FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Chosen One: Loscil

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Interview with Scott Morgan.

A blurred line between beauty and horror, anxiety and calm.”

—Scott Morgan

Words: Mark Carry

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Loscil’s Scott Morgan has been responsible for some of the most captivating and stunningly beautiful ambient creations over the past fifteen years. Across a compelling body of work (beginning with the 2001 classic ‘Triple Point’) – the majority of which has been released on the immense Chicago-based imprint Kranky – Vancouver-based Morgan has developed his own unique style of textural rhythms that ceaselessly blur the lines of ambient, techno, drone and modern-classical. The recently released ‘Monument Builders’ marks the latest chapter in Loscil’s explorations through sound that lies at the intersect between nature and humanity.

The Canadian ambient artist’s latest masterwork unleashes a cathartic, hypnotic spell throughout; belonging to a dichotomy of worlds where an engulfing cloud of prevailing darkness prevails in tandem with the radiant light of hope and survival. Delicately beautiful ambient soundscapes drift majestically in the ether alongside the more intense, pulsating sound worlds. Take for example, how the fragile pulses of ‘Deceiver’ flows effortlessly into the glorious crescendo of ‘Straw Dogs’ or how the stunningly beautiful album opener ‘Drained Lake’ is gradually followed with the techno-infused ‘Red Tide’. A wall of intense moods, colour and textures flood these sonic creations, creating one of Morgan’s most accomplished and concise records to date.

A lyrical quality forever lies at the heart of Loscil’s recording output, and ‘Monument Builders’ is of course no exception. A striking narrative permeates throughout, where loss, identity and the relationship between humankind and the environment seeps through the musical framework of Morgan’s masterfully crafted sonic palette. The addition of horn arrangements immediately casts an ethereal quality; harmonies meld beautifully with a collection of old synths, warm textures of drone soundscapes and intricate patterns of divine sonic passages. ‘Monument Builders’ is a hugely fulfilling audio-visual experience, whose effect is utterly profound.

‘Monument Builders’ is out now on Kranky.

 http://www.loscil.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kranky/

Scott Morgan

 

Interview with Scott Morgan.

Congratulations Scott on the sublime new record ‘Monument Builders’: a true tour-de-force, which unleashes such a cathartic, hypnotic spell throughout. Firstly, please talk me through the writing process and recording of ‘Monument Builders’ and your memories of constructing these particular tracks? 

Scott Morgan: The first step for me with most records is building a sound palette. I sampled and built a small collection of playable sample instruments out of resonant sounds like boiling kettles and steam whistles. I find the noisy aspects of these sounds make for interesting textures and include a natural pitch instability which lends them a kind of fragility. I also drew heavily on an old micro-cassette recorder to generate noise and further texture.

Once I had these sounds, I began building some basic harmonic passages and structures. I wanted to try something a little different with the bass and arpeggiated sounds so I spent an evening at my friend Josh Stevenson’s who has a great collection of older synths. We used his EMS Synthi and his Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 to generate some bass stuff. The last addition was the French Horn which was pretty Philip Glass inspired. I wanted something to root the harmonies in and the tone of the horn fit so well with everything adding this strange broken epic feel.

‘Monument Builders’ expresses such deeply-affecting emotion through the seamless layers of embedded ambient soundscapes and gorgeously crafted drone textures. Having seen your live set at London’s Possibly Colliding festival earlier in the year, I just loved how each sonic pulse matched the accompanying visuals (note-per-note) creating a myriad of utterly captivating moments. I feel this is translated here on record where a largely cinematic feel (and gripping tension) permeates throughout. Can you discuss the visual nature of the music you create Scott, and indeed the visuals that is created to accompany your music?  

SM: I’ve long been interested in the concept of visual music. I’ve experimented with visuals for a long time but only in the last few years have I began to treat it seriously again. I’m really interested in a non-narrative but also non-abstract form of visual treatment. Something that is evocative without being too referential to storytelling. Live visuals are extremely challenging for me. Loads of work. But I think I like this aspect of the medium. It’s not easy and the language is not really proven. Experimental moving images go back over a hundred years. It’s actually a really interesting history which arguably starts with painters or visual artists first experimenting with film. Despite the history and its longevity, it doesn’t get treated the same as music or even cinema. The current title of VJ really pushes it towards lighting and visual effects which definitely has its place but is not what I want to do with the medium. I feel like there is room for a truly synergistic experience that is not dominated by eye or ear.

I was very interested to learn that a VHS copy of “Koyaanisqatsi” and Philip Glass’s epic score in many ways proved the genesis of the new record. I’d love for you to recount your memories of first discovering this seminal work (and hearing the Glass score) and what makes this score (& film) so unique and important for you? 

SM: I first saw “Koyaanisqatsi” in a theatre in Vancouver in the early 90’s. I remember being quite moved by it. It was a spectacle and it was the first time I really felt struck in such a raw way by what you might call a non-narrative film. Most of that feeling was driven by the music. I don’t think that film would have a fraction of the impact without the score. Recently, when I viewed a rather beaten copy of the film, I was struck by not only the original, impactful and epic content, but how it appeared as a tarnished piece of history. When you think of where we are now with everything that’s going on, viewing this film more than 20 years later feels very strange. Seeing something that was once so epic, all warbled and torn yet speaking through time with this dire warning. It’s poignant and humbling in its own strange way.

One of the great aspects of ‘Monument Builders’ is the rich organic feel and dense quality to the seven musical odysseys, whilst there always seems to be a sense of a gradual building of atmosphere that forever intensifies as the rich narrative unfolds. I wonder were there challenges posed during the music-making process and more specifically, to ensure the interwoven pieces undergo seamless transitions? In this regard, just like your previous output, I like to visualize the record(s) as one long single piece with several movements or sections carefully embedded within.

SM: I like to work on albums as whole gestures but sometimes the compositional process is much more haphazard and the resulting record is more of an edited construction than a designed one. But I think this is true of any creative process. Truthfully, Monument Builders is the shortest full length I’ve ever composed. I really wanted to confine myself to a 40-minute LP – to see if I could be more precise with the expression and perhaps force myself to cut some pieces that didn’t quite fit. This was actually extremely challenging but also very liberating. Some things had to go or be shortened. I think what you end up with is a much more focused experience.

Themes of the environment (and its destruction) and decay infuses deep beneath the musical trajectory. Can you discuss the inspiration you drew from the anti-humanist writings of photographer John Gray (reflected in the song title of ‘Straw Dogs’) and the aerial photographs of Edward Burtyaskis? 

