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Day #333/365: An aqueous running through your fingers…

Trails and Influences: Electronic Ether. Case #41/52.

Well, while I’m thinking of “21st century pastoral electronica” or indeed “electronica played on and summoned from the land and soil” (see Day #155/365)…

The Water Of Life project could well be said to be electronica (and accompanying aspects) summoned from aqua and the waterways…

Multi-layered is a word that comes to mind when thinking of this work by Tommy Perman and Rob St. John’s. There are so many layers that, like its inspiration, it can seem to run through your fingers, twist and turn to reveal other facets each time you explore the project…

Forest Memory-Exhibition-Time The Deer-Amy Cutler-Folkore Tapes-David Chatton Barker-Samandthplants-Rob St John-A Year In The Country…it reminds me in that sense of Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig (see Day #226/365), with which it shares a collaborator/signpost or two…

A good starting point/summation/points of intrigue for me is some of the text on the Water Of Life LPs page in the ether, starting with a quote from Caught By The River / David Hemmingway which tilts towards that sense of aqueous elusiveness:

“I write that Water of Life seems to have “culminated” in a record but in truth the single doesn’t feel like an end to the project, a full-stop, a plug. Rather, it’s more akin to a taking of a water-sample, a dipping of toes into something that might well develop a life of its own and surge onwards.” (Caught By The River)

…and when I’ve been a-listening to the related music, I’ve thought this is not a million miles away from some of the work of The Advisory Circle or the world of Ghost Box, a sense of spectral explorations of voices/sounds from the past and hauntological concerns, albeit with a maybe gentler, more pastoral edge (and so back to 21st century pastoral electronica), combined with a certain academic/fine art explorative viewpoint…

These tracks, an ‘alternative travelogue’, evoke memories of 1970s Tomorrow’s World style programmes about a brave new world and as such fit into the hauntological universe of acts such as The Advisory Circle and The Eccentronic Research Council.” (The Active Listener)

Water Of Life-Rob St John-Tommy Perman-A Year In The Country-insert

I suppose this would could be considered hauntological river recordings, as a companion area of sound work/research to field recordings:

“…blurs field recordings with folksong, vintage synths and ambient electronica to create something at once natural, unnatural, and in perfect harmony with its source.” (The List)

Or indeed, when reading about the way the music/project was created I was put in mind of Atom Eye’s Otolith sessions and its sense of technologies from just yesteryear and their use in field recording explorations:

Recordings made with hydrophone, ambient and contact microphone recordings of rivers, spring houses, manhole covers, pub barrel rooms, pipelines and taps are mixed with the peals and drones of 1960s transistor organs, harmoniums, Swedish micro-synths, drum machines and iPads: a blend of the natural and unnatural; modern and antiquated; hi-fi and lo-fi. Drum beats were sampled from underwater recordings, and reverbs created using the convolution reverb technique to recreate the sonic space of different bodies of water.” (Water Of Life)

Water Of Life-Rob St John-Tommy Perman-Magnetic-Etheric-Caught By The River-A Year In The CountryVarious other pathways (waterways?) in the ether:
Rob St. John. Magnetic-Etheric. Chthonic Cities/Folklore Tapes.
Water Of Life. Tommy Perman. Ether victrola. Cut out and make your own.Chthonic Cities-Folklore Tapes-Rob St John-A Year In The Country


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