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William Fowler Collins

Hallucinating Loss (LP)

Label: Western Noir Recordings, sicksicksick

Format: LP

Genre: Electronic

In stock


In Hallucinating Loss, composer William Fowler Collins presents one hell of a cinematic record. Through a sweeping grandeur and telescoped gestures, he offers a poignant and powerful meditation on grief, loss, and sorrow. Completed before the 2020 pandemic besieged the US, this is an album that presages the conditions of anguish that many have felt throughout this very difficult season.

For this album, Collins furthers the connectivity between film and sound by recruiting his friends and colleagues whom he could direct through the composition of this work. Those include Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost (both of A Hawk and a Hacksaw), Aaron Martin, Maria Valentina Chirico, and Johanna Hedva. This directed collaboration is a new process for Collins on this album and points to a shift in how his future recordings may unfold.

Mournful passages and soaring crescendos for cellos, violin, harmonium, and guitar dominate the compositions, oozing with emotional portent. His previous recordings for SIGE, Type, and Root Strata had all channeled the might of the discordant and harmonic drone, but none rise to the heights of manifesting the complexities of the human condition as on Hallucinating Loss.

The album opens with a rupture, an explosion of smoldering distortion and noise that gradually decays as a somber echo, setting the mood for the rest of the album. Breathy vocalizations and slow-chant utterances from Johanna Hedva couple with Collins’s languid guitar drones on “Death Acquires A Different Meaning,” gradually lifting off as sustained, controlled caterwauls. Angelic. Diabolical. Haunted. The reverberant screeches truly reflect the eponymous thesis for “Interpreting Nightmares,” recalling the latter day abstracted horror from Andrew Liles and even Current 93. A shaman’s drum surges through the sustained swarms and tones from voice and strings on “Preliminal Rites,” alluding to
the percussive dissonance of his 2018 album Field Music. The heroic gloom of the album’s finale unfolds through elegant layers of looped cello, alluding to the graceful plasticity of the best Gas recordings.- Jim Haynes

“The music made by William Fowler Collins is sculptural, unwaveringly focused, and succeeds in being deeply evocative while utilizing only the most minimal sonic forms. Events arrive and recede in elemental and seismic fashion—seemingly created by natural forces rather than human hand. That said, William’s musical voice is compellingly distinct whether he is using his primary instrument of guitar, manipulating electronics and field recordings, or as a director in tandem with his collaborators. The potency of his compositions is built not only on the sounds he creates but within his admirable restraint and deeply affective use of space. It is music as much of absence as it is of presence.” - Aaron Turner (Sumac, Sige Records)

“Hallucinating Loss, the new record by William Fowler Collins, is a collection of pieces whose atmosphere would be well suited to soundtrack a film version of a Flannery O’Connor story. Each track describes a new, forsaken destination, submerged in the gothic undertow of haunted echoes and reverberations that drift from right from under your nose out to the horizon. Mystical monophony, astronomy, the inner worlds of dreams, and pre-Christian paganist revelry are explored along a winding trail that always leads back to a mountainous, shifting drone lurking in holy gloom.” - Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Neutral Milk Hotel)

Cat. number: SSSK074 / WN001
Year: 2022

Composed, recorded, edited, and mixed by William Fowler Collins.

Additional recording by Jeremy Barnes, Maria Valentina Chirico, Johanna Hedva, and Aaron Martin.

William Fowler Collins: guitars, synthesizers
Johanna Hedva: vocals on 2
Aaron Martin: cello on 3, 6
Maria Valentina Chirico: vocals and harmonium on 4, vocals on 5
Heather Trost: violin, viola on 5
Jeremy Barnes: percussion on 5

Mastering by John Dieterich.

Cut by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering.

Artwork by Claudia X. Valdes. Design by William Fowler Collins.

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