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Featuring 10 new compositions of electronics, tapes, records, objects, found sounds, words, accidents, coincidences, echoes...
A transistor radio signal lost between Italian radio stations, a record crackles, a piano is pushed from a window in some dreamlike sequence, an old Casio fades in and out, traffic passes on a London street, plastic beads become rainfall…
Joined Apart was formed over a number of years and was recorded, mixed, edited and remixed at different times and places in Manchester, London and the countryside in Northern Italy. Found sounds, found objects, rediscovered tracks, new improvisations, field recordings, scraps of forgotten or unfinished works are brought together by a combination of analogue and digital techniques and improvised processes- too many to remember what was done where. Inspired in parts by found materials, journeys, isolation, bleak landscapes, accidents, coincidences and finding and losing love. The cover photo is taken from a train arriving in Oxford Road station, Manchester
Some reflections on the making of the album
Joined Apart features 10 new compositions made from samples, found sounds, bits of old unused recordings spanning a few years composed and mixed in 2015. It became an album almost by accident. While trying to make some new works I decided to find some of my old stuff to listen to and found a number of sound files and unfinished tracks I never used for one reason or other. Some where more recent Logic projects and some where MP3s of finished recordings. Some of these were remixed and edited and some parts used in new compositions. One track has the left channels removed and the right channels remixed into a kind-of-stereo. In another an electric piano bass line is lifted from an unfinished 'song' and used to add some rhythm to an otherwise abstract composition. That bass line is probably the most musical thing ever to features in one of my compositions. The new material I was working on using samples from records and tapes, electronics and synthesiser gradually became collaged and mixed with bits of the old stuff I was finding. The process became about repurposing the material, cutting, pasting, rearranging meaning every track has had some part of it or been entirely composed in a computer program though the elements of improvisation are still there and on some tracks parts were improvised in real time along with the arranged elements. To me the album sounds rough or unfinished in places. I don't mind this as I usually feel like nothing I make is finished it just arrives at a place where I think it is interesting enough and I am happy to share it.
Most of the tracks were mixed and finished in Manchester in May and June 2015. The album was published on 23 June 2015.
The personal story behind this work is one of discovery and change. The short version is: In 2013 I was living in Manchester and had already been recording, performing and exhibiting as an artist. I was suffering with severe depression and came to the conclusion that I should leave Manchester to get a new perspective on my life. I applied for a Master's in Sound Arts at The London College of Communication, what I considered to be a long shot but worth a try. I got a place on that course and before I knew it I was quitting my job and moving to London in December of 2014. I was studying full time and trying to survive in London. The course gave me access to so many great people and opportunities and really helped me galvanise my idea of what my work was and what I wanted to do as an artist. I met a girl on the course, we started living together and she basically saved my life. We stayed in Italy for a few months and tried to work out a life together but by the time I finished this album that relationship had ended and I was back in Manchester. The story is not important to the listening of the album but for me all the experiences and events are part the composition as much as the sounds.
Some notes on the individual tracks
These can also be found with the release in Bandcamp
01 Right Channels
Tapes, cymbals, objects, Buddha Machine, electronics, keyboards. The right channels from what was originally a stereo mix re-mixed into a kind of stereo. Originally recorded in 2012 and remixed in 2015.02 Falling Piano Dream
A record for tuning a bass guitar, a record for testing stereo turntable equipment, a real found recording of a piano falling from a window.03 Both Channels
Original version of Right Channels with both left and right output mixed in stereo. Tapes, objects, Buddha Machine, cymbals. With the sound of a tape recorder breaking under the strain of misuse.04 Maria With Object And Bow
Recordings of radio static from the middle of the North Italian countryside and an improvisation with a metal object and bow recorded in London some months earlier. Radio Maria is an Italian Catholic radio station.05 Broken Square
Mini digital synthesiser, square wave tone generator, toy keyboard and an electromagnetic pickup coil channeling internal electrical sounds from the computer during recording.06 Ten Stage Phaser Version 1
Loops and echoes of mini digital synthesiser, square wave tone generator, radio static, electromagnetic pickup coil channeling internal electrical sounds from the equipment.07 Listen The Birds
A composition from an old set of records of European bird sounds. Some parts of the records contain background sounds of ocean waves, trains, church bells.08 Owl Factory
Including sounds from the Nintendo Gamecube startup screen, found cassettes and a toy keyboard. The sudden ending is accidental due to a power failure during recording.09 Records And Chimes
Improvising with turntables and records to a borrowed recording of hands playing with the chimes of a broken clock.10 Walk In Plastic Rain
A field recording from a walk in London
A recording of plastic beads in a flat in ManchesterAn excerpt from a reading of a short story about meetings, coincidences and heartbreakA borrowed recording of hands playing inside a broken clockA bass line from a song written on electric piano in a half-built house