The stage-name Empty Patterns serves a dual purpose. Not only does it hide the identity of a living individual; its core metaphor of absence is also realized sonically. Themes of non-presence are used by an author - and then made audible. These dalliances with some form of lack began late in 2012, when our reclusive Russian artist was finishing work upon an album-length recording called "Hyperstatic Rainbows."
That fact alone allows us to say - with certainly - that the musician in question is Denis Davydov, who lives in the industrial city of Cherepovets on the banks of the Sheksna River. He is best known to us under the alternative name of Valotihkuu.
Davydov turned two years ago towards the side-project of Empty Patterns "in order to experiment a bit more" and escape briefly from the glo-fi aesthetic of Valotihkuu. Under the admitted influence of William Basinski (New York) and Celer (Tokyo), Davydov set to work on similar "melodies, harmonies, and - most importantly - the overall atmosphere." Without haste, sufficient material was accumulated for an instrumental EP, but an additional wait for related artwork led that small recording to become an entire Empty Patterns album. A total of twenty resulting compositions were thematically interwoven by "a shared, sad atmosphere. It would hopefully carry the listener far into the distance - or into the past."
"As I was writing these Empty Patterns tracks, I imagined all kinds of empty buildings to myself. They included large and vacuous halls, in the center of which a gramophone was playing. I also imagined dusty old libraries where a half-broken radio was somehow still broadcasting. All of that is reflected in the titles of the tracks, at least tangentially. After all, I deliberately avoided anything too specific, allowing audiences to imagine something of their own. That's why the titles refer to a range of [obscure] psychological states; it seemed to me they capture the album's ambiance best of all. For example, tracks like 'You're in the Boat' refer to somebody leaving the stuffy, claustrophobic surrounds of a building - and heading out to the endless expanse of the sea."