'The House Was Alright' - new album created with a writer through a remote collaboration

In this period of enforced isolation I’ve continued a collaboration that I began with a Belgian writer last year. With bandcamps supportive fee waiving gesture aproaching we were encourage to shape these sketches into something more cohesive and actually share it with the world. It’s a combination of spoken word and electroacoustic compositions.

Across five poetic collages Tineke’s texts conjure a world of images, from emotional weather to horses frozen in lakes, her voice captured on handheld recorders and borrowed microphones. While these soft spoken words offer evocations and questions, I tried to respond through sound with the twists and turns of granular fragments, haunting tones on the edge of perception and pulsing bursts of resonant noise. Acoustic instruments got folded back in on themselves using pulsar synthesis while field recordings were processed until they become almost memories of imagined landscapes.

Thematically, all the pieces come from thinking about a world in trouble, its climate and the loneliness of the people in it, wondering how to move through it. From different motivations, over different grounds, through divided and changing landscapes.

‘Being Hungry’ was written at the beginning of spring as some of us entered lockdown. Inspired by the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach, it imagines a small group of people that decided to devote themselves to the practice of just walking, a passion for moving around without a distinctive aim. ‘Old Refrain’ and ‘No Cold Can Hold’ were both commissioned by the artist Aidan Moesby and created in response to his project about climate change and mental health ‘I was naked smelling of rain’. In ‘Old Refrain’, Tineke explored the inability to ‘talk about the weather’ as a common trait of anxiety. For her “the piece is about the difficulty of (emotional) communication, about desiring connection through daily dialogue while at the same time resisting it”. ‘No Cold Can Hold’ zooms in on a moment of frost (both literally and metaphorically), and the ambivalent powers it contains.

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