RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Relmic Statute: Oscillating Frequencies of Morning

img  Tobias

The title of the album suggests a close relationship between the field recordings and the finished music. Was your compositional approach directly inspired by the source materials and their sound?
On some tracks yes. When you listen back to field recordings repeatedly, then you can start to pick out tiny sounds which after a while show their 'true melodic content'. Every sound oscillates at a certain frequency and so in turn every sound in the field recordings on 'morning tapes' can be applied to a specific note or set/string of notes. I think its all the tiny inflections and unpredictable pauses that give especially forest and nature-based field recordings such a subtle melodic character.

You even seem to search for melodies in natural sound. Are there examples of tracks on „Morning Tapes“ where you actually found these?

Well, there's the obvious bird calls and song on 'looking for the right spot'. But also the ceramic sounding rhythmic sounding clicks at the start of 'rehoiyo'. These were close-miced recordings of earwigs on dried leaves walking around. I then put these sounds through different effects to highlight the clickey rhythmic quality of these insects walking around. And also the second drone ambient sound to fade in at the start of 'a test for tapes and memories'. This was air flowing fast at some tunnels in Leeds which I then ran through a compressor to highlight its harmonic aspect.

Not only the field recordings for the album were collected in the morning. You also recorded all instrumental parts early in the day ...
To me, recording in the morning has a different feel and atmosphere. Everything seems a little more 'careful to form' and for me personally helps me to build more delicate harmonies better. Even field recordings taken in the morning, in terms of dynamics etc, have a certain 'clear edge' to them. Tracks from Chris Watson's „Stepping into the dark“, where he takes recordings at dawn at the river Mara, are a really good example of this.

Would it be a correct perception that, even though the album title might suggest otherwise, you're not really a conceptual artist?

Yeah, I like to use concepts and ideas, but I don't think its the 'be all and end all'. Concepts are just tools. So with 'just a thought', for example, I took a simple radio transmission and a repeated guitar loop and just went with the flow of the track, not trying to make any particular statements. It was 'just a thought'.

Nine years are a long time. Did your approach to composing change a lot during this period?
Not particularly, no. The main aspect that changed was equipment. Whereas before on my first release on cottongoods the sounds were recorded directly to cassette and 1/4" tape, with this project some of the the tracks were recorded using 24bit digital recording and valve pre-amps etc, So it was a new learning curve for me to mix both digital and analogue ie. cassette recording's in the same track, for example, It was fun and interesting.

You've been credited with using „alphabetic junction, rain melody and pitch axis theory“ as techniques. What are these exactly?

Alphabetic junction is quite simple. I found out about it though the jazz guitarist Pat Martino. The idea is that you take the alphabet:

Repeated series of notes taken for example' from a scale,ie:


Then you would select a series of words maybe lyrics etc and from that select the adjacent note's from the key above for example:-
MORNING TAPES would be :

You can then use this series of notes as a starting point for instrumentation or harmonic 'stepping stones' within a track etc.
Rain melody is a loose term for 'note choice directly/physically made by the elements'. For this I marked a gird with a glass pen-marker and on the grid was a matrix of musical notes. When it rained I noted down how the droplets of water ran down over different notes on the grid and then used these string of notes for riffs and harmonies.

Pitch axis theory is a musical technique used in constructing chord progressions. The tonic, or root, is used as the base note, and melodic scales are chosen according to the chords that lie beneath them. It really helps with making instrumented sounds mesh nicely with noise and non-musical recordings, as they may have a specific mood but not a melodic focal point. So using modal structures kinda has a hold on both of these aspects.

With your first two albums, you have now, in a way, covered both the earliest and the latest times of the day (if one regards „Lanterns Glow“ a reference to the night) – a question of personal reference?
I think so yeah. I feel comfortable with the principle of how different times of the day affect my music, similar in principle to the raga system in classical Indian music and eastern techniques. Again, I try to use it as a tool and not as the central focus on which my music is made.

Homepage: Relmic Statute
Homepage: Morning Tapes at Bandcamp
Homepage: Hibernate Recordings

Related articles

Interview with Premonition Factory
It is bemusing in a ...
Chihei Hatakeyama: "Ghostly Garden"; "A Long Journey"
A romantic Descartes: Twisted deja-vues ...
Terry Fox: "The Labyrinth Scored for 11 Cats"
An obsessive discourse: A labyrinth ...
Corey Fuller: "Seas Between"
Growing discomfort: A bold statement ...
Tenniscoats: "Temporacha"
Japanese and Western influences: Music ...
Mathieu Ruhlmann: "tsukubai"
Intimate revelations: A psychedelic Hyper-pond ...
V.A.: "2 - Favourite Spaces"; "Sound Matter Birmingham"
Exploratory and endearing: Aspects of ...
B.J. Nilsen: "The Invisible City"
Now you are jacked in: ...
Chihei Hatakeyama: Longing for Nature
Terms like "busy bee" were ...
Chihei Hatakeyama: "Saunter"; "The River"
Lucky incidents: Hatakeyama's music triggers ...

Partner sites