Heavily influenced by the sounds from the indigenous music of his Honduran culture, 'Spirits of the River' takes inspiration (and even samples) rhythmic structures of Punta and Marimba music, then funnels it through a minimalist, experimental and ambient music lens.
The title of the album was inspired from a speech by Berta Cáceres, a Honduran indigenous and environmental activist who was murdered by the government in 2016. Link to that speech:
"Moments after taking a drink from an overpriced, insulated water bottle, its lower half is bonked against a stone countertop, causing a tiny gong sound to ring out in the kitchen. The sound reflects off hanging pots and oven doors at different millisecond intervals causing it to resonate at a pleasing frequency. One could choose to perceive this as “musical” and become inspired by it, shifting the plans of their day toward something more enjoyable, perhaps creating a piece of art with a personal meaning that needn’t be explained. Or this particular pitch of the water bottle would simply signify that it is time for a refill.
Luckily for us appreciators of sound, we have artists like Wilmer Murillo, AKA Almanacs, who are able to take the inspiration of everyday sounds and mold a sonic terrain, exposing a fresh new world of texture and imagery to its listeners. Spirits of the River is a collection of music that encapsulates Murillo’s particular environment and heritage. A steady percussive pulse places the listener on the bank of a stream, one which has spent thousands of years carving out a fertile, livable landscape. Authentic jungle field recordings are tucked away in every corner, and sit adjacent to the overall mix, keeping the musical themes in the foreground. These sounds are presented in a way that makes the listener feel like a spectator in this environment, rather than a participant.
Spirits of the River creates a lush, natural landscape that most of us will only see in the occasional nature documentary. Produced using synthesized versions of acoustic sounds, the album creates a timeline for where we currently reside in the world of music technology. Almanacs has taken the capabilities afforded by digital instruments and woven them together with dusty artifacts of the not too distant past, creating a personal and beautiful tapestry." - Tyler Rogers / Bounce Chord