Label: Castles in Space
This album is about the micro world of a garden in a small coastal town. For two weeks either side of the 2021 summer solstice Kieran Mahon routinely made field recordings of his garden from pre-dawn until the first stirrings of people beginning their days. “After ending up with hours of recordings”, Kieran explains, “I then spent a long period listening and immersing myself in the environment - the ebb and flow, the subtle changes in atmosphere, the conversations between birds and insects, the wind, clouds, trees and the nearby sea and the perception of light. “This is a time most of us are not conscious of. As such, despite morning being the subject matter, from a human point of view it is an album as much about sleep as awakening. The music therefore is as based on both an imagined world and a literal one.
“I recorded numerous modular synth pieces in response to the field recordings and then began to incorporate these back into the mix. Conceptually I was inspired by Wendy Carlos’ Sonic Seasonings LP (1972), although the music in her case was made with a more dramatic quality. Whilst Carlos used very clear sign posts like the sound of rain, thunder, waves and wind in her work - playing out the narrative in almost cinematic way - I was more intrigued by tiny details, sometimes stepping outside of real time to give several minutes focus on something that only lasted a second to two. I was also keen not to try and replicate sounds occurring naturally. I realised the folly of an elaborate synth patch being used to mimc the already generative and mesmeric sounds of simple bird calls or insect wings.
“Musically I have had the eponymous Michael O’Shea album (1982) at the the forefront of my mind for sometime and owe it a debt of gratitude for some of the conclusions I have drawn, similarly I have been inspired by John James - from who’s 1970 LP I have borrowed my title.”