Flaming Pines – Rivers Home 6-10
Posted In: Flaming Pines, Katie English, Rivers Home 6-10
Comments: No Responses
Following on from Rivers Home Part 1, which featured EPs from Marcus Fischer, Field Rotation, Broken Chip, Kate Carr and Billy Gomberg; Flaming Pines bring us the second and final part of a collective ode to rivers worldwide. This time round we are treated to a series of EPs from The Boats, Seth Chrisman, Savaran, All N4tural and Dan Whiting. Working as part of the series as well as in their own right, each EP is accompanied by a story from the artist, relating the inspiration behind the work. This gives the listener a glimpse into the history surrounding a river, childhood memories or simply a description of the view from the studio window.
Based on hydrophone and field recordings made at the upper Rio Grande floodplain in January 2012, Seth Chrisman provides a single piece of glitchy ambience. The intricate sounds captured by the hydrophone produce a sound like no other, sounding at once highly processed yet pure and organic. Through the field recordings we get a definite sense of place; passing flocks of birds, the flickering of water insects, and so on, making this a celebration of the minute and intricate amongst the vastness of the river, all underpinned by a gently drifting drone.
Mark Walters, aka Savaran, takes his inspiration from his local surroundings of Shrewsbury, in particular the River Dovey in the Cambrian Mountains and beyond… Following the path of the river from ‘Dyffryn Dyfi – Meanders’ to ‘Ynyslas – Estuarine’, the two tracks offer a real sense of place and atmosphere. Processed bowed strings and field recordings weave in and out of one another, creating a drifting yet engaging soundscape. The second part of the EP features more in the way of field recordings, conveying a windswept estuary. Although there is a somnambulant quality to the work, the shifts in texture and harmony, along with slight glitches in the bowing, reflect the gentle yet unpredictable nature of rivers perfectly.
Andrew Boats provides us with a story of a dramatic childhood rescue of an intrepid younger self deciding to explore the River Calder in a bit too much detail and subsequently having to be rescued by a passer by. Although by his own admission, this story doesn’t necessarily have much influence over the track. This is simply a piece put together featuring field recordings of the River Calder, along with The Boats’ trademark glitches and melodic warmth. It’s seriously lovely work, concept or not.
Drawing on the historical aspects of the Georges River in south-western Sydney, Dan Whiting’s two pieces provide a meditation on the duality of a river that flows not only through densely populated towns, but also protected bushland. ‘Slow Boats and Dragonflies’ meanders peacefully, its slow shifts in harmony being interspersed with distant crackles and electronic glitches. ‘Dawn’s Resilience’ takes on an unsettling edge as nervy, discordant tones flicker across the soundscape. These gradually subside to make way for gently drifting tones, which take on a more melodic role. However, the discordance remains throughout; rising and falling within the texture, never quite letting the piece become too comfortable. Whiting points out the importance of maintaining the history of places, as well as contributing to their history and this is certainly a worthy offering.
All N4tural’s contribution maps out a journey that involves a dragon, a ferryman and a lost language. Opening with the unsettling tones of ‘In Mists, I Crossed the Rhine at Loreley’ we are greeted by a static drone and steadily slow beat are interspersed with a distant fairground organ-like sound. This gradually grows in intensity as the drone suddenly engulfs the listener whilst the beat briefly fragments and distorts before returning to its familiar pattern. The gratingly harsh intensity of ‘That Dragon Came from Far Siam’ acts as a brief interlude before the glitch-led ‘I Tried to Tell the Ferryman’. Acting as a companion track to ‘He, Too, From my Point of View, Spoke in Tongues’, the two tracks feature distorted and highly processed vocal tracks; similar yet different to the other, demonstrating the frustration of the ferryman and passenger. We finish with the whimsical vocal led ‘But the Sirens Led me Astray, Though I Turned Back Once’, its polyphonic textures crisscrossing to form an immersive texture.
All in all a great series of pieces that work equally well individually as they do as a collection. Be it designed to create a sense of place, or more story focused, each artist has conveyed something very personal and specific whilst contributing something cohesive to the Rivers Home series as a whole.
Available through Stashed Goods
- Katie English for Fluid Radio