SM: I’ve struggled before with summing up what it is about Straw Dogs that resonates with me so much. But I think I am drawn to art and ideas that walk a line between positive and negative forces. There is a certain kind of nihilism with John Gray…  a sense of defeat. Humans are over-consuming creatures that, like any other animal – will grow in population and consume until their environment is decimated. But he doesn’t just leave it there. There is still room in his analysis for morality. It’s like knowing about our own individual mortality should not preclude giving up on living. Anyway, like I said, I struggle to sum it up but enjoy his writing a great deal.

Burtynsky occupies a similar space. His works show an ironic beauty largely from an aerial perspective of the earth as affected by humans. It’s ugly when you think about the scale and the context but it is visually stunning. I’m drawn to this sort of dichotomy and think I really was after something like this with Monument Builders. A blurred line between beauty and horror, anxiety and calm.

The dynamic range and series of counterpoints that is contained on ‘Monument Builders’ creates such a timeless, otherworldly sound and dimension to the record. For example, the gradual ambient bliss of ‘Deceiver’ comes in the wake of the pulsating rhythms of ‘Straw Dogs’ (the album’s centrepiece and towering crescendo) with scintillating horn arrangements; whilst the delicately beautiful ‘Drained Lake’ (the glorious opening theme) is followed by the more techno, beat-infused ‘Red Tide’. I wonder did a certain track (or specific section) inform the rest of ‘Monument Builders’? Also, did some of these musical layers existence pre-date the album’s genesis, so in a way older artefacts of songs blended in with new ideas and works? Did any happy accidents occur in the studio that surprised you?

SM: When I got into the studio to commence work on Monument Builders, I started building a new set of sounds and, as per usual, there were a handful of discarded pieces before anything stuck. I believe Deceiver came out first. This isn’t remarkably new territory for me…  though it’s much more harmonic than drone-based. I’m not sure any one piece informs the others, but I do try to take a body of sounds in a few different directions and push them away from anything overly comfortable. I think it’s important to force yourself away from the sound that makes you comfortable even if it’s gravitational pull is strong. I’m very comfortable with my sound, but also enjoy bending it and twisting it a little now and then to see what breaks and what sticks.

I’d love for you to shed some light on the library of sounds in which become the building blocks of this wholly unique (Loscil) sound and the mind-set and creative approach utilised when it comes to joining all these many layers into a record? From a compositional point of view, what musical voices do you feel serve a major influence on you, Scott?

SM: I think I already alluded to this, but I’m very interested in generally noisy spectra. Sounds that derive their fundamental pitch from moving air, whistles, flutes, beer growlers, anything where the fundamental pitch is obscured by the noise of moving air, creates an interesting texture. This approach, applied in different ways, has always been a part of my core working process. I’ve always struggled with synthesis. Although I’ve used it in some form, for bass sounds in particular, synth pads whether they are analog or digital have never really worked for me. I just enjoy the inherent unpredictability of real world samples when they get layered up. Adding to this, I really love the dynamic combination of electronic and acoustic. There is something about adding a live instrument to the palette that adds a new dimension to the sound. It also helps further blur genre lines which I’ve never been content with.

Lastly, the album closer ‘Weeds’ points to new horizons with divine textures of voices ascending into the forefront of the mix. This for me perhaps represents one of the most spellbinding moments of ‘Monument Builders’, particularly when the electronic pulses begin to converge. Can you talk me through the construction of these particular layers and indeed the sources of these sounds?

SM: Weeds started as an improvised part of my Sea Island set. I still perform it this way, as a series of performed phrases that get built up gradually. It really is all about dynamics and I think I really wanted to push away from the floating feel of a lot of my music. Weeds is intended as a slow motion opening up of sound, driven predominantly by the vocal samples. It is probably a little more cathartic a piece that the others. Less of a spot for quiet contemplation than a kind of intense, emotional explosion.

‘Monument Builders’ is out now on Kranky.

 http://www.loscil.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kranky/

Written by admin

December 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Whatever You Love You Are: John Convertino (Calexico)

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Play the note for what it is, not what it does.”

—John Convertino.

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‘The Western Suite and Siesta Songs’ is the debut release by newly formed duo featuring John Convertino (Calexico, Giant Sand) and French film score composer Naïm Amor. The seeds were sewn some years back, having formed ABBC at the turn of the millennium: the Calexico core duo of John Convertino and Joey Burns joined forces with their close friends & Tucson neighbours, Amor Belhom Duo (Naïm Amor and Thomas Belhom). The result was ‘Tete A Tete’, a feast of sprawling sonic terrain (from the Burns-penned heart-wrenching ballad ‘Gilbert’ to Convertino’s stunningly beautiful piano-based compositions and all points in between).

Similarly, a sprawling sonic canvas is masterfully drawn from Convertino and Amor on ‘The Western Suite and Siesta Songs’. Part A comprises of sun-drenched, awe-inspiring compositions, which traces the South West’s desert plains and vast beauty contained therein. Reference points could be Calexico’s ‘Hot Rail’ or ‘Black Light’ and Ennio Morricone’s singular score-work.  The sweeping, cathartic ‘Of Dust and Wind’ is a sonic marvel of blossoming themes and variations, traversing a vast space of possibilities and wonder. Clean electric guitar tones and marimba flourishes are dotted across ‘Black Boot Shuffle’ with cumbia piano pulses and Convertino’s awe-inspiring drums. The crossroads between vintage New Orleans and 50’s Jazz.

A more inward, introspective feeling descends on part B, which represent some of the record’s most defining and breath-taking moments. The rich poignancy of nylon guitar-led instrumental ‘Santa Cruz River’ magnificently captures a tender beauty akin to a meandering river finding its sea. The piano-based ‘Snow Falls on the Desert Plain’ is wrapped in a cinematic bliss and timeless rapture. ‘The Western Suite and Siesta Songs’ marks a timeless, enriching journey from two gifted musicians who have been carving out some of the most singular, genre-defying works for over two decades.

‘The Western Suite and Siesta Songs’ is out now on LM Duplication.

http://lmduplication.com/lm10.html

 

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Words: John Convertino

 

The record that brings you back to the period of your life in Tucson, AZ?

 

The Shadow of your Smile’ by The Friends of Dean Martinez is one of my favourites to this day. Really captures a moment there where Joey and I started woodshedding in the studio, coming up with songs together, that record morphed into what truly became Calexico, more than ‘Spoke’ did in a lot of ways.

