The Skylands paints a scene of rocky mountaintops and airy skies, and presents sounds of wind, rain, birds and chimes.
The influence behind The Skylands was to create a scene of rocky mountains and stormy weather using the sounds of birds, wind, chimes, rain and trees which intertwine with the thickly textured orchestra to create a sense of airiness and mystery.
When Episode I enters, the overlapping soundscape contains a whirring sound which is circling the 8 channels alongside the orchestra. This mysterious sound works to encompass the listener and create the illusion of it travelling around them, helping to evoke the fantasy themes which are being established.
Many of the soundscape sounds feature this orbiting motion, and the segment between Episode I and II works to slow the tempo of the piece and more gradually introduce sounds from different speakers to set the scene for the next episode.
Episode II features more brass and strings with less wind instruments than Episode I, but maintains some of the same material such as the ascending quaver sequence used in the harp in the first episode.