Seaworthy & Matt Rösner - Two Lakes (12k, 2010)

on Monday, 18 October 2010

Those won over by Annea Lockwoods epic "A Sound Map of The Danube" or even those that found it a little too epic will welcome the sound of the Seaworthy's collaboration with Matt Rösner, two lakes is based upon...well fairly obviously sound recordings made at two lakes, namely Meroo and Termeil.

Like the aforementioned Annea Lockwood and maybe less "out there" contemporaries (less "out there" in the sense that their pieces tend to have a less tenuous connection to the art we know as music rather than literally being the sound of water, birds and all sorts of wildlife) such as Jana Winderen and BJ Nilsen, the sound here is very much at one with nature, the lush and tireless sound of water lapping and flowing, gentle winds causing delicate microphone static and the lovely drones that Matt Rösner has already made us familiar with once this year on his Repeat album.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be holed up in the city all autumn then maybe this might be your first step towards reminding yourself of the beauty of nature.

Mp3 source: Brainwashed

Spoiler : What The Label Said:
In April 2010 12k recording artist Seaworthy (the recording project of Cameron Webb) and Matt Rösner travelled to the south coast of New South Wales to undertake a detailed field recording study of two coastal lake ecosystems at the Lakes Meroo and Termeil. The aim of the project was to explore the sounds of a fragile coastal Australian environment and to build from those sounds unique musical pieces that provide a place for listener contemplation and reflection.

Field recordings were taken from the lakes and surrounding beaches, forests and streams at different times of the day. Various equipment including a hydrophone, a shotgun and stereo microphones were used to capture the natural sounds of each lake. During breaks in field recoridng, the artists set up recording equipment in a nearby lakeside cabin. Using acoustic and electric guitars, a ukelele and electronics, a series of improvised performances were documented. On the last day of the trip, with the experience of the recording process still fresh in mind, rough arrangements were created from the field recordings and improvised sets. Matt Rösner then took these arrangements back to his studio in Myalup - a small coastal town on the opposite side of the Australian continent - to mix and finalize the production.

Both Rösner and Webb have been active in the Australian experimental music scene for over 10 years with a plethora of releases on local and international labels, sharing a similar vision of molding found sounds and field recordings with traditional instrumentation and electronics. Aside from shared musical interest both artists grew up in close connection with the Australian coastline, albeit on opposite sides of the continent. This connection with their landscape as a remote and diverse place is evident in the pieces created by the artists during their collaboration on the South Coast.

Two Lakes marks the third full-length appearance for Seaworthy on 12k following 2006’s Map In Hand and 2009’s 1897 and blends his signature guitar style with the beautifully arranged field recordings and electronics of Matt Rösner. Two Lakes is a strikingly stark and lonely album undeniably influenced by the remote recording cabin and delicate Australian ecosystem. The blend of instrumentation comes off more like a natural, live duet between artist and nature than a modern-day layered recording. Webb’s finger picked acoustic guitar and ukelele play off of the sounds of wind, reeds and insects in perfect harmony, supported by soft beds of eBowed drones and careful electronic tones. Despite their human presence Rösner and Webb manage to create music that resonates on another level, as if composed by the lakes themselves.

The artists have set up a blog where you will find additional photographs, field recordings and notes from the Two Lakes session. It is also a way for Webb and Rösner to keep an ongoing dialogue between themselves and to expand on the project.

Spoiler : What Boomkat Said:
A brilliant new collaboration from two of Australia's leading electroacoustic practitioners, Two Lakes finds Seaworthy's Cameron Webb joining forces with Matt Rösner for an album based upon the sounds of the coastal ecosystems of Lakes Meroo and Termeil in New South Wales. The duo set about collecting detailed location recordings of the various lakeside habitats and environments, capturing sound from forest regions, streams and beaches at different times of day. Hydrophones as well as more conventional mics were used to document the natural sonic activity, and the two musicians even found some time to set-up a studio in a nearby cabin so as to lay down improvised instrumental performances using acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele and electronics. Instrumental and environmental sounds are unified in the final mix, and the results never fail to be enthralling. That's not always the case with albums of this kind. It's all too easy for music like this to become a little wishy-washy - neither one thing nor the other - but Two Lakes feels like a very synergetic meeting of documentary field recording and instrumental performance. The tone of a piece such as 'Meroo Stream' far transcends the sort of pastoral tranquility you'd expect from such a project, and instead there's a real sense of solitude, and even... dampness permeating through the mix. Superbly recorded and beautiful on a surprisingly visceral level, Two Lakes comes very highly recommended indeed.