The third and final installment in Lucy Claire‘s “Works” series is a beautifully conceived EP that takes her music out of the confines of living room and studio to integrate with a variety of soundscapes. In a rather fresh take on the concept, she has taken an especially interactive approach which, when combined with her keen sense of narrative and use of binaural recording techniques, creates a series of vivid, immersive and pleasantly disorienting scenes. The magic is in the layering and juxtaposing of the many field recordings used in each piece and then contriving musical reactions to each setting.
“a Lisbon tram journey
a walk through an old ship building yard named Bucklers Hard
a car journey across the Pennines in a hail storm
a walk along a towpath in Dorset
a hike to a castle in Schwarzwald, Germany
a walk in the New Forest…”
“All Its Colours On Me” is a slow awakening from a pastoral dream amidst the rumble and clamor of a busy tram stop haunted by the pensive refrains of a lonely solo piano while “Ninety-Nine Stones” conjures visions of far-flung and exotic places as imagined in the minds of its peculiar protagonists.
“It is a story about ninety-nine scientists based at the South Pole who had seen nothing but snow, ice and man-made objects for several months at a time. One year someone smuggled in ninety-nine stones and as a Christmas gift gave each resident at the base one stone. Everyone sat holding their stones in quiet reflection feeling the weight of the stone without uttering a word. I imagined the jumble of sounds they might each individually be hearing in their heads, sounds from all around the world, where home is and where the pebble took them back to. I wanted to make them all sound at once. The solo violin part performed by my long time collaborator Marie Schreer and is my musical reaction to the story.” – Lucy Claire
The closing piece called “Underground” actually captures Lucy in a subterranean performance that is part dance and part conversation as she interacts with the bustling masses moving around and above her through just her piano.
“I’ve used soundscapes a lot in my work and this time I wanted to try recording a musical reaction to a soundscape in the actual place. The last piece on the record, Underground, was performed in Canary Wharf station, underground, beneath The City and all the decisions being made in the sky. I performed it along with the soundscape – each take is different as I reacted to the people going past, the ever-changing soundscape and the continuous beeping of the ticket barrier. The soundscape is as important as the piano.” – Lucy Claire
Scape Works is a fine conclusion to an exceptional series and epitomizes the beguiling mix of elegance, experimentation, and collaboration that always makes Lucy’s work so compelling to listen to. The EP is now available in a limited edition CD (100 copies) direct from her or as a digital release via 1631 Recordings.