 

The LP(s) that made you want to become a drummer

 

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie. Neil Young Harvest. The original broadway soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar. Art Blakey’s Mosaic, and the original drum battle between Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa.

 

 

A defining record that led you onto your own musical path

 

Led Zeppelin, the first record.

 

The collaborative (non-Calexico) albums you’re most proud to have been part of?

 

The Hill by Richard Buckner, Fox Confessor Brings on the Flood by Neko Case, Coming Home by Maggie Bjorklund, I’m really proud of this new record I did with Lincoln Barr called Trembling Frames, the new Depedro record, The Passenger, and Barbara Manning’s amazing 1212. I loved working with Tift Merrit on her record Traveling Alone, playing opposite Marc Ribot!

 

 

Composers/musical voices you feel you have learned the most from?

 

Eric Satie, Gustav Mahler, Art Blakey, Max Roach, the drummer Jim White and his projects including the Dirty Three. Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Reuben Gonzales, The Police, Led Zepplin. Bill Evans.

Favourite film score

 

Rumblefish by Stewart Copeland.

 

One musical philosophy that has always remained true for you?

Play the note for what it is, not what it does.

A trusted roadtrip soundtrack

 

The best of Neil Diamond

 

A piece of music/recording/song that speaks to you like no other?

 

Mahler’s Second Symphony.

 

Your most-prized jazz record

 

Out of The Cool by Gil Evans

 

The last album you picked up that amazed you? 

 

Floyd Kramer plays with Strings

 

 

‘The Western Suite and Siesta Songs’ by Naim Amor & John Convertino is out now on LM Duplication.

http://lmduplication.com/lm10.html

 

 

Written by admin

December 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E11 | November mix

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November’s mixtape contains gorgeous new releases from a host of exceptional voices in today’s independent music world: the peerless L.A. composer and songwriter Julia Holter unveils her debut score (‘Bleed For This’, Milan Records); Australia-born & Berlin-based artist Carla dal Forno whose exceptional avant-pop debut full-length ‘You Know What It’s Like’ marks one of 2016’s finest LPs (Blackest Ever Black); the utterly compelling collaborative project between Mica Levi and Oliver Coates (in the form of ‘Remain Calm’, released recently via Slip) and A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s stunningly beautiful ‘Iris’ original score, which represents the prestigious duo’s third full length release (available digitally now).

Earlier this month marked the sad passing of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82. A true visionary and legendary songwriter, his last studio album ‘You Want It Darker’ was released just weeks before his untimely passing. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s emotional tribute to his good friend echoes powerfully the vital importance of Cohen’s sacred songbook: “Leonard, no other artist’s poetry and music felt or sounded quite like yours. We’ll miss you.”

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E11 | November mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2016/11/24/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e11-november-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. DJ Shadow“The Mountain Will Fall” (Mass Appeal)
02. A Tribe Called Quest“The Space Program” (Epic)
03. Archangel“Julia” (Dean Blunt’s On Wine, Hashish & Molly Version Vinyl Edit) (Foom)
04. Underworld“Low Burn” (Universal Music Group)
05. Dead Light“Sleeper” (Village Green)
06. Carla dal Forno“Db Rip” (Blackest Ever Black)
07. Karen Marks“Cold Café” (Efficient Space)
08. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith“Riparian” (Western Vinyl)
09. Mica Levi & Oliver Coates“Barok Main” (Slip)
10. Dungen“Peri Banu Vid Sjön” (Smalltown Supersound)
11. case/lang/veirs“Supermoon” (Anti-)
12. Tortoise (ft. Georgia Hubley)“Yonder Blue” (Thrill Jockey)
13. Fleetwood Mac“Albatross” (Reprise)
14. Lambchop “Writer” (Merge, City Slang)
15. Matt Robertson“Juno” (Tape Club)
16. Julia Holter“Home Movies” (Bleed For This OST, Milan)
17. Heather Woods Broderick“Glider” (Western Vinyl)
18. Loscil“Drained Lake” (Kranky)
19. A Winged Victory For The Sullen“Comme on a Dit” (Iris OST, Erased Tapes)
20. Leonard Cohen“String Reprise / Treaty” (Columbia, Sony Music)
21. Syrinx“December Angel” (excerpt) (RVNG Intl)

Compiled by Fractured Air, November 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Mixtape: Cillian Murphy – “Be Good To Them Always” (Fractured Air, Nov. ’16)

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We’re delighted to present the latest in a series of guest mixtapes compiled by Irish actor Cillian Murphy. 2016 has been another very prolific year for Cork-born actor with the airing of the third season of the Steven Knight-penned epic BBC gangster drama “Peaky Blinders”;  the release of the Sean Ellis-directed WWII drama “Anthropoid”; the eagerly-awaited latest film by Ben Wheatley, “Free Fire”, set in 1970’s Boston starring Murphy alongside Brie Larson, Sam Riley and Michael Smiley; the filming of both Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” (Summer 2017) and the Sally Potter-directed “The Party”, comprising a stellar cast including Bruno Ganz, Timothy Spall and Kristin Scott Thomas, also set for release in 2017.

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Cillian Murphy – “Be Good To Them Always” (Fractured Air, Nov. ’16)

 

Tracklisting:

01. Brian Eno & Jon Hassell“Delta Rain Dream” [Editions EG, Polydor]
02. Matt Robertson“Urdu” [Tape Club]
03. Holly Herndon“Locker Leak” [4AD]
04. The Books“Be Good To Them Always” [Tomlab]
05. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds“Rings of Saturn” [Bad Seed Ltd.]
06. The Beatles “I Am The Walrus” [Parlophone]
07. Tune-Yards“Gangsta” [4AD]
08. PJ Harvey“Dollar, Dollar” [Island]
09. Laura Mvula“Is There Anybody Out There?” [RCA Victor, Sony Music]
10. Leonard Cohen“You Want It Darker” [Columbia, Sony Music]
11. David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group“This Is Not America” [EMI]

Compiled by Cillian Murphy. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

https://fracturedair.com/

Chosen One: Sophie Hutchings

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Interview with Sophie Hutchings.

“…repetition engenders a freeing effect without expectations or obligations in what you the listener feels or thinks. That’s all I ever want from music.”

—Sophie Hutchings.

Words: Mark Carry

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Sophie Hutchings is a pianist and composer from Sydney. Since 2010’s debut ‘Becalmed’ LP, the gifted Australian composer has developed her unique style of textured ambience and neo-classical bliss. Hutchings has released three instrumental works to date, ‘Becalmed’, ‘Night Sky’ and ‘White Light’, receiving fine recognition internationally for elegant and beautiful music compared to the likes of Nils Frahm, Max Richter, Peter Broderick and Dustin O’Hallloran.

