New York space-pop project known as The Landing is a one-man act, who thus far in his career has mostly been cloaked in enigma (by choice). What is known about the solo artist is that he’s a classically trained musician, who has scored films and composed original pieces for orchestra. He first sparked listeners’ attention with his array of astral creations contained in his 2014 debut, We Are, and is now gearing up to release his follow-up EP this June.
In advance of the big reveal, The Landing was generous enough to let us in on the optimistic philosophy and perpetual state of wonderment that underscores his creative inspiration.
How would you define your particular genre of music, and who are some of your artistic influences?
I’ve been branding my music as “space-pop,” which comes from a genre that emerged in the ’50s and ’60s now referred to as “Space Age Pop.” Composers of this time, Esquivel, Dick Hyman, Bob Thompson and the like, were responding to what was happening to the world around them at the height of the space race, when we were altering our perception of the possible, and in the process redefining what it means to be human; now a spacefaring species.
You can hear the sentiment of this time in this genre of music, not just the “other worldly” or exotic nature of it, but the optimism and hope and confidence of the era. I take a lot from these composers, not just sonically but in how engaged they were with the events of their time. Today I see a world that shows just as much promise in taking the next giant leap for humanity and I only want to be an active participant in the journey ahead.
So what informs the philosophy behind your music?
Human ambition and the human condition. Essentially, us and our efforts to find our place in the Cosmos, both literally as in the location of our solar system within our galaxy, our galaxy within the visible Universe, and spiritually as in what our very existence says about the Universe in which we inhabit.
We loved the EP, We Are that came out May of last year, particularly the lead track “Anxieties.” Could you speak to us about the inspiration for that song?
I appreciate it, and am so thankful that people have found something they connect with from the EP. Anxiety, I believe, is what happens when we lose sight of what’s really going on. Of course everyone has things they worry about, but I’ve found that if you stop and think about how the ground you’re standing on just is a small patch of land on a giant spherical Earth, and that our Sun is just a another star in the sky that happens to be really really close, that ALL of this, everything you see, used to be a huge cloud of gas expelled from a distant star long since dead, and now it’s you, and me, and everything we know, you arrive at a place of perspective where nothing can reach you, and your anxieties just fall away. It’s a miracle that any of this is possible, that this conversation is even taking place! From this cosmologically accurate point of view, what really is there to worry about?
You’ve hinted at making your live shows more of an ‘experience’ than simply a performance. Has that been developed and if so, what does that entail?
The live show is definitely still evolving, and obviously playing shows in New York City not every venue is capable of implementing these “experiences.” The main idea though is to get everyone at the show invested in the message, and to allow the audience to feel that they are as much a part of the experience as the music that’s happening on stage. So far I’ve implemented things like masked dancers that interact with the crowd and projected imagery, but I’m excited to see where it grows.
As are we! Stream The Landing’s second single “The Comes The Wonder” off of the forthcoming EP, How Strange To Be below.