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Altars Altars – Small Hours
A half an hour continuing the mastery of ambient haze lifting off magnetic tape and peacefully drifting into you consciousness. Four tracks on this cd, two long and two short. A mix between sparkling light dancing across the water surface and becoming mesmerized by a wonderfully droning moment in natural existence. All four tracks are very different but combine exceptionally well making Small Hours way to short in time of play – Lost in a Sea of Sound
This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.
I first came across Marihiko Hara’s work in 2007, with his ‘Cesura’ release on the excellent Italian net-label – Zymogen. It really drew me in more than most other work that was doing the rounds at the same time. It had the sort of organic details and attention to beautiful subtle developments that I had only really heard in offthesky and Nicolas Bernier before (both label mates on Zymogen I should add). It became my soundtrack to that year and an album I returned to almost daily during the winter months. After this I followed Marihiko’s work carefully, from his rather fantastic 2009 ‘Icon’ release on Cotton Goods to his recent ‘Prosa’ collaboration with Tomas Phillips on Tench Records.
Age of Insects is the result of a series of visits made by Mark and Laura to Stephen’s studio in Virginia between May 2009 and January 2010.
The three improvised around common interests in analog electronics and digital manipulation, field recordings and instrumental performance practice. These recordings presented here feature only minimal editing and post-production, with a primary intent of capturing shared moments of listening and response.
The titles refer to extinct insects—the imagined hum and flutter of their calls, flight and communication.