Wide Asleep’ begins with a gentle pulsating drone amidst a soft whisper uttering “I think I can see.” ‘Dream Gate’ serves the fitting opening piece to Hutchings’ deeply moving and revelatory latest work: the repeated mantra heralds the vivid sense of discovery that beautifully infiltrates the human space. The achingly beautiful piano melody feels at once familiar and mysteriously unknown: a towering modern-classical exploration ascends into one’s subconscious and inner-most self. A searching quality permeates throughout the record as larger realms of sound and feeling is masterfully attained by the gifted Sydney-based composer.

The added instrumentation of opera vocal samples further heightens the blissful transcendence that shares the cosmic spirit of Alice Coltrane and Laraaji’s empowering, celestial works. The graceful, fleeting waves of harmonies and piano motifs of ‘Falling’ holds a gentle resonance upon the listener akin to the infinite ocean waves. During the final section, the slowed-down tempo of strings blends effortlessly with Hutchings’ deeply poignant piano motifs, forming one cohesive whole of stunning beauty. Towards the low sun.

One of ‘Wide Asleep’s great hallmarks is the sheer multitude of sublime moments distilled within one single piece. For example, the companion pieces of ‘Memory I’ and ‘Memory II’ unfolds a vast haven of soul-stirring rapture: the mesmeric choral harmonies of ‘Memory II’ continually build, serving the record’s life-affirming crescendo. Like a river finding its sea, the musical undercurrent of embracing patterns, warm textures of ‘Wide Asleep runs deep and ventures further into the cosmos than ever before.

‘Wide Asleep’ is out now on Preservation.

http://www.sophiehutchings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SophieHutchingsMusic/

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Interview with Sophie Hutchings.

 

Congratulations Sophie on your formidable new body of work, ‘Wide Asleep’. Following on from your rich tapestry of recorded output, ‘Wide Asleep’ feels like the crowning jewel of your storied career thus far.  As ever, a deep musical undercurrent permeates throughout these particular recordings that drags the listener deep into the musical patterns, textures and shapes like ripples cast by the ocean. Please discuss the making of the new record – and more particularly the writing of these compositions – and indeed the particular space or moment(s) in time these piano compositions flickered into glittering life?

Sophie Hutchings: I love your beautiful description of ‘Wide Asleep’. Thank you so much. There is quite a lot of undercurrents that permeate throughout. True!

Writing for me is always a very vague and unconscious process. So, actual visible moments I find more a challenge to reflect on or recall. I usually connect with my pieces in retrospect.

Wide Asleep was a volcano waiting to happen so the writing process was a bit of a musical purge and happened quite quickly. I had a definite vision of how I wanted this album to be from beginning to end. The previous albums unfolded as I went along whereas with “Wide Asleep” I had an overall vision from the start and I worked on achieving getting to that end point. I wrote the bare bones of the pieces in a sort of hasty fashion and then basically worked on structuring the other musical layers thereafter.

The process was a little like being seasick; once the tidal wave settled, I felt a sense of reprieve. (As in I got all the piano pieces written and demoed). I then wrote out the string, vocal and soundscapes in small waves. There was a lot of melodies circulating around in my head throughout the journey of Wide Asleep. Sometimes it would be whilst in bed so I’d get up and record the melody so as not to let it slip away, which happens. Other times it was just through focused playing and composing over many cups of tea by day, red wine by night allowing itself to form.

We recorded a lot of the piano and strings live. I added the textural soundscape elements and vocal harmonies after that at one my favourite local studios (Oceanic studios). It has a very warm and homey atmosphere. One of its unique aspects is a huge window that looks out onto a typically Australian bush setting. I love that. So, I just faced upwards looking out to the scenery and practiced my vocals and we hit the record button…

The added elements of divine opera vocal samples further heighten the ambient dimension of ‘Wide Asleep”s sonic landscape. For example, the opener ‘Dream Gate’ and hypnotic pulses of ‘Falling’ contains such sublime vocal passages that meld so effortlessly with the piano instrumentation. Can you talk me through the various instrumentation you have utilized on the new record, Sophie and indeed any challenges or difficulties posed by the layering of new elements to a particular composition?

SH: I’ve always enjoyed the dreamy ethereal side of music. One that you can’t quite pinpoint yet evokes a certain feeling. I wanted to take that element a little further with the use of harmonies and implement older sounding instruments like the Harpsichord and bells. A little bit of drone. I also utilised an opera vocal sound from one of my keyboards to create a repetitive hypnotic pulse in “Falling”. I felt those sort of subtleties lifted the pieces just slightly and have them waiver or hover for a moment in time. I really liked the idea of using vocal harmonies more so as a form of instrumentation and felt it would suit the theme of the album so I wrote some voicings out on piano and worked on transposing that into my vocal harmonies.

The vocal harmonies were looming from the onset so it felt right, without them unduly taking over. They are an added essence. It’s almost a way of coming up for air before plunging into the unknown again.

I must say the closing section of ‘Falling’ in which the vocal harmony motif returns for the last time, signals one of the record’s most captivating moments…I would love for you to discuss the importance of repetition in your music, and in turn, how you ‘see’ or visualize music? I always feel that a certain gravitational pull or hold on the listener occurs through repetition inside music.

SH: I am a massive fan of repetition in music. Repetition fastens the mind into a gentle trance where you can let go and not feel affected by your surroundings or time itself. In a society where time demands so much of us, repetition engenders a freeing effect without expectations or obligations in what you the listener feels or thinks. That’s all I ever want from music.

I don’t visualise music as such. In a way with the early stages of writing, I think my mind goes into shut down mode which is why I find it difficult to remember exact moments of writing. If I do see music, it always comes in a very hazy dimension and will slowly evolve into its own likeness from there which is what happened with Wide Asleep. It started to take on a theme of its own as the album grew, evoking those intangible gateways between sleep and wakefulness.  Those moments where what actually feels real isn’t…. Perhaps sneaking in that other worldly element.

Has your compositional approach changed or altered in any way from previous records such as ‘Night Sky’ or ‘Becalmed’? ‘Wide Asleep’ was produced by yourself, solely. I am very interested in this stage of the music-making process and what transitions or developments these compositions undertook during this stage?

