This just in from Nick Luscombe:
I’m playing a track from this on Late Junction next week. Really cool project all recorded on a fishing boat off Falmouth….
Thought you might like it!
On 15 April 2015, Philip Reeder and Thirty Pounds of Bone (Johny Lamb) went to sea aboard the Girl Emily, a 1974 commercial line fishing boat sailing out of Custom House Quay in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Faced with an unlikely and challenging studio environment on deck, Thirty Pounds of Bone performed nine new arrangements of traditional fishing/maritime songs, as the skipper and his mate went about their business of fishing.
Despite the inherently risible endeavour, vocal performances accompanied by guitar, shruti-box and two Monotribe synthesizers were captured by a variety of microphones alongside guest performances by bow-waves, seagulls, coastguard helicopters and various sea creatures. The sound of the boat, her engines, her wake, the creaks of her hull and her propeller are a fundamental challenge but also material for the album Still Every Year They Went.
The songs from or about the sea, and its associated practices, were taken back to the water—set amidst the environment of their origins. An unlikely collaboration emerges between Thirty Pounds of Bone’s dredger-paced lo-fi, and the phonographic studio methods employed by Reeder. The result is an album of material that speaks to older traditions, made relevant by a methodology that seeks new ways to render traditional song.
The accompanying text published in Performance Research 21.2 On Sea / At Sea explores Lamb’s notion of music production as a ‘taxidermy’ of performance, and the iterative processes therein. This opens up discourse around Reeder’s use of phonographic contexts as a platform for music composition and studio production.
Nick Luscombe presents ‘Late Junction’ every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on BBC Radio 3 at 11pm.