On this month’s EP, Laura Cannell and Kate Ellis capture the transitional sounds between summer and autumn.
This month life feels highly charged, and we have caught some transitional sounds as summer peaks and autumn appears on the horizon. We also present one of the live compositions we made playing together for the first time in our track ‘On Sacred Roman Earth’.
Our livelihoods changed, and our connections with each other and with audiences have too. These EPs now act as a direct monthly performance between us, our listeners and viewers. We create the sound, evolve it, shape it and enjoy the moments of making before letting it go.
The stories are in the music and in-between the music. During the in-between times this month I have been visiting Lopham and Redgrave Fen, mesmerised by the hardy semi-feral Polish Konik Ponies with their stone-coloured coats as they gallop and nuzzle against each other, grazing knee deep in the watery fens. They didn’t look up when I visited, too engrossed in the juicy and plentiful free-range nosebags. Next to them, the electric blue Emperor Dragonflies hover and dart like giant flower fairies, the ones I would imagine when playing in the water meadows when I was little. The ponies, like me, love the lowland landscapes. It’s where they come from, like me; where it all started, at the water’s edge, by the reed beds.
‘Redgrave and Lopham Fen is the largest valley fen in England and one of the most important wetlands in Europe.’ (Suffolk Wildlife Trust)
Spending time at the fen is still noisy for me. It’s where the most recently played or written music that I am working on turns into a walking song in my head. This month I find myself exploring the paths walking to Kate’s rhythmic cello from our track ‘Another World’, bringing our stories and past conversations to the valley to ruminate and feel the thoughts and sounds in a different space. I am still missing the city and the pre-pandemic adventures, but I feel lucky to be here, and to be treading the worn paths, mingling with the marsh ponies and the dragonflies and telling more stories through my music.
I have always noticed the faces and eyes in trees when I pass by, probably because I still see far more trees than people. I felt that this one at Lopham was similar to a blurry deer that I caught snuffling around the edges of my garden last year. It could be any deer, but to me his long forehead and eye was a giveaway. We had met before. And Needham Lake is full of watching tree eyes, surrounding its swan-filled former gravel pit lake.
September Sounds was recorded live inside a rural 15th Century church in mid-Suffolk, and remotely between Suffolk and Essex in September 2021.
Sleeve notes for this month’s EP…
1. Another World
Although the world may look the same, we know it has shifted. We have shifted, people are displaced, but we make these sounds indicate hope and strength. The violin and voice thread through the optimistic storms and sun strobes of cello and double bass. The components are the same but our actions and thoughts are different now.
2. On Sacred Roman Earth
We played together for the first time in the 15th century village church, on the grounds of an ancient Roman sacred site. Finding our feet and exploring the space. If you listen closely you can hear our footsteps and walk with us as we gaze through clear leaded window panes among the oak pews and stone tiled floor. The air captured inside fluttering like birds in a vast wooden apexed sky.
3. Ancient Moons
Re-living past conversations, whirring engines and flashing images. Ancient moons entwine with vivid conversations and thoughts, falling in and out of step. Waxing and waning.
Find the EP here.
I am very happy to include some words from this month’s film-maker Laura Sheeran, who created a video from where she is based along Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. She says:
“Creating a video for ‘Ancient Moons’ felt like a lovely natural progression from my last video collaboration with Kate and Laura, ‘Sea Tower’, made for their January Sounds EP at the start of the year. For this month’s release I thoroughly enjoyed, once again, getting lost in the evocative soundscapes Laura and Kate have woven, working to bring the feeling of world they have created, through sound, into a visual realm. Again the water was calling me, water and of course sky, light and night. I brought imagery together this time from different locations along Galway Bay on Ireland’s West coast.”
These Feral Lands – A Year Documented in Sound and Art is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.