Soundscape lovers: SubVersion presents in 2 weeks time
"For all the details, visit my page. Greg Haines and Alexander Thomas bringing their unique compositional virtues under one roof, for one night only in the elegant Holywell Music Room, Oxford, where Harold Budd and Murcof have respectively guested. A free DVD of the first three TDD Chapters and SubVersion specials will be available to every entrant. = )"
TDD Chapter 2's idiosyncracy system would be tough to beat – not only did the audio clips form a homogenous whole, there was a consistent atmosphere. TDD 3 strips functionality to basics, like TDD 1, but supplements healthy juxtapositions that can evoke thought, please the senses, and inform with tagging. It's split into three sections: 1) ambiences, where beatless tunes are collaged in key, able to blend together, 2) beats, at a variety of tempos that could be merged with Ableton, and 3) songwriting, extrapolating the parts of one and two with compilation-styled segues. What you get by downloading the audio pack, showcased in consecutive order:
001. Hildur Gudanottir, BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa - Temple Of The Holy Tooth (Quecksilber, 2007)
Taken from "Second Childhood".
Originally Posted by François Couture, All Music Guide
Second Childhood is an intriguing collaboration between B.J. Nilsen (aka Hazard), Helgi Thorsson and Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson of Stilluppsteypa, and Hildur Gudnadóttir, the latter being the lesser-known artist here (at least outside of her native Iceland). With these names on board, you don't expect something melodic, beat-driven or even childlike (as the album title may suggest) -- and the music here is neither. Assembled as a one-hour set, Second Childhood is a very elegant drone, with moments of compelling beauty interspersed with stale passages. Nilsen's typically quiet field recordings dictate the overall mood, while Stilluppsteypa's abstract electronics bring in an extra dimension, adding depth and occasionally triggering changes. Gudnadóttir's contribution is harder to pin down, but surely important, since this album is definitely not the result of a simple Hazard + Stilluppsteypa calculation. The 19-minute "It's About the Size of a House" starts the album out on a gorgeous drone crescendo, filled with a microcosm of sounds, suddenly choked halfway into the piece to let its softer elements filter through. Another highlight is "The Direction Was Foggy or Cloudy," driven by an organ drone. For "I Have Seen Similar Stones," the quartet steps out of the drone feel to produce what comes through as a pastiche of early musique concrète -- and a good one at that. There are a few weak or overstretched moments, and the album as a whole remains extremely quiet and low-profile, but it makes for a nice, attentive late-night listening. Note that the track list announces seven pieces, but the continuous material is split into only six.
002. Jasper TX & Anduin - Where A Star Once Was (SMTG, 2009)
Taken from "The Bending Of Light".
Originally Posted by boomkat
A classic case of a collaboration adding up to more than the sum of its parts, this incredible album arrived here with a fair amount of expectation but duly proceeded to completely blow us away with its utterly immersive blend of shimmering drones and densely crafted, submerged melodies. The SMTG label has already impressed us a great deal with a pristine lineup of releases from all manner of artists we love, but "The Bending of Light" must surely rank as the best thing on the label yet. Many of you will no doubt already be familiar with the work of both Jasper TX and Anduin, but despite the high calibre of material from both camps they seem to have struck something entirely more developed and engrossing working together. Opening track "A Beam of Light Bends Back Upon Itself" is interesting enough with its slow-building drone haze, but its when second track "Producing Great jets of Radiation" hits that you realise that you're in the presence of something truly important and great. It's a track that nervously builds from the low registers with a Deathprod style dose of uncertainty and darkness slowly overcome by strained beams of light and distortion, like Tim Hecker manipulating a church organ - but before you get a chance to register the full scope of frequencies the track fades out to an abrupt end. "Where a Star Once Was" is another highlight, a creaking, pulsating recording doused with unusual, nautical found sounds and barely audible keys shifting into focus with one half embracing melody and the other engulfed by the icy tundras you'd more readily associate with someone like Mika Vainio. It's dark, dense, overwhelming music. "Like The Foot Prints.." takes an engrossing diversion and clears aural mists for a much more vulnerable kind of music, a slow pulsating heartbeat and immensely beautiful notes riding underneath a humming, delicately balanced drone and restrained strums, sounding not unlike classic Pan American but with a more pregnant emotional core. The album ends with "Walking in the Snow", a monochrome rendition that barely manages to contain the warm embers of memory and nostalgia underneath, so much so that you can imagine it bookending a lost vintage era recording from the Cocteau Twins, high praise indeed. Incredible music - and an utterly Essential Purchase!
