The album's starting point was a series of acoustic improvisations recorded in a variety of locations, from a 700 year old chapel in the Devon countryside to a basement studio in Reykjavík, Iceland. In an attempt to create a fractured sense of space reflective of the digital condition, the duo found themselves working within a place that could only exist in the digital landscape. By crushing the recordings through a hundred different virtual rooms of reverb and other chaotic digital processes; they collided, soared and splintered into sweeping new rhythms, melodies and drones. Pushing the computer's processor beyond its limits threw up sonic "errors" that wouldn't be easily possible to create through standard methods. In response, these outcomes created new and unplanned inspiration for further composition. Elements of the album were then produced binaurally adding a three dimensional listening experience. The outcome is a unique landscape that blurs the line between the virtual and physical worlds.
"We were interested in the idea that our tech aided lifestyles seem to be diminishing our ability to be present in the moment, that our sense of location is fractured by the ease of which we can communicate and obtain information beyond the here and now. Perhaps recording improvisations in acoustically rich and ambient places force the performance to be concerned only with the moment. And not what it could be in post production."
- Jay Auborn
While writing the album, long discussions about how the creative process occurred attempted to uncover some of the conscious and unconscious collaborations and economic, artistic and political considerations that go into writing music. Regarding the track 'Songbird', which is based on a previous piece of music that John wrote with Andrew Prior called 'Birdsong':
"It started with the playing of a piano riff, a piano riff that was being played because we had just performed Birdsong at a performance in London with pianist, Dunstan Belcher. This piano riff was also being played because Jay had just been listening to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and I overlaid some violin because I was thinking about Warren Ellis and Alice Coltrane and the Mixolydian mode and In a Silent Way by Miles Davis. But I was probably thinking about Miles Davis because Jay and I were just doing impressions to each other of Miles Davis, imagining we were him writing his autobiography. The creative process in this instance involves a "polychronization" of events and thoughts across time coalescing in a sequence of creative events to produce a new work."
- John Matthias
John Matthias is a musician, composer and academic who has released four albums via Accidental, Ninja Tune, Nonclassical, Village Green and collaborated with artists including Radiohead and Coldcut. In 2008 he won the UK PRS Foundation New Music Award (The 'Turner Prize' for music) with Jane Grant and Nick Ryan for the development of a huge sonic installation entitled 'The Fragmented Orchestra'. He is Associate Professor in Sonic Arts at Plymouth University, has a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics from Exeter University and is Co-Director of the Art and Sound Research Cluster at Plymouth University.
Jay Auborn is a producer and musician based in south west England. An art school drop-out that fell in love with the sampler. Much of his previous work is self-released under aliases exploring the boundaries between sound art and music. 'Race to Zero' marks his debut for Village Green, and the continuation of a creative partnership with John Matthias. Recent work includes sound design and music to accompany an exhibition of Gerhard Richter paintings for Artist rooms, scoring and producing music for Stanley Donwoods film 'Broadmead' and music for a variety of films including 2016 releases 'Focus' and 'Poorboy'. Jay currently manages a recording studio for dBs Music.
The duo recently soundtracked a film about Bristol's Broadmead shopping centre by Stanley Donwood and Mat Consume and co-wrote additional music for the film 'Poor Boy' directed by Robert Scott Wildes which was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York 2016.
3. Wax Heart\
4. /Stone Face
5. Tilted Stage
6. Every Word A Mask
7. Soma Vapour
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