A Sense of Place: Positano Songs by Will Ackerman

If you know the music of Will Ackerman, I’ll wager you will remember exactly where you were when you heard it for the first time. For me, it was in a record shop in Richmond’s Carytown where I was used to hearing much more energetic fare while browsing around. Will’s 1981 masterpiece Passage was spinning…

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A Sense of Place: Rift by Hugar

Known as The Land of Fire and Ice, few places contain more wonder per square mile than Iceland. The only part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea-level, its central volcanic plateau is constantly erupting. For longtime friends Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson who make up the duo Hugar, there is musical inspiration to…

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A Sense of Place: Isolarii by Corey Fuller and Richard Skelton

Isolarii is a word with roots going back to the Renaissance age that means ‘island books’. It represents a distinctive literary form that fuses many place-specific components together into a singular narrative that encompasses maps, nautical charts, travelogues, and history blended with elements of myth and legend. Its mere description ignites the imagination and so…

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A Sense of Place: Do Not Move Stones by Rose Riebl

“Two States of Mind” is more than just the moving final coda for Rose Ribel’s Do Not Move Stones. It also the piece that is perhaps most emblematic of the rich dualities that animate the album. A classically trained professional concert pianist who studied in both Sydney and Vienna and who has performed at some…

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A Sense of Place: Haunts by Grasscut

In 2015, Brighton duo Grasscut released Everyone Was A Bird, an album author Robert Macfarlane tells us in his liner note essay was “born of footfall”. Its eight pieces explored places important to composer Andrew Phillips and writer/musician Marcus O’Dair from the north coast of Jersey or a fallow field in the South Downs of…

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A Sense of Place: Bylur by Eydís Evensen

Born in the remote Icelandic town of Blönduós, we are told that as a child pianist & composer Eydís Evensen would stand in the howling wind and stare out the wild Westfjords pretending to conduct the clouds. Indoors she was exposed by her parents to a breadth of music from very early on ranging from…

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A Sense of Place: Archives by Cédric Dind-Lavoie

Canadian composer & multi-instrumentalist Cédric Dind-Lavoie reaches back through time to find a very special group of collaborators for his first full-length release since the wonderful 88 (2018, Preserved Sound). Archives is a specially treated anthology of songs from the 40s and 50s that have been drawn from the collections of distinguished folklorists of the…

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A Sense of Place: Domicile by Helios

It is fair to say that over the past year most of us have spent more time inside our homes than ever before. As a former commuter now working remotely, I’ve embraced the adjustment quite willingly, but it has still been a profound change in many ways. No longer walking in late with the brain…

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A Sense of Place: The Living Mountain by Jenny Sturgeon

Now recognized as one of the great masterpieces of nature writing, The Living Mountain is a personal memoir of journeys into the Cairngorm mountains by Scottish author Nan Shepherd. Written during the Second World War, but not published for another 30 years, its twelve chapters convey her experiences in sparse but lyrical terms to present…

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