As a preliminary taster, you can download my "15 Minutes Of Fame" primer, "Last Dawn Before Meltdown", which is calibrated on two cuts from Greg's "Slumber Tides" recording.
Muttley - Last Dawn Before Meltdown - October 2008
However skilled one is at building bridges from straw, if you clutch too deep on cause and effect, you could infuse fireworks, not roses. But we could all improve with a little help and encouragement.
"When someone dumps their toxic feelings on us - explodes in anger or threats, shows disgust or contempt - they activate in us circuitry for those very same distressing emotions. Their act has potent neurological consequences: emotions are contagious. We 'catch' strong emotions much as we do a rhinovirus - and so can come down with the emotional equivalent of a cold."
The above quote is taken from the fascinating "Social Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. The book goes to lengths on everything from emotional triggers, to connectivity, synchrony, and much more. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in human psychology, the humanities, or TDD, for that matter.
At times we can endure so much pain alone, that music can be one therapy of choice. Sometimes a few kind words will help us on our way. So if emotions are contagious, as Goleman writes, then "Last Dawn Before Meltdown" is my beacon in a world where clarity can slip from the abyss. It's a signifier attempt to show that through setbacks, rapport and repair can still be achieved. What's more, it offers a rough-and-ready primer to my 15 Minutes Of Fame mix series instalments; past, present and future.
01. Greg Haines - Submergence (from the album "Slumber Tides" - MIASMAH) 02. Sigur Ros - Sigur 3 (from the album () - Fat Cat) 03. Greg Haines - Tired Diary (Revised) (from the album "Slumber Tides" - MIASMAH) 04. Oren Ambarchi - Trailing Moss In The Mystic Glow (from the album "In The Pendulum's Embrace" - Touch) 05. Grouper - Way Their Crept (from the album "Way Their Crept" - Type) 06. Grouper - Where It Goes (from the album "Way Their Crept" - Type) 07. Quosp - Quosp (from the album "Soundscapes 1" - U-Cover) 08. Library Tapes - Noslipos (from the album "Hostluft" - Make Mine Music) 09. Vaccine - Atrium (2007 free download) 10. Brian Mcbride - Our Last Moment In Song (from the album "When The Detail Lost Its Freedom" - Kranky) 11. Chris Watson & BJ Nilsen - Austvegr (from the album "Storm" - Touch) 12. Zelienople - Moss Man (from the album "His/Hers" - Type) 13. Polska - Spawntain (from the album "On The Lam" - Make:Shift) 14. A Silver Mount Zion - There's A River In The Valley Made Of Melting Snow (from the "Pretty Little Lightning Paw" EP - Constellation)
ez Statto, big night, had lots of fun, Bigup to Mick and family for being great hosts
Had a blast! Over 30 people turned up. I was stoked - seeing as each artist is relatively unknown in the bigger picture. Good to see everyone listed, Greg's grandparents, and catch up with DJ Void from www.dogsonacid.com. I'm keen to do it again later in the year. Thanks to everyone who supported, it means a lot.
Alexander Thomas - When he first started playing I was a bit unsure whether this was just some guy layering up loops with peddles. But as his performance progressed a story of evolving soundscapes that represented different feelings started to emerge. It actually felt like a war. His control on the Theremin was excellent.
Greg Haines - More traditional Piano and Violin setup. In particular his second tune did it for me the most. Very moody piece with a kind of longing to it. Very atmospheric especially in that particular venue which was beautiful and intimate.
Big shouts to thushara, statto, annastay, adist and void.
Thank you Mike for organising this and your family for being such wonderful hosts.