SH: The early concepts or ideas always seem to have a similar pattern of approach. With the previous albums, I tended to write more as I went along. Wide Asleep was determined from the beginning. The full vision was in the forefront of my mind and I trusted myself to attain that end goal. With Wide Asleep I had this inward sense of urgency…  I found that sense of urgency a challenge to contend with as the production took a little longer however you always learn and gain new experiences each time.

Collaboration is another vital part to the process, and your close friends Tim Whitten (engineer), Peter Hollo (cello) and Jay Kong (violin) bring so much to the table, as always. I just love how such a deep communication – almost innate – exists between these different voices that forms one cohesive whole of utter transcendence. Can you recount your memories of recording with these guests and the headspace you all must inhabit when these parts all come together?

SH: Having worked with Peter and Jay for a while now is a real asset. It has become very instinctive. The musical chemistry between us is something that is very easily communicated. Jay and Peter have a very sensitive approach to understanding the way I write music and make it very easy for me when we all sit down together to map out the process and contemplate their parts. Occasionally I have a weird way of putting my melodies together but they’ve become accustomed to it! I love them so much for that.

Tim being a long-standing family friend has observed my pattern of composing from a young age and has watched it grow and wholeheartedly supported my style and process. I can have a tendency to be quite timid with my approach. This time around I had tunnel vision which took Tim a while to get his head around but once he did he knew and understood where I wanted to be and we worked as a team to get there. He’s very intuitive when mixing instrumental music which I guess is why bands like The Necks continually go back to him as do I.

The euphoric crescendo of ‘Memory II’ with its gorgeous choral refrain and mesmerising piano lines serves one of many defining moments. These two compositions, ‘Memory I’ and ‘Memory II’ are obviously very significant and are the heart to part B. The sequencing of the record I feel works wonderfully and the layering and aesthetics of the two parts – A & B – creates such a moving and powerful journey.  I wonder are any of these pieces borne from old melodies you have had in the vaults, so to speak?  

SH: I always have unfinished pieces sitting in vaults! Sometimes I randomly revisit them. There’s quite a few demos waiting to be woken from their slumber sitting on hard drives…

In this case Memory I was half written and I ran into a wall with it so to speak. It didn’t move for a little while so I left it alone, then one night I sat down with it and it germinated and took off so it was either going to be one really long piece or could be consumed in two parts which I think works with the astral vocals taking over from the darkish coloured middle eastern tonality of the strings. It picks it up and sweeps it into another dream state territory though still in the same key so the journey has a connection to its former memory and goes back to that in the outro of Memory I..  It’s like a Memory that expands and travels, then gets revisited ….

Can you shed some light on the influences or inspirations you feel found their way into the ‘Wide Asleep’ sound world, Sophie?

SH: I was listening to a lot of old Gamelan music, Indian Classical Raga and Jazz which is nothing like Wide Asleep but subconsciously things can infiltrate the subconscious. It’s the way our being then formulates that expression.  Different music can still relate to each other. It can be like the sentiments of Indie Rock vs the music of Opera. They can evoke a similar feeling. Perhaps it works the same? I grew up listening to extreme polar opposites in styles of music. One side of the house was Jazz and the other Indie rock. It was a war of the worlds between my Dad and my older Brothers. From a young age though I was writing the kind of music I write now. I’m still not sure where that comes from. At times it frustrated me that I attempted changing it when I was younger but it’s something I’ve recognised comes from within me and I should enjoy embracing it. It’s just another way of me articulating without having to phrase them into words.

Lastly, I must ask you about the beautiful solo piano full-length ‘Drift’. This forms such a perfect sister companion to ‘Wide Asleep’ with its marked intimacy and ethereal quality, a magical spell is cast with each delicate piano note. It feels as if this was created in one sitting, and effectively feels like one large piece. Can you discuss these compositions and how much of a role improvisation played in the inception of ‘Drift’?

SH: These were all layered late night recordings that were half improvised / half composed.  It was a very organic relaxed unpressured approach between the walls of my lounge room using the damper pedal out of convenience but also for its tonally soft tranquil effect… It’s the sleepy sister of Wide Asleep indeed.

‘Wide Asleep’ is out now on Preservation.

http://www.sophiehutchings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SophieHutchingsMusic/

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November 8, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Chosen One: Benoît Pioulard

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Interview with Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard).

“…making music has always been a selfish thing that’s rooted in examination of the self, of questioning of the universe and reconciling the two.”

—Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard).

Words: Mark Carry

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This year marks the tenth anniversary of Benoît Pioulard’s prized debut ‘Précis’. Released on the awe-inspiring Chicago label Kranky, the album won the hearts of many with its fragile beauty, heartfelt vocals, shimmering guitar textures, lo-fi production and sincere, beating heart. In truth, Seattle-based sound sculptor Thomas Meluch has continually pushed the sonic envelop and illuminate inner-most feelings through his poignant folk explorations and drone-infused ambient soundscapes over the intervening years. Across records such as ‘Lasted’, ‘Hymnal’ and ‘Sonnet’, the master producer and songwriter has further developed his trademark style: field recordings and ambient bliss become interwoven and buried deep in one’s mind, awash with life’s fleeting moments and faded dreams.

In many ways, this year’s eagerly-awaited ‘The Benoît Pioulard Listening Matter’ moves closer to the sonic trajectory of ‘Précis’, which sees Meluch return to the core foundation of voice and guitar. Furthermore, what reveals after many revisits is a distillation of the treasured Benoît Pioulard songbook thus far, where cathartic ballads such as ‘I Walked Into The Blackness And Built A Fire’ (one of the record’s defining moments), endearing pop laments (‘Layette’ with its heavenly harmonies and pristine production), utterly transcendent drone soundscapes (as captured on the cinematic album closer ‘Ruth’) and empowering torch-lit ballads (‘A Mantle For Charon’). Immediately, the rich tapestry and gorgeous melody of ‘A Mantle For Charon’ triggers back to the rich poignancy of ‘Sous La Plage’ or ‘Ash Into The Sky’ (taken from the closing section of ‘Précis’). ‘The Listening Matter’ unfolds like a tapestry of illusions and dreams that awaken a resonance of related feelings and moods: a veil to comfort and protect.

