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Lawrence English
Wilderness Of Mirrors

Lawrence English — Wilderness Of Mirrors (July 21st, 2014)

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  MASTER QUALITY ALBUM Lawrence English — Wilderness Of Mirrors & NOMINÉE for 8th TAIS AWARDS 2015 
→  “Jsem starý muž, tupá hlava mezi prázdnými prostory. Znamení jsou považovány za zázraky. “Chtěli bychom vidět nějaké znamení!” Slovo uvnitř slova, neschopný mluvit slovo, zabalený temnotou ..., The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours” ~ T. S. Eliot, Gerontion
→  Toto album není tak nekompromisně vražedné jako kdysi byli španělští Esplendor Geometrico 30 let zpátky, přesto ho považuji za betálně–katovské album se schopností upoutat nerozdělenou pozornost; jako když máš širokou gilotinu nad hlavou a cítíš vůni špalku. Je něco důkladnějšího než smrt? Ano, je: hudba pro odvážné. V době, kdy čtvrtá skladba "Another Body" přijde, posluchač je již zaplaven v zkorodovaných bankách hluku. Eliotovy spletité texty prozkoumávají moderní izolaci (poprvé v lidské historii je možné projít rušným městským davem a nevědět jak, nebo nemoci s nikým mluvit), toto album je průzkumem čistě zvukových cest. V citové rezonanci English vytváří z těchto střípků ponor do mnohem větší hloubky lidského vědomí, než vůbec kdy mohla poezie sama. Ano, jsme vystaveni do "divočiny zrcadel", kde se snadno pomocí zpravodajských agentur šíří nepravdivé informace. V této souvislosti doporučuji nejkvalitnější recenzi od: DIEGO AGUILAR* (Secret decoder).
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Album release: July 21st, 2014
Record Label: Room40
Duration:     38:49
01 The Liquid Casket     6:21
02 Wilderness Of Mirrors     2:38    
03 Guillotines And Kingmakers     2:02
04 Another Body     6:26
05 Wrapped In Skin     3:18
06 Forgiving Noir     8:26
07 Graceless Hunter     5:10
08 Hapless Gatherer     4:48
© 2014, ROOM40
•→   Pro ty dlouhé zimní večery ... Zima je období pro introspekci, rozjímání a naslouchání. Je to období, kdy příroda znovu prosadí svá práva a jakoby ukládá svůj zákon lidstvu, nutí ty tvory v zimoviscích zabalit se do dek ..., aby snívali o vyšších teplotách.
•→   This item comes bundled with a download of the exclusive live EP Parting Waves.
→   Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. It is two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A Baker’s novel, The Peregrine. It is English’s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation.
•→   The phrase, wilderness of mirrors, draws its root from T.S Eliot’s elegant poem Gerontion. During the cold war, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial.
→   Wilderness Of Mirrors also reflects English’s interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The album’s overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics.
•→   “During the course of this record,” English explains, “I was fortunate enough to experience live performances by artists I deeply respect for their use of volume as an affecting quality, specifically Earth, Swans and My Bloody Valentine. I had the chance to experience each of these groups at various stages in the making this record and each of them reinforced my interest in emulating that inner ear and bodily sensation that extreme densities of vibration in air brings about.”
→   The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness Of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane.
•→   “We face constant and unsettled change,” English notes, “It's not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bare witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?”
→   Wilderness Of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality.
By Steven Johnson | posted on 23 Jul 2014 | Score: ****
•→   The genre of dark ambient/drone (both terms which struggle to accurately convey much of the music they are used to describe) has always been a highly personal form, with artists often working in isolation and to modest recognition and reward in producing music that captures a particular time, feeling or idea.
→   Over the last 15 years composer and sound artist Lawrence English has been a key, if understated, presence within this musical scene, releasing albums on some of the most respected and experimental labels of the genre — Touch, 12k, Experimedia and Important amongst others. Latest album Wilderness Of Mirrors however sees him return to Room40, the label he heads up from his base in Brisbane, Australia.
→   He’s been refreshingly open about its origins — primarily being a response to seeing bands like Swans, My Bloody Valentine and Earth play live and specifically the primal and physical impact their music has exerted on him. Throughout Wilderness Of Mirrors the correlation is evident but for many it may be the soundscapes of Tim Hecker that provide the most immediate point of reference.
→   Yet, there’s no danger of these comparisons overshadowing the album — it’s another carefully crafted, meticulously detailed offering that comfortably holds attention whilst feeling like it has something distinct to add to the (already well-explored) genre.
→   There’s also something vivid and impressing about how the album flows and unfurls structurally, in particular in relation to the self-balancing and self-correcting sequencing of tracks. There appear to be several instances of musical ‘cause and effect’ at play — one track impacting directly on to the next. The towering, overhanging sound structures of opening track The Liquid Casket for example appear to produce a reaction in the title track that follows. It’s as if the stresses and trails found within the latter have been directly elicited by the mass of sound contained within the former. In this sense there is something quite alive and organic about the album.
