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NORTHAM, MICHAEL - Solar Night

Format: MC
Label & Cat.Number: Mirror Tapes MT005
Release Year: 2010
Note: recordings from midsummer 2010; professional cover; lovely release from this new MC label from MALAYSIA (!)
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €8.00


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"Solar Night consists of recordings gathered during one week of intense geographical movement, where sounds were developed over one midsummer's night in Lapland with golden foil, shakuhachi, chance objects and pitch pipe followed by live performances in Cazalla, Spain and Berlin. These recordings are layered into an immersive four-part sound journey, which is at once subtle and dense in construction. The external world is woven through with elemental sounds from Lake Saskam in Northern Sweden, yet there is an inward dimension based on Northam's two decade research inspired by the French metaphysical explorer Ren Daumal. All that is apparent is only but a mask hiding layers of illuminated fascination pull open the ear-holes and dive in. 'Je suis le voyant de la nuit l'auditeur du silence car le silence aussi s'habille d'une peau sonore et chaque sens a sa nuit comme moi-mme je suis ma nuit et suis le penseur du non-tre et sa splendeur je suis le pre de la mort.' Ren Daumal
Includes: A professionally duplicated & factory sealed cassette tape with tape inlay professionally offset printed in full-colour on 157gsm paper. Limited Edition : 250 copies only." [label info]


"Northam inhabits sonic highlands where apparently ordinary actions are informed by a portion of just anything in the intersecting areas of exploitation of concrete substance, field recordings, deconsecrated ritualism and tactile entrancement. He applies an individual discernment of the beyond to a series of gathered materials which turn out to be, with the passage of time, the means to a connection with certain dimensions of the psyche which not everybody is ready or willing to experience, despite the evident traces of environmental life and human tampering. The alteration of the mechanisms of insight elicited by some parts of this tape most notably, the splendid consecutiveness of A Tunnel and Sonorous Skin is obtained through the adjustment of raw components that although somewhat fathomable collectively form a milieu of morphing shapes and translucent threads whose layering defines bulking masses of acoustic muscle. The spellbinding factors become essential, gradually unconcealed intensities summing to generate scorching rays of unexplained information. In these agglomerations, the single elements may be completely diverse wooden flutes, insects, bells, crumbling ground, gurgling liquid, mysterious voices but the glue that keeps everything together is our own reaction to the unusual combinations. A palliative against the ruinous effects of instrumental gluttony, Solar Night is an important release on cassette from an interesting Malaysian imprint." [M. Ricchi, Touching Extremes]

"Michael Northam is perhaps also someone who just carries on, much alike Schnitzler (although half his age), and not always very present in Vital Weekly. His work deals with environmental sound, "golden foil, shakuhachi, chance objects and pitch pipe" and 'Solar Night' is the result of one week working in Lapland, Spain and Berlin, from field recordings and concert and then these results were layered together into this four part work. All of which is inspired by French metaphysical explorer Rene Daumal. There is surely a surreal element to be found in Northam's music. It transports the listener to another state of mind through these highly minimalist rummaging of objects, wind blowing down pipes, flutes and more poetic sounds employed by Northam. Occasionally things end up in a very silent mood and the sound almost disappears, leaving, perhaps deliberately, the hiss of the tape as the sole instrument. Its this dynamic that makes this into a particular strong release." [FdW/Vital Weekly]