The first sounds of 2010

The new year is unfolding before us… two skys have opened and already my mind is filling with song. There is always much anticipation at this time of year and I too am anticipating great things for 2010. So, whatever you do, wherever you are, may creativity rush through you unbridled… And to colour that rush, here are some of the sounds that I will carry with me throughout the year…

Gregor Samsa – Jeroen Van Aken

Classical glissandos of piano, muted drum rhythms, weeping strings and vibraphone come together with harmonious intensity, while the vocals simmer, whispering their truths. Jeroen Van Aken, taken from Gregor Samsa’s latest album Rest, is the birth name of artist, Hieronymus Bosch, but rather than descending into the at times apocalyptic visions of Bosch, the song takes us to the edge with dazzling restraint. The langorous quality of these songs, welcome you in and hold you dreamlike. This is an album of lasting beauty.

Balmorhea – Remembrance

Balmorhea are one of those rare bands, unafraid of stillness. Their latest longplayer, All Is Wild, All Is Silent, is swirling with folk instrumentals, each song conjuring the majestic atmosphere of Steinbeck’s dustbowl America. Gently picked guitars (and banjo), fleet drums and emphatic piano lines colour the landscape; their sound as vast as the sky, often emptying into silence. This is an album to slow the spin of life. To make you drop anchor and hear the pin drop.

Machine Translations – Oh Ma, The Sea Is Rising

This is taken from the 2009 DVD/CD release, Last Hope, a collection of short films, inspired by the ocean, set to the sounds of artists such as Explosions in the Sky, Smog, The Dirty Three, Holly Throsby and of course, Machine Translations. The collection was put together by Andrew Kidman and takes a collage approach, collecting moments that highlight the intense power and beauty of the ocean. This is so much more than a surfing film, which it is often referred to as… For anyone who has ever lost themselves at the hem of land and sea, this will sweep you away.

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