Since Aven was released to much acclaim by Touch in 2016, Los Angeles based sound artist and composer Bethan Kellough has remained busy drawing on her sound design and field recording practice to create ambisonic compositions for installations, film & media not to mention participating in artistic residencies, workshops, and interviews around the globe. While that offers people the opportunity to hear her work in a wide variety of contexts, fans of that early album experience have no doubt been longing for yet another to delve into and will be very happy to hear about Gravity + Sand, a brand new EP which offers four tracks centered around field recordings collected between August and October of last year.
Gravity + Sand is about sounds held in memory between two visits to the same location.
The EP takes the listener on an extraordinarily vivid sonic journey on a scale that belies its compact size. In her characteristic style, Bethan creates field recordings teeming with intricate details while managing to capture a sense of the vastness of the surrounding landscape and blends them with bold musical compositions ranging from swooning neoclassical strings to kaleidoscopic electronica. There are times when field recordings only offer rewards to the most patient of listeners, but Gravity + Sand shows they can be part of an intense and gripping sonic narrative in concentrated bursts as well.
Gravity + Sand was mastered by Lawrence English and is available as a digital download from the Rome, Italy based Superpang imprint. Readers may also enjoy hearing Bethan participate in a fascinating panel on the topic of desert field recording in a recent episode of the Tonebenders Podcast along with George Vlad, Thomas Rex Beverly, and Zach Goheen as well as her stellar contribution to the Place Language project called “Black-east from the crow“.