Long Drove is Scott’s debut album from Australian label Room40 and the title is a location in the Fens of East Anglia that swells with sonorities of rural trauma and Anthropogenic narratives. The six songs on this album are each a site-specific sonic study of the Fens, specifically the Holme Fen and New Decoy nature reserves. They transform imperceptible symptoms of climate change into perceptible sonorities that swell and sonically drift into intense ambient electronic composition.
Slowdive’s Simon Scott is back with a new release on 12k following his collaboration with Marcus Fischer (Shape Memory) and his full-length Below Sea Level. Apart chronicles the emotions of Simon losing his father and how his environment helped process and heal.
“On 3rd April 2020 my father was pronounced dead from Covid-19. 48 hours after this devastating news I walked through New Decoy, a nature reserve in the Fens, and heard the vocalisation of skylarks. Their songs rang out across the resonant environment, or to use the lexicon of R Murray Schafer, across the ‘soundscape’, as the auditory image created an unexpected multi-species entanglement of sound-meaning correspondence. Self-aware of the decades that had past since visiting the Fens in my childhood in the early 1980’s with my father, the apperception augmented my profound sense of loss.
Helen MacDonald, author of H Is For Hawk, wrote about her experiences of the death of her father, and described how, in moments of deep grieving, she realised one is “clinging to a world already gone” The audition of the skylarks raised multiple temporalities in my consciousness, and connected the bird song to the death of my father through phenomenological turmoil. With urgency to capture this species that is in decline in the UK, and to create an archival audio document before the skylarks disappeared forever, I reached into my backpack and pulled out my portable field recorder and pressed the record button. I also employed underwater recording technology to reveal vibrational phenomena existing outside of commonplace audition.
In the studio I composed a piano piece that weaved around the central field recordings of the Fens which I also treated by electronic means to achieve the sound and emotion I felt.”
– Simon Scott, April 2020
Vinyl in an edition of 300 copies plus digital – with two digital bonus tracks when purchasing from our Bandcamp. Vinyl mastered at SPS Mastering. Cut by Jason @ Transition. Digital mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio (NY). Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft. You can pre-order on Bandcamp on Friday 5th June. Release date is 26th June 2020.
A. Red Square 14’ 14”
Field recordings captured during a day under Moscow’s Red Square in the underground metro in 2015. It has a narrative of motion as my microphones move with me through a vast sounding environment. The space reveals the aural diversity of the people moving beneath the Russian city of Moscow, the complex acoustics, and complex rhythms mixed together in a subterranean space. These communitive sonic events transformed my perception of space and time as reverberant boundaries led my ear into unknown acoustic destinations.
AA. Murmurations 18’ 53”
Recorded in March 2018 at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in, Norfolk, UK using DPA 4061 microphones. I was showing Australian sound artist Lawrence English around the Fens of East Anglia, when he requested we head to Buckenham to find a flock of crows roosting. I recorded the spectacular murmurations of thousands of crows, rooks and jackdaws, as the spring sun slowly set at dusk, and deer ran across the marshes. The field recordings are accompanied by a gradually shifting modular synth tone, that musically represents the slow change colours, until the light fell off the horizon.
Download only: The Borderlands 6’ 30” and Fen(ce) 7’ 06”
Both compositions were recorded in Holme Fen nature reserve, Cambridgeshire, with two JrF contact microphones on 22nd to 25thMay 2020. The long lines of wires and wooden posts stretched across the sunken landscape of the Fens follow the man-made drainage canals and rivers for hundreds of miles. Bowed, plucked and struck by natural phenomena (strong winds caused by climate change) and indigenous flora, reveals dynamic sonic intra-events and hidden acoustic ecologies.
The Moon And The Melodies by Harold Budd / Elizabeth Fraser / Robin Guthrie / Simon Raymonde – selected by Simon Scott (Slowdive)
20+ new and exclusive tracks recorded by Touch artists. A photographic counterpoint,
the view from Hampstead Heath during the London lockdown. Touch: Isolation is a subscription project that will evolve over the coming weeks. Click here to subscribe.
A time to support independent music while it still exists!
“Please keep your distance, the trail leads from here…”
The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.
We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.
These new and exclusive interventions will include works by Oren Ambarchi, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmersmanual, Fennesz, fennesz sakamoto, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen and others to be confirmed – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.
We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition…
The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.
Social distancing. Actual space. If you can get out, you have to get out. Escape velocity – from Brexit, then somehow prevent institutional meltdown? The UK shows the way, in a method that beggars belief.
The photographs were taken on Hampstead Heath during the early days of the UK/London lockdown, 25 March 2020, primarily in West Heath and the area around Golders Hill whose open space minimises the problems of social distancing. The weather, being superb after weeks of high winds and heavy rain, seemed a metaphor for regeneration and recovery, with the trees coming into bloom – in defiance of the scene we witnessed 33 years earlier after the Great Storm of October 1987 when, in the days that followed, the Heath looked like an arboreal graveyard.
The objective is to find a sense of quiet celebration, to look at the balance between the detail and the scaling force of open spaces. Let’s hope they can remain open.
To make 20 (or more) record covers in less than a week for sound and music we had yet to hear, and to then match the photography to each artist’s contribution… If this seems somewhat in the style of the children’s game, ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, then perhaps that’s more apt than pretending we know how everything fits together at this juncture.
