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fallen monuments follows itsnotyouitsme‘s 2008 debut album, walled gardens, which has gone on to be both a critical hit and listener favorite. Since its inception, critics have hailed the duo’s ambient project as “gently mesmerizing,” (Steve Smith, Time Out New York) “lush and evocative,” (The Very Short List) and “structurally fascinating and at times meltingly beautiful.” (Allan Kozinn, The New York Times).
Unlike walled gardens, the tracks on fallen monuments were not recorded in the studio, but were recorded entirely during live performances from the past several years. According to violinist/composer Caleb Burhans, “we do [a lot of] improvising, not only to work on songs, but also in concert.” Because many of these improvisations are never recreated, Burhans and guitarist Grey McMurray wanted to capture and preserve this more fleeting, vulnerable aspect of their creative work. fallen monuments is the result. New Music Box has remarked that improvised aspect of the work is “not self indulgent… but rather the thoughtful performances of creative minds reveling in active listening and collaboration.” Like walled gardens, the album has been praised for fusion of minimalist chamber music and ambient rock, and its lush, mesmerizing quality.