Difficult not to get clumsily hushed & reverential in approaching the music of Richard Skelton. Under his own name & in a host of guises that include A Broken Consort, Carousell, Clouwbeck, Harlassen, Heidika & Riftmusic, he's making music of such emotional intensity & profound beauty that sombre genuflection can seem the only appropriate response.
It isn't, obviously enough. Much of this music's resonance comes from its plasticity - its slow, creaking weight, its acoustic pings & rattles, the groans of its bowed strings, its imperfect perfection. Engagingly, it repeatedly tells you how human, how literally hand-made it is.
So too does its exquisite packaging (using & commemorating his late wife Louise's artwork): "The idea is to create something resembling a glyph or sigil that encapsulates each release". His deep connection with locality & histories - underlined by the 'Landings Diary' & album - reinforces the point.
Excellent interview with Richard by mapsadaisical here (predictably insightful reviews here & here). Many thanks to Richard & Josh at Tompkins Square for permissions.
A Broken Consort > An Elder Lie (from Box of Birch, Tompkins Square [re-issue])