"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Monday, 15 August 2011

Shape of clouds

Ahead of an imminent-ish look at a great Australian artist whose raft of essential forthcoming releases includes one for Room40, it'd be rude not to acknowledge another essential forthcoming release by another great Australian artist - & R40's label head.

Is The Peregrine Lawrence English's best since the magnificent, monstrous Kiri No Oto? Or even his best, bar none? Probably not a particularly productive line of enquiry, but the first couple of tasters suggests it will immediately claim a leading place in his pantheon.

The stream & video below capture it summoning real profundity & profound beauty from a soaring, layered vastness. I can imagine returning to The Peregrine repeatedly for many years & continually finding new wonders in it...

Blurb: "The Peregrine was realized in sound during the first half of 2011. Based upon J.A. Baker’s book of the same name, the album is contingent upon the descriptions of land, environment, and movement contained within the text and further develops Lawrence English's experimentation in harmonic distortion and saturation.

"I first discovered The Peregrine some years ago whilst visiting with David Toop in London. The book had popped up on David's radar and whilst chatting in his loft, I happened to pick it up. The page I opened to described the sound of a Barn Owl on the hunt. Before I finished that paragraph I knew I needed to own this book and find out more about the somewhat mysterious English author J.A. Baker.

I feel The Peregrine epitomises a kind of obsessive rendering of landscape and environment. Throughout the book, Baker places central focus on the micro and macro worlds which surrounding him. He expends as much attention on the shape of clouds or the murmur of a river as on the bird, which inspires him to write. At no point does the idea of humanness come to dominate – in fact human kind merely appears as haunting images that, as Baker summarises, ‘stink of death'. Elegantly misanthropic. Even the author remains oddly mute – we never discover anything about him, not what he does, how he lives or even where he sleep or eats. He is merely a conduit through which land is rendered.

This record is a homage to The Peregrine. Having not spent any great amount of time in East Anglia where the book is set, I have used Baker's descriptions and suggested mappings as a guide to the character and composition of the LP. The Peregrine has profoundly affected my work and it's for this reason I felt compelled to create this piece.

I hope it conjures up for listener just a few of the lasting impressions the book has left on me and in the process I dearly hope others can discover J.A Baker's evocative writings – thankfully now back in print!"

December 24 - Frost's Bitter Grip - Lawrence English

While we're in R40 territory, the label also has compelling releases from Chihei Hatakeyama & Steinbruechel ahead. Stream tasters of both - Chihei's lovely swelling meditations, Steinbruechel's deeply subtle interplay of drone & thrum - below.

Oh, & finally: can't wait for this concert with LE's Lonely Women's Club plus the legendary Tony Conrad & compelling Nicola Ratti...

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

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