This might also be seen an opportunity to give an early documentation to the mental state of 2020, remembering the year 2000 and the threat of the ‘millennium bug’, this may well become known as the year when x melted into y, to avoid z.
Roughly a dozen years ago, life went broadband. Today we see our reliance on digital systems like never before.
‘As a dwindling member of the generation that lived through and served in the Second World War I think in some ways this is much worse. It was possible to live in a country area and apart from rationing see little of the war. Bombing was spasmodic and haphazard, and our defences were really good. After a year, there was very little chance of an invasion and much of life – sport, theatres and radio, continued as before. Restaurants and hotels remained largely open, rationed according to turnover.’ David John Harding, b. 1925.
DL – 2 tracks
Released 26th December 2019
‘Emergency Exit’ was composed by Simon Scott from field recordings of flood water and burning embers captured during 2019 in the Fens near Cambridge, where he is based. They are a microcosm of a much bigger global crisis – ‘Climate Change’.
San Fedele Musica e Plunge
Identità sonore elettroniche
lunedì 9 dicembre ore 21
Auditorium San Fedele Milano
#04 SIMON SCOTT (UK)
Finalisti Premio San Fedele
#04 Lunedì 9 dicembre, ore 21
– SIMON SCOTT (UK)
– Premio San Fedele
Debutto a San Fedele di Simon Scott, meglio conosciuto come lo storico batterista degli Slowdive, leggenda shoegaze britannica degli anni 90. Nuova sfida dei finalisti del Premio San Fedele 2019. Questa volta i giovani compositori affronteranno la forma concisa della miniatura, dell’evocazione di un microcosmo sonoro in qualche minuto.
You can read a feature in Czech here
Sept 14th – Glasgow – The Glad Cafe
Sept 16th – London – Café Oto www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/rafael-anton-irisarri/
“We are increasingly separated from contact with nature. We have come to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world – its spaces, textures, sounds, smells, and habits.” – Robert Macfarlane, “Landmarks”
Responding to Macfarlane’s observation with field recordings, spoken word, and immersive ambient sounds, “Place Language” seeks to inspire a renewed interest in our surroundings, and to reinvigorate our appreciation for the audible textures and patterns that characterize a place. This unique listening experience takes place over 2 nights and features the London debuts of Marcus Fischer and Hotel Neon as well as new works by Kate Carr, Simon Scott, and Rafael Anton Irisarri.
Sept 17th – Bradford – Fuse Arts Space
Sept 18th – Manchester – The Peter Hat
With Marcus Fischer, Hotel Neon and Rafael Anton Irisarri
Download only – 3 tracks – 61:36
Now available to pre-order from Bandcamp
Release date: 12th July 2019
1. Simon Scott – Live at The Battery, San Francisco [19:09]
Desk recording – 15th May 2019 by Mike Harding. Mastered by SPS Mastering.
2. Zachary Paul – Live at Land and Sea, Oakland [14:24]
Desk recording – 16th May 2019 by Mike Harding. Mastered (mono) by Stephan Mathieu.
3. Geneva Skeen – Live at Zebulon, Los Angeles [28:03]
Room recording – 14th May 2019 by Guy at Third Eye Memories. With thanks to Yann Novak.
Recorded live on Touch’s tour of California in May 2019, with dates at Zebulon, Los Angeles, The Battery, San Francisco and Land and Sea, Oakland.
With thanks to Jen & Charles Belleville, Chris Duncan, Kevin Corcoran, Stacy Horne, Colleen Curlin, Lara dela Cruz, Guy at Third Eye Memories & Joce Soubiran and everyone who had a hand in making these events happen.
Release date: 22nd February 2019
CD & Cassette – 8 tracks – 52 minutes
All tracks composed by Simon Scott
Strings played by Charlie Campagna & Zachary Paul
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham
You can read reviews here and listen to an extract from the album here:
*Additional 20 minute bonus track features a live recording from the Jazz Café in London in October 2018
Soundings, his debut studio album for Touch (he previously released the live album ‘Floodlines’ in 2016 and re-issued “Below Sea Level” in 2017), finds Simon Scott, the composer and sound ecologist, using field recordings from various cities around the globe; modular synthesizer treatments; live strings and laptop electronics to create an album of transition and shifting time zones. The recordings were edited and composed in hotels rooms across the world as Scott was constantly on tour as the drummer for Slowdive, who successfully reformed in 2014.
Hodos, the album opener, begins with 85 mph Storm Barney recordings, ending with the fading sounds of bellbirds and cicadas recorded in Brisbane 2018. “I took a home recording I made of Storm Barney in Cambridge, listening to it on repeat when I was flying from continent to continent. I wanted this to be the starting point of the process of musically documenting how much travelling I was doing”. This album was created from the US to Asia, South America to Europe and the Arctic Circle back to the UK via California. “Working in hotel rooms and on flights, listening to and editing the recordings I’d made from all of these distant cities formed the basis of the album. It’s the soundtrack to four years of my life in flux with constant change, jet lag, excitement and the seeming perpetual motion of travelling”.
The cassette version features an extended 60 minute version of the album remastered by Scott.
Simon Scott has remixed A Place To Bury Strangers, on behalf of Slowdive, for their Re-Pinned remix LP.
After the success of the Ghostpoet and Vorhees Slowdive remixes Simon’s Frustrated Operator remix shreds the original APTBS track and reworks it through his modular synth system and pushes it into new sonic territory.