Sound Impression: Thomas Ragsdale – Dear Araucaria [This Is It Forever]


Thomas Ragsdale, who makes electronic music as Winter Son as well as music for film & television under his own name, will soon be releasing a most endearing EP on cassette through This Is It Forever, a label run by his worriedaboutsatan band-mate Gavin Miller. It is an homage to the late crossword setter John Graham known as Araucaria to readers of The Guardian.

The construction of the EP mirrors its cryptic subject matter, six tracks composed of the exact same elements created from treated guitar and piano, each given a slightly different arrangement and treatment. The music is tender, eloquent and affecting, commensurate with the gentle character that the beloved puzzle-maker appeared to have been. As the sentiments deepen with each track, so does a feeling that the music is connecting with a deeper sense of personal loss to which both artist and listener can relate, especially on the penultimate “Reflection” and the final coda, “Time to Go”, a title that was a solution in Graham’s final puzzle which serves a poignant double meaning here. Quite a departure from the ominous tone of Ragsdale’s recent soundtrack work, but one that is both welcome and utterly charming.

Dear Araucaria will be released on February 1 on specially made cassette tape packages iin a white lace wrapped vintage matchbox with dried flowers and featuring a crossword printed on postcard with nostalgic clues to decipher the track titles. No doubt these will be a limited run, so interested readers are encouraged to visit the site as soon as the release is announced.


Read more: Araucaria’s last puzzle: crossword master dies

Listen to “Time to Go”

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