Travelogue 2017.09.17: A Summer of Eilean

It has been a little while – too long in fact – since we have visited the shores of the Eilean, an imaginary territory the map of which is now dotted & colored by 60 albums covering a broad and eclectic spectrum of ambient, electroacoustic, and modern classical music. The label saw five outstanding releases over the summer months by Bill Seaman, Toàn, Josco & Spheruleus, Francesco Giannico & Giulio Aldinucci, and Monty Adkins and has begun the transition to autumn with an exceptional debut record by Cicely Irvine. Here is a brief synopsis of each along with selected tracks for the reader to explore as well as links to the artists whose work is featured on the covers where available. (Note: most of these limited editions sold out soon after their release, but some may be available in small quantities; check the linked Bandcamp pages for details).

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Paddy Mulcahy – The Words She Said

On his most fully realized album to date, composer/producer Paddy Mulcahy offers up eight beautiful experiments in juxtaposing solo piano minimalism with vibrant synthesizer constructions. While some of his previous releases demonstrated Mulcahy quite capable of inventively sketching and improvising in a compressed time frame, the music on The Words She Said was cultivated over a two-year period

The album was started in the Summer of 2015 during a recording trip around Germany and London. Paddy then continued to work on the album while finishing his BSc degree in Music Production at Limerick Institute Of Technology. The album was inspired by the similarities and contrasts between pianos and synthesizers, and this relationship was conveyed through the use of various recording and mixing techniques.

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IN-IS: Seven Days [NW1 Records]

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The music of Sheridan Tongue has traveled the cosmos with Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox and haunted the gritty, shadowy worlds of characters like detective inspector Alan Banks (DCI Banks) and spy-master Harry Pierce (Spooks, aka MI-5). After years of helping bring the visions of others to life, the BAFTA nominated composer unveils a narrative of his own in the form a new project called IN-IS to which he brings all his potent cinematic storytelling abilities interwoven with colorful strands pulled from classical, ambient, and electronic music.

I want my music to have a duality so it can mean different things to different people. I don’t want to impose too strong a single feeling. I am more interested in colours, textures and layers in music over melodies than more traditional aspects of composing.” – Sheridan Tongue

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Robert Curgenven – Climata [Dragon’s Eye Recordings / Recorded Field Editions]

Climata_DER_RFEWe often think of sound as something that we experience, consume, and internalize but Australian-born, Ireland-based composer Robert Curgenven looks at it a little bit differently and reminds us that it has physical properties, a shape, an embodiment that shares spaces with us. He explores this in a particularly captivating fashion on Climata, a dual CD release available on Yann Novak’s Dragon’s Eye Recordings and Curgenven’s own Recorded Field Editions label. The album was created with unique site-specific recordings captured in 15 of artist James Turrell‘s Skyspaces spread across 9 countries. Skyspaces are proportioned chambers with apertures in the ceiling open to the sky that can stand alone or be integrated into an existing architecture.

“Each of the individual recordings, with their quiet & slowly changing microtonal interventions made in-situ, interrogate and offer a specific document of weather, location and duration framed by the architecture of the Skyspace – a frame that blurs the distinction between interiority and exteriority – while allowing the physicality of the Skyspace to be subtly rendered audible.” – Robert Curgenven

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A Sense of Place: Drombeg – Earthworks [Futuresequence]

Positioned on the south-western coast of Ireland, picturesque County Kerry boasts some of the regions most iconic scenery and ancient history. It also home to singer and musician Thom Brookes who introduced us to his ambient music project Drombeg last year with Notes From the Ocean Floor, an EP released by Futuresequence. Brookes has followed this up with a new full length album on the label, a more expansive and conceptually unified record called Earthworks which captures the sense of this very special place where it was made

A soundtrack for the middle-of-nowhere, the wild landscapes of Brookes’ native Southern Ireland are littered with historic (Tumulus), and geological (Béarra) structures hardened under the relentless elements. Sinuous string melodies, and tender piano phrases reach like sunlight breaking through heavy clouds, blended with electronics and field recordings in careful balance to produce a rich cinematic sound. – Futuresequence

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