River . Pathway . Static
“What speaks to us, seemingly, is always the big event, the untoward, the extra-ordinary: the front-page splash, the banner headlines. Railway trains only begin to exist when they are derailed… What we’re experiencing, the rest, where is it? How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the ordinary?” – Georges Perec, The Infra-Ordinary (1973)
River. Pathway. Static. takes field recordings as its starting point, capturing walks undertaken daily by musician Stephan Barrett. Along the River Lea, through Tottenham Marshes and across Downhills Park, Stephan and his collaborative partner Sylvia Hallett pay attention to the ordinary; the worlds that exist in cracks in the pavement that every day we fail to see.
Stephan and Sylvia perform between, behind and within these landscapes, their interventions and responses almost imperceptible from naturally occurring sound. The instruments and implements accompanying their walk include clarinet, a spring box, bells, a bowed bicycle wheel, mbira and whiskey glasses.
River . Pathway . Static is available as digital download, and as a limited edition cassette tape alongside a spoken word compilation scored by Nick Murray. It’s illustrated by drawings from award-winning composer and multimedia artist Nichola Scrutton, and accompanied by readings from the notebook of Colliding Lines artist Wes Freeman-Smith. It is the first in a series of collaborative audio projects from the label.
Includes Digital Download
£6 + P&P
“Sylvia and Stephan stand to the side, both passionate listeners and active participants… motivated to investigate every avenue of sound. The River Lea rolls, steady as the bells. Passing snatches of conversation are folded into the mix like an egg into a soufflé. Such music seems like a mirror held up to itself, building on the strength of its own reflection.” – Richard Allen, A Closer Listen
“At one moment, strings harmonies crest in unison with wind and traffic noise, with the instruments heeding the change without smothering the charm of environmental happenstance.. The project resides not wholly within any individual medium – the word, the image, the sound – and neither in the culmination of all three. We should turn also to the margins, and to the meanings lost in the act of transposition.” – Jack Chuter, ATTN:Magazine
Recorded by Stephan Barrett, Sylvia Hallett and Helen Frosi
Stephan Barrett: field recordings objects, keyboard, clarinet, bells, spring box
Sylvia Hallett: hardanger fiddle, bowed bicycle wheel, mbira, wine & whiskey glasses
Helen Frosi: field recordings
Wes Freeman-Smith: notebook readings
Mixed by Stephan Barrett & Sylvia Hallett
Mastered by Theresa Elflein