Nietzsche’s writings from 1878’s ‘Human, All Too Human’ I feel shares a fitting parallel with the themes explored on the sound sculptor’s latest masterwork. “Resonance. All intense moods bring with them a resonance of related feelings and moods; they seem to stir up memory. Something in us remembers and becomes aware of similar states and their origin. Thus habitual, rapid associations of feelings and thoughts are formed, which, when they follow with lightning speed upon one another, are eventually no longer felt as complexes, but rather as unities”. The glittering thirteen tracks beautifully captured on ‘The Listening Matter’ are similarly felt as “unities”, with which a river of intense emotion become engrained deep in the rich embers of Meluch’s sonic tapestry. An image that perfectly depicts this illuminating record is also one of the album’s song-titles: “I Walked Into The Blackness And Built A Fire’. The radiant light of hope and strength lifts from the embers of the flames.

‘The Benoît  Pioulard Listening Matter’ is available now on Kranky.

https://www.facebook.com/pioulard/

https://www.facebook.com/Kranky-279206347288/

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Interview with Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard).

 

Congratulations on the stunningly beautiful new full-length, ‘Listening Matter’. I love how on one hand, it’s a full-circle back to the debut record ‘Precis’ with its introspective lo-fi folk-infused ambient soundscapes and beautifully realized (& vocal-based) pop structures. But on so many other levels, there’s very much a continuation of the luminous guitar-based loops of found sounds and field recordings explored on the previous ‘Sonnet’ LP for instance, so ‘Listening Matter’ really does feel like a crystallization of the many elements that have been captured in the Benoît Pioulard songbook thus far. Please talk me through the making of ‘Listening Matter’, which has been two years in the making?

Thomas Meluch: A few of the songs were written & recorded in 2014 with a view to making a 7” that would have come out with ‘Sonnet’ as a kind of pop-antidote to the instrumental nature of that album… But that plan was abandoned for various reasons outside my control, and after a while I drafted songs until I had a half-dozen more, which were recorded in a dedicated stretch back in February of this year – some of the instrumental pieces came from other phases in between, but most of the record was done in one very brief stretch after the reservoir couldn’t hold any more…

Your set-up of voice, guitar, loops and some effect pedals has been a trusted constant for you this past decade and on the latest record, it feels as if the results have never been so exceptional and rewarding. The pacing of the record with the carefully interspersed instrumental ambient voyages, makes for such a fulfilling journey. Can you talk me through your studio set-up and layers of sonic detail that seeps into these new tracks of yours and how the minimal framework from which you work from informs this singular, unique sound you have developed?

TM: The website Headphone Commute kindly posted a thing about my ‘studio’ last year, which covers a lot of that. It’s fairly basic but very familiar, and I still use GarageBand and tape recorders for everything, which creates a lot of the lo-fi qualities I enjoy weaving in. I’ve been very glad to maintain, over the years, an ability to listen back to a basic recording and hear what’s missing, so that allows me to get creative in filling in those gaps and attaining the little specific sounds and melodies that buttress the main parts of a given tune.

One of the hallmarks of Listening Matter is indeed the healing quality of the music, and a spirit of defiance resides throughout. I was saddened to learn of your brother’s passing during the late stages of the album itself, and the deeply heartfelt laments such as ‘A Mantle For Charon’ (which I feel is one of your most beautiful songs recorded to tape) feel like an incredible tribute to someone so close and special to you. As a listener, there is a real sense of catharsis throughout these songs, a release if you will, and I can imagine that this sort of effect was occurring for you during the writing and recording stages (as it must always do for the music-making process)? 

TM: Most definitely, and I often wonder how anyone can get along without some kind of creative outlet, as making music has always been a selfish thing that’s rooted in examination of the self, of questioning of the universe and reconciling the two; especially when there’s discord or melancholy in my day-to-day. Most of the lyrics here have to do with self-medication, epiphanies, and all my attempts to smirk at the infinite.

There is a beautiful simplicity to the gorgeous ‘Layette’ with the warm percussion and heavenly harmonies. Was is it a case that some of these songs were conceived and put to tape in quite an effortless and quick fashion? Please recount your memories of the writing of ‘Layette’ and the inspiration in which is draws from?

TM: Yeah, that song in particular was recorded front-to-back in about 2 hours, including dubbing and re-dubbing to mono cassette over old IDM tracks. I wrote it back in 2014, though, and the first version only had one verse so the whole song was about 45 seconds long. This one by comparison is an epic.

I recall you describing several bicycle journeys each week during the making of ‘Sonnet’, which formed the backdrop to many of the resultant tracks and sonic make-up. I wonder did you have such rituals or habits during the making of ‘Listening Matter’ and how soon did you realize that this album would see you return to the more vocal-based song structures?

TM: As mentioned before, a lot of this album was written over a long time and recorded in a very short span, so when I surveyed all the songs I wanted to include I found a way to prioritize and order them – I can never work on more than one song at one time – and worked during every free minute for about three and a half weeks… Before and after work, often late into the night, etc. I just had to clear out the attic, you know. At this point I haven’t written a song with lyrics in over a year, so I wonder if I ever will again. It’s completely possible that I won’t, but I get a lot of peace from that thought as I remain satisfied with everything I’ve made up to this point. What a trip to think that it’s been 10 years since the first one!

Outside of the six Kranky full-lengths, you have been releasing a plethora of equally enthralling musical explorations via your bandcamp page. I always love the DIY aesthetic and handmade feel to all the releases you put out. Looking over your impressive output to date, so many tributaries and streams flow from the many varied projects and indeed each feels connected to one on another also, on a very deep level. The gradual bliss of ‘Seize/Marre’ from last year is a wonderful document in its own right but which also pointed to the musical trajectory of what would come next. Can you discuss the space in time in which this sublime 7″ was brought to life? Also, where do you feel the sonic terrain is heading towards? The possibilities as ever feel (in a word) endless.

TM: A fair number of people have asked me over the years if I would ever widely release any of the things I made on my 4-track as a teenager; given that I’m reticent to do that for various reasons, I thought it’d be nice to revisit those recordings myself, skim off the ideas I like best and use them for something more concise. Hence the lyrics for ‘Seize’ (French for ‘sixteen’, my age at the time) are taken from a few different early songs, as are most of the background elements. ‘Marre’ is a processed collage of a few early ambient experiments from around the same period.

I get the impression that a lot of your work – not least on ‘Listening Matter’ – are based on ideas and sketches of songs from many years previously, where remnants of past memories are re-collected and relinquished on the particular recording. I’d love for you to shed some light on this (if possible!) and maybe the library of sounds you have amassed from a young age? I can imagine there is a close symmetry between music and memory, and how your life in music – and musical life is synonymous with life’s memory.

