sounding out returns to scotland

19 08 2014

it was a pleasure to revisit some of the locations where i played before. one of the highlights is certainly the magnificent smoo cave. this time i returned with the alto saxophone. of course, this made quite a difference.
once again, i was amazed by the feel of the place, as much as by the sound. although i moved around searching for echoes and movements created by the complex architecture of the cave, my favourite place was standing in the little stream that crosses in the middle of the main chamber. in this position, i really sensed the inspiration calming my playing down and i was nearly forced to play the quietest and gentle melodies. this is surprising for a cave beaten by the wild elements of the north of scotland. and yet, the urge was overwhelming, as if instructed by eric satie to play ‘du bout de la pensée’ – hardly voicing the notes, the sound on the verge of breaking.
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another location was a lucky find and quite a surprise. a small chapel on applecross proved to give much inspiration and a wonderful acoustic. a proof that size does not matter…
i placed the recorder on a table in the middle of the bare and simple room.
on it, i found a piece of paper with a quote. i read the lines out loud. this was my score.

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in each location, i recorded over two days. i edited the recordings and produced an album for each place, which i hope to release soon.
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clapotis
alto saxophone, 30 august 2013
smoo cave

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crystal crumble
alto saxophone, 29 august 2013
smoo cave

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cor2
alto saxophone, 27 august 2013
clachan church, applecross

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the sanctuary
alto saxophone, 26 august 2013
clachan church, applecross

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Smoo Cave

17 06 2012

I am very pleased to share a recent release recorded in Scotland.

As part of my Sounding Out project, i recorded over two days in Smoo Cave, situated in the north of Scotland.

Inside the cave, I knew this was very special. I first spent some time to get to know the place, walking around and checking sound from various angles. Waiting and listening.

As visits stopped and visitors left, I started to ‘hear’ the real place. From the first note, playing the first sound, the acoustics were stunning.

The first impulse was to just enjoy this grand sound. Driven by the excitement and sheer power of the place. It took a while to settle and feel really connected, to go past the first impression of raw explosive energy. And gradually as the playing became more peaceful and quieter, I felt more attuned to the real mood of the place. Accepted by its imposing presence. Sounds flowed to the rhythm of a nearby cascade.

 

 

this link will open a playlist from internet archive:

smoo cave

 

This album was recorded live, on location over two days on 26 and 27th August 2011.

This is not a studio recording, focus is not on perfection of technique or sound quality. All sound events that are part of the recording are kept as is, and reflect what happened at the location at that time.

Thank you to my friend Chrissie for supporting my sound explorations to the far reaches of unlikely locations.

Please do not copy or reproduce any part of this work without permission from the artist.

Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave