Arber is the project name that I use to release my semi-classical compositions. These are the pieces that I make in the rough style of Max Richter, Christopher Tignor, and Harold Budd. If there is a theme for the project, it is the use of traditional acoustic instruments like the piano, or a string section, and processing them through the kind of sonic manipulation I use in my shoegaze/Dream Pop work.
This is a strand of my work that is distinct from the Daniel Land songs, and the ambient material I release as riverrun - but it goes back a long way. My earliest compositions were all written on the piano, long before I thought of myself as a guitarist or singer.
The first Arber album, My Sad Captains, was released in 2012. Most of the tracks were written around 2010, but at least one track dates from as far back as 1997, when I was still in school. The album was recorded in snatches over the period between 2004 and 2012, in various studios around the country, with the help of various friends including my earliest collaborator Ian McGinn, and the ambient legend Bing Satellites.
My Sad Captains was initially released under my own name, but in retrospect that was something of a mistake. The album has no songs, so it's not really a "Daniel Land" album. And it's not really a riverrun album either. My Sad Captains has now been re-classified and re-released under the name Arber, and is available from the new Arber Bandcamp page (see below) and all the major digital distributors.
In early 2017, I was commissioned by Expedia to write a generative classical composition for their World In Tune campaign. The chance to work with entirely classical instrumentation again (the first time since some of my earliest teenage compositions) opened a lot of doors for me, and in the time since I've created many other works in a similar vein - catching little pieces here and there whenever I needed a break from my other, more demanding song work. That material is now available as a second album, self-titled as Arber.