TM: Yeah, I consider everything in my possession to be fair game, as far as my bin of notebooks and tapes, old photos and all of that. Many of these things work themselves into newer works as they earn new context in my life or illuminate something that I’m drawing on for current inspiration, if that makes sense. Maybe the best example of that on the new album is the second half of “Like there’s nothing under you”, which rips off a 40-second song I wrote for bass guitar and voice back in 2007, during one of the two times I was ever high on cocaine. Never really thought I’d find a place to use that, come to think of it, but here we are. The main vocal melody of “A mantle for Charon” is based on a little melody that I’ve found myself singing idly from time to time for probably 15 years, and I never found a way to use it before writing that song. Things just have to gestate sometimes, I suppose.

I wonder were there any happy accidents that occurred that wound up on ‘Listening Matter’? Another hallmark of this record too I feel is just how vast the sound-world formed is, in just under 26 minutes. For that reason, was the editing and final sequencing stages a difficult part to the overall process?

TM: I really love the way the bird chirps unintentionally respond to my vocals on the song “Defect”, especially as I just blindly dropped that field recording in when I was arranging it. Also, the cassette deck I bought shortly before recording this album wasn’t originally intended as a production tool but I loved its compression so much when I started toying with it that I ended up finding lots of ways to incorporate it, particularly on “Layette” and “Blackness”. As far as sequencing it didn’t really take a whole lot of effort as I found a sort of narrative across the songs as I was recording them and considering final lyric revisions, so for me it tells its own story from start to finish, and there are a few places where one needs to pause and take a drink of water.

Please discuss any records, books, films you have enjoyed the past few weeks and months, Tom?

TM: I’m currently listening to the new Casino Versus Japan double-cassette Frozen Geometry, which is utterly fantastic… But no surprise there. I’ve also been quite enamoured of my friend Dustin’s work as Skin Lies, as well as the drumming of Elvin Jones and guitar of Grant Green over the last few months. Oh and the new Herzog documentary Lo and Behold was wonderful in its ability to make me feel like an incredibly tiny blip on a very long technological timeline. I often wonder which things I use, learn and say every day will be viewed as quaint in the future.

‘The Benoît  Pioulard Listening Matter’ is available now on Kranky.

https://www.facebook.com/pioulard/

https://www.facebook.com/Kranky-279206347288/

 

Written by admin

November 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Step Right Up: Resina

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Interview with Karolina Rec (Resina).

“…it is some kind of story about our ambivalence in experiencing nature: a simultaneous feeling of both beauty and anxiety (at nature’s power and unpredictability).”

—Karolina Rec (Resina).

Words: Mark Carry

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Resina is the alias of Karolina Rec,a cellist and composer based in Warsaw, Poland. Recently released on the prestigious Fat Cat imprint, 130701, Resina’s s eponymous debut album contains enthralling cello-based compositions, whose quiet bliss and eternal solitude awakens with each of the seven singular works. The pivotal sister companion pieces ‘Tatry I’ and ‘Tatry II’– which form the vital heartbeat to part A – evokes the timeless sound of Icelandic cellist & composer Hildur Guðnadóttir such is the soaring beauty that ascends into one’s heart and mind.

Another hallmark of this remarkable record is just how closely the music feels connected to nature:  a purity resides deep within Resina’s cello works – augmented by the gifted musician’s rich, intuitive playing – which feels akin to towering mountain peaks above and vast deep blue seas below. In this way, earlier Colleen records – such as ‘Les Ondes Silencieuses’ from 2007 – could be a reference point to the musical trajectory that is masterfully explored by the Polish composer. In similar ways to Colleen’s third studio album, Resina’s compositions are highly personal as the focus is moved to the natural tones produced by the cello instrument (the viola da gamba in Cecile Schott’s instance), whilst the music is largely unadorned.

Resina’s hypnotic voice is added on the utterly transcendent album closer ‘Not Here’. Rhythmic pulses are wonderfully employed on the looped strings of ‘Nightjar’ (reminiscent of Brooklyn-based composer Julia Kent) and the enveloping darkness of ‘Dark Sky White Water’ unleashes the rawest of human emotion (think ‘Never Were The Way She Was’ by Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld). Resina’s highly impressive debut forges a deeply immersive experience.

Resina’s eponymous debut album is out now on 130701.

https://www.facebook.com/resinae/

http://130701.com/

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Interview with Karolina Rec (Resina).

 

Congratulations Karolina on your utterly captivating and enthralling eponymous debut album. One of the striking qualities to these cello-based compositions is the quiet bliss and eternal solitude that awakens throughout the album’s timeless journey. Please take me back to the period of time in which the album was written and recorded? As this is a debut record – and seeing that you have such a rich body of collaborative projects also – I imagine some of these compositions have been blossoming over a considerable length of time? 

Karolina Rec: The process of composing pieces for this album started before I moved from Gdynia and was finished after I settled in Warsaw. It all started around 4 years ago, and probably was somehow influenced by slowly leaving behind a favourite place and specific feeling of suspension between past and future, known and unknown. Gdynia is a coastal city full of truly amazing forests and moraine hills around it, which is rather unique – for the first time in my life I felt strongly connected to the nature. However, that movement and also some key changes in my personal life helped me to decide I wanted to focus on my music now.

The process of being a solo artist took some time. Being involved in all those bands and projects, working with brilliant Polish artists was something I really loved and felt I can do really well, at the same time developing my own skills and sensibility. I knew that one day I would try to do my own music, but was waiting very patiently for the time I would feel truly ready for that. Maybe that was the reason the composing process didn’t take so much time itself. Another key moment came when my friend Michał Biela (from Polish band Kristen) announced (after he heard that I was working on my solo) that I would play a show, sharing a stage with him at a very popular Warsaw venue. I was frightened, nothing was fully ready yet, but I agreed and that was enough sign for me that I can take a risk and finally have huge motivation to develop and speak my own language.

A rich, intuitive quality resides in your playing that immediately makes a profound impact on the listener. I would love for you to explain your compositional approach and to what extent does improvisation play in this?

KR: I’m happy you mentioned that! Yes, my composing process is strongly based on intuitive qualities. I believe in intuition because (as science confirms) it’s not magic, it’s a sum of our experiences, predictions and sensibility. It’s a kind of knowledge sometimes hidden in these parts of our mind / brain which are not so easily accessible (but can be). I like to play with and work on archetypical motifs and feelings, digging for them as deeply as possible.

Mostly, the compositions for this album were based on some simple ideas, sketches which had an inspiring potential to improvise on their basis. And I watched where that improvisation would lead me. Very quickly I was able to decide if something captured my attention and had this potential or not, and this decisive process was 100% intuitively. I’ve always tried to improvise first, not to write scores. Actually, it is impossible for me to play any piece twice in completely the same way…and that was the point. I came to the recording studio with some clear ideas but every recorded version was usually quite different from another (however we tried to record in not more than 2-3 takes).

