Originally Released as a limited edition of 80 / ÉTER 14 eter-lab.net
/ cover art work by Alejandro Henao
"Minds turned by the cold, lured by small
comforts their stubborn hearts rehearsed,
men walked off ice floes to the arms
of phantom children, wives; of fires"
- Michael Crummey, from 'Newfoundland Sealing Disaster'
The departure point for each landscape composition is always a field recording. Sometimes of a quiet landscape punctuated by occasional bird life, or a microphone placed on the edge of a sea cliff nestled among the heather so that both the roar of the distant ocean, as well as small micro-movements of ants among the plants are captured.
Sometimes the recording is a weather event, like an intense wind or rainstorm. In this sense, the original bed recordings are all about perspective and the interplay of background and foreground. When I set the sound stage for each composition, there is always present a background against which a foreground detail will sit. The recordings are the original sound context, and the first part of the composition process.
In the second post-production stage, to continue the theme of perspective, and to develop the sound stage further for the listener, layers of subtle synthesized sounds and drones are gently applied, then removed, and boiled down to the most basic working elements. These synthesized elements open a new doorway for the listener, as a new background element is introduced that darkens or lightens the source recordings, adding slow movement - in the same way that slowly moving clouds may highlight or bruise a landscape's light and invoke particular, and fleeting moods.
It is in this sense that the work with both synthesized texture and location-based sound recording feels closer to working with light and paint than it does with sound. Production also implies a workflow akin to a landscape painter who travels to the landscape, works in it, and then returns to the studio to complete the work. Perhaps the metaphor doesn’t end there, but continues for the listener – and engaging with these pieces may be more similar to observing a landscape painting by William Turner than to the traditional act of listening to music.
"Cinema for the ears, sound for the eye."
All the bed tracks on this record were recorded between August 2013 and July 2014 in Newfoundland, Canada. Post-production took place in September 2014 in St John’s, Newfoundland.