The Seaman And The Tattered Sail

Light Folds (Facture)

The latest Facture release, and only eighth in its catalog, is a monumental body of work, spanning over 9 hours of music! It took me a while to consume this collection, and I just attempted going through the double disc! Besides the twelve pieces on compact disk, there’s also a double vinyl, and a DVD, the latter clocking in at over 60 tracks. Right away, I’m beginning to grasp the concept from the interwoven titles. Besides the title track named “Light Folds“, there are also pieces called “Light Folds Across The Swells” and “One Delicately Touches The Light Folds.” There are also tracks titled “Light Against The Swells” and “Dust Against The Swells” followed by another theme with “A Tear In The Sails,” “A Tear In The Sea” and “A Tear In The Sky“. As you can see, there is a knitted fabric of the motif, with variations of the phrasing. Of course, the words are not alone, and the braided statement is acknowledged in the sound.

The music comes on like a daydream. Fuzzy layers of memories peel off like membranes which are hard to forget. Some cling to the past, some evaporate in the future. Shuffling textures are juxtaposed with tranquil piano and the strings… and then the melody will swerve, inclining on another passage. Sheets of atmospherics are occasionally brushed off to reveal yet one more coat of lightly patterned story. Although mostly beatless, the implied rhythms in these acoustic vignettes do not entirely match up, and there are times when my mind clings to a particular sketch, only to change later when another melody is shed. Deconstructing the individual scenes into their components is fruitless, as they would be left naked and regrettably alone. Together, in this feverish flotation through sublime and subconscious, the music allows one to sail on a vapor of specter by sky and by sea.

A culmination of over two years of work, the project is a result of a collaboration between Bill Seaman (aka SEA, Attsea, Otic.Info.Set, sp.op.cit, Spilly and the Drops) and Craig Tattersall (member of The Boats, The Remote Viewer, as well as recording under The Archivist, The Humble Bee, and many others). Hence is the name of this collaboration (Seaman and Tattersall – get it?), in which the digitally exchanged audio fragments keep morphing, colliding over and over. Tattersall’s particular aesthetic of ‘dusting’ is heard as a treatment throughout the work, with tape degradation, slight glitches and noise. This, of course, is applied to his piano, guitar, and synth sounds, along with some field recordings and analogue loops. Fed back through Seaman’s imagination, the pieces picked up some DSP effects, time-stretched manipulations, digital distortion and bit reduction. And then back to Tattersall for some more abstraction. All merging into a blend of many genres and styles, too many to list here…

“The working process was quite exciting to hear what each had done with the tracks as an ongoing process… The project is incredibly rich in its subtle exploration of psychoacoustic spaces and layerings, and it is vast… The works form a series of plateau-like spaces where time is explored and erased, and an atmosphere for reflection and association is presented. Duration was not worried about and many of the works are quite long.”

This Facture release is especially ambitious. Besides the already mentioned media components, the deluxe and limited edition set contains four limited edition A6 prints inside some photographic glassine bags, plus an A2 double sided poster, a scent (huh?) and more, all wrapped inside a black bag, which is used for underexposed photographic paper. The visual works are just as important in this package as its sonic counterparts. Tattersall made some experimental pin hole lumen prints, “a photographic technique where you work with photographic paper within direct sunlight,” which, together with the audio, explore the concepts of light, time and space. I highly recommend you dive into this voyage on your own, and see where each dreamscape will take you… | |