week in March, in the early days of the pandemic. “I found myself suddenly a part of that stream which flows now separate from the reality we used to know,” she wrote upon first uploading the album to Bandcamp in March, just four days after she had finished it. (The RVNG Intl. edition has been expanded and resequenced.) “It is meant as a soundtrack to these new days, practices, distances, losses, ends, and beginnings.” Rather than fear or discord, though, she emphasizes a grounding tranquility.

Pitchfork NOVEMBER 19 2020

A couple of days ago, the power went out for the whole day in our part of Dakar. This made it almost impossible to do anything apart from sweat and worry about the fridge and freezer contents. As I dripped, I listened to Hill, Flower, Fog by Emily A. Sprague on repeat and made this drawing – before the laptop battery finally evaporated, which was just a few hours after power to my phone vanished. I love this album. It’s a whole lot more relaxing than (I think) my drawing suggests. There’s a lovely short film on YouTube—called Emily Sprague | Chasing light—about how she works with Moog synthesizers.

I made this using two HB pencils, pencil shavings, and various Rotring, Marvy Uchida and Steadler Pigment Liner pens on 21×21 cm Clairefontaine acid free paper. You can find more of my drawings to music on Instagram.

Graham Holliday is an editor, writer and media trainer with twenty years experience working on editorial, educational and digital projects for the BBC and others.