Seas Between's title references the fact that after being born in the United States, Corey Fuller and his family relocated to Japan for twenty years before returning to the US to live in Washington State. The collection is therefore significant not only for being his first solo album but for also marking Fuller's recent return to Japan with his own family to live and work. It's hardly accidental that Fuller references the natural world explicitly in the titles of the pieces, as Seas Between is anything but a series of hermetic electronic works assembled in the sterile confines of a studio. Using a multitude of instruments and field recordings, Fuller transmutes the beauty and mystery of the natural realm—seasons, locales, elements—into forty-four minutes of ravishing ambient sounds. Sometimes that occurs literally—amidst the gleam of ambient organ tones in “Of a Winter Dawn,” for example, one hears the crunch one associates with trodding through a landscape freshly covered with snow, or the crackle of a campfire at a wintry setting during “Snow Static”—but more often than not the effect is created by way of allusion, with the material indirectly hinting at a place lodged in Fuller's memory.
Included among the acoustic instruments he used in producing the material are acoustic and electric piano, pipe organ, pump organ, vibraphone, accordion, guitars, Gamelan bells, Thai finger cymbals, assorted percussion, and found objects. Custom software was employed to blend the sounds, including field recordings (room tones, contact microphones, hydrophone recordings of the Pacific Ocean, field recordings from Japan and Washington, etc.). The recording is dramatically elevated by the presence of three guest musicians, cellist John Friesen, woodwinds player Tyler Wilcox, and pianist Tomoyoshi Date, all of whom make substantial contributions to the pieces on which they appear.
Slowly coming into view with a web of gleaming organ tones, sparse piano musings, and field noises, “Winds May Scatter” inaugurates a recording that deserves to be heard in listening numbers far greater than the 250 copies that have been made available. During “Late Summer,” minimal bass tones anchor a whistling stream of electric piano accents and electronics for fourteen contemplative minutes. Wilcox's bass clarinet floats along the music's surface too, prodding its ever-so-gentle movement forward. The album's most beautiful piece is the title composition, which turns into a nine-minute outpouring of melancholy when Friesen's cello playing is added to Fuller's expansive sound design. It's a tremulous ambient setting of poetic force and ethereal beauty that conveys a sense of longing for home, a longing that in Fuller's case is especially pronounced when such ties have rooted themselves so powerfully in not locale but two.