Whether a person finds themselves stood in a busy town centre or in the middle of a rural field, if they stand still for a period of time the world becomes both chaotic and serene. By standing at peace, the incessant bustle of town life can be phased down in the mix just as in a field the excited commerce of birds, critters and nature will feel more alive and apparent to the calmed mind.

And so it is on No Fixed Point in Space by Modern Nature that this observer simply allows the coming and going of life to be and to exist. Taking a theory posited by Einstein (quoted via American dancer Merce Cunningham) as this album’s title and using it as a foundation to explore the type of music he wants to make, Jack Cooper i.e. the driving force of Modern Nature, conjures lush landscapes of sound. He conducts the timbre of woodwinds, strings and vocals harmonies in complement to an almost free-jazz rhythm style of plucked basses and tense percussion, which underpin each track. Cooper here seems to be seeking a symbolic reflection in his arrangements of the way in which there is no real organisation to how the earth operates yet there is a force, which keeps life steadied enough to flourish. No Fixed Point in Space reflects the beginnings and endings, arrivals and departures, process and chance of nature.

This motif is apparent at the start of the record on Tonal, which foregoes any sense of contemporary structure. Instead different movements within the song will find the listener bathed in the quiet contemplation of gentle woodwinds before a randomly thick double bass interrupts and disappears as quick as a fox.

And the circularity of the natural world is symbolized by the revolving sound of Orange with its taut ambience as the canvas to Cooper’s dissonant poetry before the vocal mesh of the refrain: “turning again we go round and recover”.

The impressionistic wordplay of Sun paints a vivid world of hope, colour and light against a backdrop of frantic cymbals. While on album closer Ensō,  famed 60s songstress Julie Tippetts takes lead vocal with her trademark warm tones perfectly suited here to the simple act of a day ending and the inherent hope of a new dawn. It’s a simple epiphany as she intones: “Light fades on another day / curved bends back around / it’s a lot to take in.”

Jack Cooper and his various collaborators have created a stunning record, which pushes boundaries in what modern ‘alternative’ music audiences might expect. Modern Nature is a project which has always looked a bit askance at basic indie/rock and on No Fixed Point in Space has further developed something original by contemplating time, our relationship with the environment and an appreciation of this fleeting moment we experience in the bigger picture.