Sign Libra is the sigil under which Latvian composer and artist Agata Melnikova delivers her mystical, musical musings. In 2018, Melnikova debuted with her album Closer to the Equator (originally released on Sounds of the Dawn, and then Antinote), composed for a contemporary ballet choreographed by Milana Komarova and performed at the Latvian National Opera in Riga. A microcosmic rendering of rainforest activity informed by BBC nature documentaries, Closer introduced Melnikova’s penchant for impressionistic, pseudo-anthropological and intimately-synthesized environmental visions, executed with detailed and balanced arrangements.
Sea to Sea, Melnikova’s sophomore album and first release on RVNG Intl., operates at the node between cerebral and celestial, the complex and magnificent systems of our immediate and greater cosmos arranged into exquisite and eccentric sound patterns. For Sea to Sea, Melnikova surveys the quasi-seas of the moon’s surface, known collectively as Lunar Maria. Soused in interstellar oceans, Sea to Sea studies the surreal philosophical and mythological depths of the Lunar Maria, framed by the illumination of the sun, the shadow of the earth, and the personal perceptions of its inhabitants. Melnikova conceptualizes the moon as an inseparable half of the holistic make-up of our world, its gravity guiding Sea to Sea.
Across the album‘s nine songs, each dedicated to a different liquid expanse, Melnikova’s deft and dancerly arrangements articulate themes of abundance and peace, curiosity, bliss, mystery and mastery, all in Libran balance. Her singular voice appears throughout in repeated, mostly-wordless refrains, a narrator of the performance of life, unfolding continually and infinitely. Between these refrains, a language forms and reminds us what we have learned, and what we have yet to learn, before echoing away into distant waters and galaxies.