To the Moon and Back

Dragon’s Eye Recordings welcomes Cyparissus to the label with the release of, To the Moon and Back. On these seven tracks, Cyparissus’ Kenneth E M Moss uses improvisation and previously-made compositions as source material to craft mournful minimalist ruminations on their northeastern upbringing and the illuminating clarity of hindsight.

Moss’ hometown in rural Maine was the “crucible” that forged their family’s dreams and aspirations, and the site of great pain, confusion, and silence. Moss learned early which parts of themselves would be acceptable and which to keep hidden to protect themselves and their loved ones. Their queerness was one such facet — “I knew to bury those thoughts and feelings under pine needles, drown them in the lake, hide them in the quarry.” This sense of the unspeakable shaped their own life, but in retrospect Moss recognized the ways in which those around them were also hiding. Like their mother who kept her discomfort and pain so well concealed until it exploded out of her later in life. Or the neighbor who secretly abused his girlfriend’s kid for years without anyone noticing. Everyone in their private invisible tragedy.

On To the Moon and Back, Moss contends with and grieves these hidden truths through sonic experimentation and recontextualization. Synths fizzle and whir like the murmurations of birds, or the passing of time amidst white noise. Moss’ study of ecology and entomology informs their work as these compositions take on the temporality of the natural world. Sounds ebb and flow like a moon-pulled tide at dusk and pulse with the hum of fresh dawn. Through the use of incidental sounds and improvisation, Moss gestures toward a translation of the unspeakable in a way that is both deeply personal and profoundly universal.

In the artist’s words:

To the Moon and Back is an album about mourning, hiding tragedy, and hiding oneself to protect the ones you love. The album is composed entirely out of edited glitchy improvisations, using only music I made previously as source. Songs I wrote about being queer, growing up, familial love, and how the meanings of these things have changed so drastically over time.”