Last year, we were delighted to introduce a new label to our roster: multi.modal! We're now releasing their second album and we're sharing with you an article written for our Friends Newsletter by Claudia Molitor, co-founder of the label. Find out more about the label and their first release below, and find their new release, Boudaries, here.
Tullis Rennie and I met two years ago as we started lecturing positions at City, University of London. Over the first few months we quickly realized that in much of our compositional work we are interested in weaving together seemingly disparate fields of musical practice such as composition, improvisation and field recording. We also realized that we both had a passion for promoting such interdisciplinary work by fellow artists, and so we developed the idea of creating a record label that would aim to muddy the borders between improvisation, field recording and composition. A label whose releases would reflect contemporary music practices which tend to be collaborative, outward looking and multi.modal.
I have had the good fortune to work with NMC before, contributing a song to the superb NMC Songbook, being one of the composers involved in their collaboration with the Science Museum and in 2016 releasing The Singing Bridge. So I knew that if we were to launch multi.modal I definitely wanted to work with NMC, who understand our ambitious aim of developing releases that are interdisciplinary and adventurous. Needless to say collaborating with NMC has been wonderful and by working with them, multi.modal will reach many more people than we could have achieved on our own.
For our first release, Decoys, we asked artists and fieldrecordists Angus Carlyle and Mark Peter Wright to create a recording and a graphic score that for them represented their work. Their recording forms side A of Decoys and this is what they wrote about it:
‘The air was sharp as needles; painful to swallow; our eyes streamed. An ochre hue blanketed everything. Dusty haze seemed to drape from all things physical; shadow limbs haunted the space.
We kept moving; there was no other choice. Underfoot felt as though time had been composted, its roots were crosshatched with debris and discarded tech. You could read the materiality of the landscape like an archeological ruin, listen to it like a witness.
Winds wiped a molten energy through skin, stone and sky. There was turbulence down here that dragged a bubbling bucolic mass of movement, a micro-tectonic world of things being awakened and stirred.
Our relentless and ungainly movement continued – we didn’t know how to stop. The air churned in transmissions of static; weather turned metallic; teeth registered frequencies of the felt and uncertain. Here, high up on the mountain we sat, attempting to decode its auditory particulates.'
We then invited the fabulous violinist Alison Blunt to join Tullis (trombone) and myself (piano) to interpret the score Angus and Mark created. We deliberately decided not to listen to their recording, so we would be completely free to work with the score as we chose... it was therefore very exciting to realize how many commonalities there are between their recording and our interpretations which forms Side B of the vinyl release.
If you want to find out more about the artists involved or about SPARC, please visit:
sparc.london • www.anguscarlyle.com • www.markpeterwright.net
www.claudiamolitor.org • www.tullisrennie.com • www.alisonblunt.com