Lines of Flight
Death Valley in the height of summer.
The breeze rushes gently over the expanse of Eureka valley. In this heat it is deserted.
A storm rolls through and as the temperature changes, sand particles from the dunes are suddenly airborne – the accompanying wind orchestrating their abrasive path.
As the day fades, insects fly through the air toward the light inside the tent, coming into abrupt contact with the membrane that forms my shelter.
I switch off the light, and silence the flies. I listen through the membrane to the outside, to the soft breeze in isolation.
Lines of Flight is inspired by recordings made in Death Valley in June 2019. It was made at home in Los Angeles in April 2020, using the recordings from Eureka dunes, and various stringed instruments.
From Touch: Isolation, released June 11, 2020
Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft. Mastered by Denis Blackham.
Black-East from the Crow
Black-East from the Crow is part of the Place Language compilation – an international non-profit album project inspired by the themes found in Robert Macfarlane’s widely-acclaimed book ‘Landmarks’. In particular it focuses on the book’s extensive topographic glossaries, the “word-hoard” of depictive landscape terms gathered from 30 different languages, dialects and sub-dialects around Britain & Ireland and divided into sections by type of terrain (Flatlands, Uplands, Waterlands, Coastlands, Underlands, Northlands, Edgelands, Earthlands and Woodlands).Relying on these topograms, or “tiny place poems”, as creative prompts, Place Language seeks to both inspire a renewed interest in our surroundings and reinvigorate our appreciation for the audible textures & patterns that characterize a place in keeping with the book’s stated desire to “re-wild” our vocabulary.
Black-East from the Crow is based on two definitions from the glossary –
“Black-east” – cold, dry east wind (Galloway)
“Crow” – stone shed (West Cornwall)
The collection features the work of 28 different sound-artists, field recordists, and musicians from around the globe each of whom selected a Landmarks topogram and recorded an impression of it thus adding rich new aspects of dimensionality through the act of sonification. These selections cover all nine of the book’s glossaries along with place-words of new coinage as prompted by the blank one which Macfarlane leaves at the end of the book for readers to fill in from their own experience. The end result is a truly global and collaborative survey of place, language, and sound.
From Place Language, released October 2, 2019
Audio mastered by Ian Hawgood.
Artwork by Gregory Euclide.
Liner notes by Robert Macfarlane.
Design by Daniel Crossley.
Book layout by Ian Hazeldine.
Aven is based on a recording made in Iceland in 2015, which features the booming sound of underground geothermal activity escaping to the surface through a small shaft. Looking down into the darkness, there was a sense that a whole world existed in an unknown space beneath. The sound world of Aven is a journey through such an imagined environment. The composition is driven by this sonic encounter, but enters the imagined worlds beneath through the instrumental material developed throughout the work.
The field recordings used in Aven were made in Iceland during the Wildeye sound recording workshop with Chris Watson and Jez riley French, and in South Africa during the Sonic Mmabolela residency with Francisco Lopez and James Webb. Each of the field recordings explore a world of sound beneath a surface, reflecting upon the initial recording environment at the geothermal site.
In South Africa, an approaching storm was heralded by wind blowing through bushes in the savanna, underneath which was hidden a Soundfield microphone. A contact microphone on a fence in South Iceland revealed the tones of the wind contained inside the wires, and in an Icelandic nature reserve the wind was also captured by microphones buried underneath a layer of grass – a miniature world sheltered by the strands of dry straw.
released July 20, 2016
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft. Mastered by Denis Blackham.