A superb free compilation here from Emily Loren’s new US based netlabel, Subterranean Tide. 17 artists have come together to interpret Emily’s short poem: ‘Singing through the windows of a decayed youth divinity revealed itself playing the strings of a celestial matter in measures of orchestral dust’ I think all of the tracks on the compilation manage to successfully capture elements of the poem with a perfect blend of electronic and acoustic textures.
A film by Gianmarco Del Re of the recent Off-Key Sessions gig organized by Dan and Jess Crossley of the Fluid Audio label and held in St. James Priory, Bristol. This 15 minute film gives a taster of each artists perfomance and includes some completely mesmerizing music
Trying out a new lightweight and portable field recording setup with some better quality preamps than my handheld Tascam and Sony recorders. The Roland Duo Capture EX audio interface uses the same high quality VS preamps that are included in Roland’s top of the range mixers. The additional advantage of the new EX version is that it is fully compatible with the iPad (mine is 3rd generation) via the camera connection kit. It can also be powered by 3 AA batteries for up to four hours so I don’t need to lug around a power supply. I plan on recording sound into Auria on the iPad and a quick test showed that Auria is fully compatible. Haven’t had a chance to record anything outside yet, but a quick internal test with the hydrophones, and contact mics produced very clear and noise free recordings into Auria even at very high gain settings so the preamps are definitely good and a clear improvement over the handheld recorder preamps.
The only downside might be transfer of the files after recording as these have to be sent to Dropbox via the web and then downloaded from there onto my PC, but a quick test of this proved fairly painless. It should get quicker if I can find out how to send files direct via the house wireless network rather than uploading via the web.
So far though I can recommend this as a good lightweight setup with improved sound quality over the handheld recorders. It should also be possible to use the handheld recorders as “bit buckets” and connect them to the preamp. Further tests and some sound examples to follow.
A superb day of unbroken sunshine yesterday so we headed out into the Denbighshire hills to walk around Llyn Brenig and finish off parts of the archaeological trail that we did not get to last year. I had long wanted to visit this spectacular platform cairn after seeing Mick Sharp’s photographs of it. It lies on a natural shelf in the hillside overlooking a former valley flooded by the reservoir constructed in 1976. The Aran hills, Arenig Fawr and the peak of Cadair Idris can be seen in the far distance.
The Bronze Age cairn started life as a smaller open ring of stones (visible near the centre) with a cremation burial on the south side which included the remains of an adult and child placed in an urn. Later another cremation burial was placed near the centre and a large post hole was excavated to carry a possible marker, totem or maypole type structure. This was subsequently taken down and the centre and outer rings were filled in with stone to create the platform that you now see. This platform clearly had a ceremonial purpose, perhaps for placing objects on, or for congregating to worship, perambulate or dance on.
This is one of those places which has a great atmosphere, heightened for us by the sound of a few pairs of ravens circling lazily overhead and making their characteristic “cronk” call mixed with occasional affectionate clicks to their partner.
The new Savaran EP is now out on the Assembly Field label as a *free download* here http://archive.org/details/Savaran-HalcyonDays_113 My thanks to Phil Edwards for the opportunity to join his new label and to Wil Bolton for his skilful mastering. Feedback and reviews are most welcome :)
When Norwegian ambient electronic duo Pjusk are not creating dark soundscapes hewn from the scandinavian landscape one half of the band, in the form of Jostein Gjelsvik, teams up with Bjarte Andreassen to form Circular. Together they make some fine downtempo ambient sounds and the Ultimae label recently released a digital album of a live performance from March 2011. The classic dark atmospheres of Pjusk are still there, but the live show also has some beat driven elements, experimental tracks and well placed use of field recordings. It’s a great sound - have a listen….
My new 7 track EP - Halcyon Days - will be out on the Assembly Field label www.facebook.com/assemblyfield later this week. It’s a free download this time so do pass the message on to anyone you know who might like the music. Reviews are also most welcome !
The EP was recorded between November 2012 and March 2013 and combines sound (field recordings) and musical responses to a number of locations visited during that time in Cornwall and Wales. It’s a continuation of my very observational and visually stimulated style of music, but is perhaps also tinged with an undercurrent of grief and loss this time as we lost our dear friend, Tess, during the making of the EP. It was interesting how the strong emotions of grief gently coloured some of the tracks during the recording process and ultimately acted as a cathartic release. I wasn’t consciously trying to do this during the recording sessions, but on listening back to the tracks I can recognize the signs.
Anyway, hope you like it and do get in touch with any comments as it’s always great to hear from anyone who has listened to the music.
Assembly Field Blog: http://assemblyfield.blogspot.co.uk/
Next release is a free 5 track EP - A Comet’s Tale, out on Emily Loren’s Subterranean Tide label in June.