•→   Similarly, the low key contrasts of Guillotines And Kingmakers imply retreat and recovery and are followed by the tactile plumes of Another Body which signal a regrouping and aesthetic strengthening of sorts. As the album progresses it feels like a series of small, interlinked episodes being revealed. A sense of distanced contemplation briefly drifts through Wrapped In Skin before being interrupted by the destructive, looming drones of Forgiving Noir. Graceless Hunter and Hapless Gatherer meanwhile achieve a more settled and consistent sound to close the album.
→   The pace and scale of modern music can occasionally threaten to overwhelm, but affording time to these smaller personal statements often ends up delivering greater rewards. It’s a view backed up by similarly-placed, below-the-radar albums released this year by the likes of Hiss Tracts, Petrels, Origamibiro, Porya Hatami and Olan Mill/Keung Mandelbrot. On top of these, Wilderness Of Mirrors provides satisfying proof that there is still plenty of value, purpose and life left at the margins.
Fortaken: http://www.musicomh.com/
Label: http://emporium.room40.org/
By BENJAMIN BLAND, July 15th, 2014; Score: 8
:: http://drownedinsound.com/releases/18327/reviews/4148009
:: http://www.secretdecoder.net/reviews/2014/07/02/lawrence-english-wilderness-of-mirrors/
•→   2005 Happiness Will Befall  (Crónica)
•→   2007 Ghost Towns  (Room40)
•→   2007 For Varying Degrees of Winter  (Baskaru)
•→   2008 Kiri No Oto  (Touch)  
•→   2008 Plateau
•→   2009 HB  (Cargo)
•→   2010 A Path Less Traveled  (Room40)  
•→   2010 A Colour for Autumn  (12K)  
•→   2011 The Peregrine  (Experimedia)  
•→   2012 Lonely Women's Club  (Important Records)  
•→   2012 It's Up to Us to Live  (Sirr)  
•→   2013 For / Not For John Cage  (L-Ne)  
•→   2014 Wilderness of Mirrors  (Room40)
•→   Lawrence English is media artist, composer and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. English utilises a variety of approaches including live performance, installation and found sound/vision to create works that generate subtle transformation of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception.
•→   For over a decade, English’s audio investigations have traversed a divergent path where musical and environmental sources are granted equal focus. His work calls into question the established relationships of sound and structure — field recordings and musical materials work in unison, acting as suggestive devices. Rather than prescriptive, English’s sound work calls for the listener to construct their own narratives and impressions based on their personal histories and experiences. Published widely on respected imprints including Touch, 12K and Winds Measure, English’s work is sculpted and overwhelmingly intricate. The Wire noted his ‘use of space and silence is remarkable’, and U.S. sound journal Signal To Noise described the Ghost Towns work as ‘extraordinarily gorgeous modern music concre´te’.
•→   As a producer English has completed numerous projects with artists including Tujiko Noriko (U, Blurred In My Mirror), Ben Frost (Theory Of Machines), Tenniscoats (Totemo Aimasho, Temporacha) and The Rational Academy (Swans). He has also completed commissioned compositions for acclaimed avant-circus troupe Circa, various theatre ensembles and has worked as a sound designer in collaboration with artists including Australian visualist Craig Walsh.
•→   English’s installation and gallery practice is concerned predominately with challenging the understandings and expectations of site specificity, sound and media. •→   His 2008 ‘Trio For Objects’ exhibition presented three discrete sound installations (kinetic, prepared and sculptural) which when experienced in unison created a ‘related sound field’. By contrast, the 3-screen video installation Ghost Towns, seeks to create an abstract ‘virtual map’ of remote Australian spaces. In 2006 English produced a series of sound art works specifically for the deaf and hearing impaired under the title ‘Silence Listening’. These works were amongst the first of their kind in the world, exploring and examining the notions of isolation and sonic interaction within these oft-marginalized communities.
•→   Outside of his recording and art commissions, Lawrence English curates a number of ongoing sound and media programs including Mono at the Institute Of Modern Art and Syncretism at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. He produces the annual Room40 festival Open Frame (in Australia and London) and co-produces a number of other festivals including Sound Polaroids, Liquid Architecture and Frankly!. •→   He continues to curate numerous conceptually driven art projects including Melatonin — Meditations On Sound In Sleep (for Next Wave Festival), Airport Symphony (for the Queensland Music Festival), Small Scores (for Valley Fiesta) and Audible Geography (for University Of Tasmania). He has presented on radio as part of Triple J’s Soundlab program and he continues to produce an extensive range of radio documents and sound works for programs such as the BBC’s World Service. His critical writings can be found in journals such as The Wire, Signal To Noise, Paris Transatlantic, Cyclic Defrost, and numerous online outlets.
•→   English’s imprint and multi-arts organisation ::ROOM40:: (www.room40.org) maintains a steady release schedule from an eclectic array of Australian and international artists.

Lawrence English
Wilderness Of Mirrors