generators of soundMay 19, 2010
Sending Letters to the Sea is officially a non-band… having grown out of a public per cent for art scheme comissioned by Fingal County Council in 2007. It’s more a collective of musicians that came together, under the curatorship of Mark Garry, to create and record a piece of new work in response to the commission. And what a record it is. Mark (who’s predominantly a visual artist) drew a number of musicians together that he’d played with, or admired, in the past and the results are pretty incredible. The ecclective collective includes electro/acoustic musician and composer Karl Burke (aka Karl Him), musician Nina Hynes , choral/ electronic musician Eileen Carpio, her brother; jazz percussionist Sean Carpio, french classically trained pianist Fabien Leseure and Paris based Jazz Violin player Benoit Leseure. The group then enlisted the talents of Geaspar Warfield on Cello and John Egan on Violin and Viola and The Fingal Chamber Choir for the record.
There’s lots to be said about how innovative a commission this is, and it makes me extremely glad that my tax dollars might contribute to this sort of thing. Huge kudos has to go to Caroline Cowley who had the vision to commission such an unusual public art project, at odds with the usual physical manifestation of that scheme that can be seen on the motorways up and down the country.
The group had come back together in the days before the Fresh Air show to see what might come out of the sessions anew, and the second live track was one such newbie: The Old Lady with the Stick (working title!), which for some reason immediately reminded me of the intro on DJ Shadow’s This Time, though it’s such a different track. They played a number of other beautiful pieces over the course of the sessions and Karl, Mark, Sean and Eileen were all in studio.
The album is beautifully crafted physically too, with excellent design from Atelier, which for once extends beyond the Vinyl to the CD version also.
For his incoming Fresh Air, Mark brought in a track from Anathallo, aptly called for the times we’re in; A Great Wind, More Ash.
Mark Garry is participating in A Generous Act in The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, and I loved his comment about that institution being generators of culture rather than presenters of culture…a great thought to end on.