Another thing is that to fully follow my ideas I often had to cross my own comfort zones and find some non-classical techniques, which in the most natural way comes from improvisation. Challenging myself to find other ways of expression in the instrument was (and still is) one of my favourite parts of playing cello. I must admit that only when I left all thinking about any aspect of classical playing did I feel free and really close to the instrument’s fuller possibilities and wooden, organic nature.

The range of possibilities you generate from your chosen instrument is quite staggering. A rich tapestry flows in a beautiful ebb & flow throughout the record’s narrative. Can you talk me through the layering – and looping process – of the cello instrumentation and indeed the mindset and approach when it comes to live performance? I love this live aesthetic that forms a lovely dimension to these tracks, which really feels as if you’re playing a live set once the record begins to play. What is your actually live set-up, Karolina? I presume it’s from quite a minimal framework (which again must be another source of inspiration for you when it comes to composing?)

KR: My current set-up is very simple, which was determined by the fact that I never wanted to change sound of cello itself, but to make a new, unexpected quality by using its natural sound in layers. Referring to that I need only a hardware looper and a reverb+delay. I don’t use a laptop on stage as I didn’t use it during composing process. That was also another idea for this album – to make it possible to play every piece 100% live. From a technical point of view, I wanted to keep the feeling of the creative process each time I played them, and the looper is a perfect tool for that. I try to stick to the most important parts of the composition but also to improvise every single time I perform it. Every time I try to learn a little bit more about the pieces: check what makes them better, moves them further; try to move the border and squeeze out more. Even to make some kind of ritual from that process. Hopefully that helps me keep the intensity.

The album closer ‘Not Here’ is perhaps my current favourite and forms a fitting close to a stunningly beautiful record. Can you talk me through this composition and your memories of writing ‘Not Here’? I just love how your voice appears here, just as the record is approaching the sunlit horizon. Also, the sound from the cello sounds almost like a gamelan, and love then the layering of strings that are placed on top.

KR: It was one of the first pieces I wrote for this album, just after Tatry I&II. I was still living in Gdynia, but just about to move to Warsaw.

“Not here” could be a good example of combination of two things I was talking about earlier: an archetypical aspect and very personal attitude at the same time. It’s also the least “improvise-able” and most predictable piece from the album, but that was the concept – to keep it simple and clear, to take a breath, to wake up from a strange dream. Taking this path – we can look on it as on a tale or a picture, and mine was like that: sailors at sea in the night searching for the right way but finding only voices (which finally disappear). Looking from my own very personal point of view: it’s a song to the lost sea, a piece written from my nostalgia for the left-behind landscape. To emphasise that dreamy, unrealistic atmosphere I decided to use my voice in a form of choir (and I think I will try to explore it more in the future). The funny thing is that I made some small changes just before the recordings and just after I came back from Indonesia, so possibly I incorporated some part of the gamelan scale or characteristic structure unintentionally.

‘Tatry I’ and ‘Tatry II’ form the heart of part A. Were these sister companion pieces conceived during the same space in time I wonder? Also, I love the slowed-down and gradual flow to ‘Tatry II’, which forms a wonderful counterpoint to the opening ‘Tatry I’. Are there certain motifs or melodic patterns that connect these two, Karolina?

KR: Yes, they came around the same time and in the same order as on album. What really connects them is not even a melodic motif but an atmosphere, which in my opinion causes specific cello techniques. A lot of very high notes occurring simultaneously – flageolets played on a drone base (but in the case of Tatry II much more minimalistic). In both cases the way of building melody is similar: from the notes which seems to be only a part of drone at the beginning but finally all together create some kind of melodic line at the end.

I would love to gain an insight into the album’s main themes and what you feel connects all these seven cello compositions together? Were there any challenges during the making of the record that you felt was a struggle to overcome in any way?

KR: I found it clearly after the album was finished, but yes, we can say there is a connection between all seven pieces. The album as a whole plays with feelings, memories, imagination, experiences, archetypes which the listener carries and which can be “turned on” as the trigger (music) appears. I always say that I try to take people to some places – but where particularly, that depends on them.

The second common aspect to all seven pieces refers to my own personal experience:  it is some kind of story about our ambivalence in experiencing nature: a simultaneous feeling of both beauty and anxiety (at nature’s power and unpredictability).

The third idea – and the first which appeared in my mind: to use the instrument in a very organic way, to try everything which can help create, also using non-typical, non-obvious cello techniques; be open to absolutely all instrument possibilities, not only traditional sounds. And to stay close the wooden nature of the instrument.

Please take me back to your earliest musical memories and the events that led you on your own musical path? Also, I would love to hear of any defining records, musical voices that you feel were hugely significant for you that in turn led you on this solo cello musical path?

KR: My parents aren’t musicians. They had no musical background at all. the first thing I remember were my mother’s lullabies and my own vocal improvisations – I think my father who was recording that on a tape recorder still has these tapes somewhere… Let’s say “professionally” it had started “by accident” when I was 8 and for the first time heard my friend was playing the school piano. I came home and I forced my mother to take me to the piano teacher. I think she was just as happy as afraid because in my whole family nobody was a musician. But later my mum admitted that when she was pregnant she was listening a lot of Chopin. Chopin’s Polonaise F sharp minor is actually the first music piece I remember (performed by extraordinary Polish pianist Witold Małcużyński).

Getting a typical classical education led me to learn about all the classical composers and pieces. However, I felt that classical music didn’t have to be only a clear ideological concept, or a form, but can be also type of a landscape, pattern or something much more irrational, subconscious when I heard “Gaspard de la nuit” perfomed by Martha Argerich, when I was 15. And then all the other genres came…I feel I’m influenced by nearly every genre of music: at the same time by the aleatorism of Lutoslawski and minimal techno, by gamelan scales and avant rock cacophony.

However, one particular album eventually convinced me to record a solo thing – it was the second solo album of Colin Stetson. That was a final, decisive proof for me that still it’s possible to do something extraordinary, original and powerful even if you’re alone with one instrument and you cannot build any interaction with another artist. I think that my aim was always to find extremely personal, internal language which could be somehow readable for many.

Resina’s eponymous debut album is out now on 130701.

https://www.facebook.com/resinae/

http://130701.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Written by admin

October 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Posted in STEP RIGHT UP

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