That's not to say My Skeleton is small in scale—far from it. With their airy classical strings and Phillip Glass-style piano motifs, "Spectral Choir" and the title track feel positively majestic. But for all their symphonic scope, you never forget that Speeed is conducting circuitboards rather than real musicians here. Tracks such as "Viscount Stair" sound slightly glitchy, like a wavering hologram of an orchestra.
This impressionistic approach makes My Skeleton more fascinating than a more straightforward soundtrack would have been. You might assume a track called "Taj Mahal" would be full of sitars and chanting, but there's actually no discernible Indian influence at all. Instead, Speeed's reedy voice floats in the ether, eventually ushering in a closing section of shoegaze guitar—the album's closest hint to his other work with math rock group American Men. And while Speeed's life might have been in motion during its creation, what really defines My Skeleton is its sense of stillness, only occasionally shattered by things like the sudden thunderclap of drums in "Field" or the rusty, high-pitched drones in "Some Other Guy." Each track seems to exist in its own separate meditative state. "An Imperial Message" evokes the feeling of staring into a rippling pool, until all the separate elements—shimmering pulses, distant chimes, liquid guitar and pensive whispers—coalesce into one glorious vision.
Speeed has said My Skeleton was inspired by the loss of a close family member. Catharsis—whether through travel or music—is often about putting yourself through something difficult to emerge somewhere new. For the listener, though, "My Skeleton" is about experiencing something blissful, ultimately ending up in the sort of ambient terrain you might well have been to before, but to which you certainly don't mind returning.