Study IX

I’ve finally got round to putting up some music on Bandcamp. All these tracks were made years back, but a long rainy walk along Regent’s Canal yesterday provided both a cover photo and the nudge I need to put it all online.

These are mostly tracks based on a single sound that has been chopped, looped, distorted and layered in various ways. While it was not a conscious motivation at the time, I realise now that the preoccupation driving these productions was the idea of “changing in place”, the kind of stationary motion that has always gripped me in music.

In Cormac McCarthy’s anti-spiritual journey novel Suttree, the repeated return to the river—the Heraclitian symbol of transience—acts as a stable point in the otherwise chaotic unfolding of Suttree’s life, holding in equilibrium a scattered bundle of narrative fragments with no particular start or endpoint. The river is what binds Suttree’s life into a unity without subjecting it to the violence of curation, of a process of exclusion through definition.

The constancy of the canal in the frenetic temporal and social dislocation of modern London touches something similar, and I like to think of this music as intimately bound up with that. The essence of the canal is its crustiness, a crossing point between the human sphere and its outside, where the decay of the artificial is revitalised in its reclamation by organic life.

Photos by Kallie Ennever.