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Like its predecessor, 2020:Vision (FORT19, 2020), there are a couple of pieces here in a jazz/rock style, featuring some of my small but varied collection of guitars; some pieces played with self-made Apple Logic EXS24 instruments sampled from my collection of instruments and musical novelties; and some soundscape pieces created from my own field recordings. The field recordings are mostly taken from the series made for the Ouse Washes Project (FORS06, 2017), the Sutton Project (FORS08, 2020) and Ambient XV: Garden of Bees (FORG36, 2021), but also include some specially made new recordings, for which I thank Ian Jones and his collection of clocks.

Also featured are some recordings of my new 32-note mechanical musical box. Rather like a miniature pianola (player piano), it produces sounds by means of a strip of card which is passed through the device, wound by a handle. Holes are punched in the card where you want notes to sound.

Musical Box.jpg

1. ANDYM [0:38]. Looks a bit egotistical for a track name: it's simply the pattern of holes I punched into the card strip for the first test of the musical box. This is what it sounded like.

2. Perpendicular Ideal of the Glasshouse, Pt 2, 2021 [12.51]. Part 2 of The Perpendicular Ideal of the Glasshouse on the album Goodbye Finisterre (FORT02, 2003) was always in the shadow of Part 1, an oft-anthologised minimalist piece.

However, all that has changed with this brand new version. Previously, there were two recorded versions of the piece: the one on Goodbye Finisterre, and the original demo version, released on the Aardvark/Finisterre 10th Anniversary Special (FORS02, 2013).

This arrangement incorporates the guitar solo and 2nd Theme from the demo, which are not in the Finisterre version, as well as - in shortened form - the 3rd and 4th Themes from Finisterre. I even managed to reconstruct the choral voices from Part 1 for inclusion at the end.

Guitars: Verses and 1st solo, Gibson SG Standard, 1969; 2nd solo, Burny RLC-85S SW.

3. Birds, Bees, Bells, Clocks & Keys, Pt 1 [13.18]. The first part of this piece, which combines quasi-classical piano variations and soundscape recordings is largely based on the traditional tune, My Grandfather's Clock, and makes deliberate reference to Yelling Graveley (FORT13, 2008), with the 1st Theme from The Maypole Song; and Walking With Bees (FORT08, 2006), with My Grandfather's Clock itself; as well as the theme and brief variations on The Bee Song from The Birds & The Bees (FORT06, 2005).

The Westminster Chimes are also featured, played by my living room clock. The 'Keys' refers to the fact that all 3 parts feature keyboard instruments, often for two pianos, in which both may be concert grands, but one may be an old, very old, or very broken upright.

There are 4 different pianos used on the album: a very nicely recorded Steinway, the Grand Studio A by Hannes Bachofner; a robust upright, the 4Front Piano by George Yohng; a rather more battered old upright, the Brasted Upright by Imperfect Samples; and my own EXS24 Broken Piano, as featured on various earlier albums.

4. Birds, Bees, Bells, Clocks and Keys, Pt 2 [8:12]. In this part of the piece the main themes are the Westminster Chimes and the Whittington Chimes. The Westminster Chimes (or Quarters) are also known as the Cambridge Quarters as they were written in 1793 for a new clock in St Mary the Great in the centre of Cambridge; only some 60 years later, in 1851, were they adopted for the clock in the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster, the tower commonly called Big Ben, as it houses the famous bell of that name.

The Whittington Chimes, otherwise known as St Mary's, are much older, said to have been heard ringing from the bell tower of the church of St Mary-le-Bow in London by Dick Whittington in 1392. Whittington, then a penniless boy running away from his master, is said to have interpreted the bells as saying 'Turn again Dick Whittington'. Accordingly, he returned to London, where he later went on to find his fortune and became the Lord Mayor of London four times, adapting the tune as a campaign song.

Additional piano samples are from Soundlabel's Piano Attack and MusicRadar's Broken Piano Samples.

5. Birds, Bees, Bells, Clocks and Keys, Pt 3 [11:22]. The main instrument in the third part of this piece is the organ. The organ samples are from no less an instrument than the organ of Leeds Town Hall, courtesy of Samplephonics. The variations are again based on the Westminster and Whittington Chimes. There is also a section based on the traditional nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons, which references the bells of several London churches, first heard as part of 'The London Suite', Boyz, on the album Bits & Bobs(FORT09, 2006).

6. Glasshouse Theme 3 Intro [1:14]. The 3rd theme of Perpendicular Ideal of the Glasshouse, Pt 2 is a bit hidden, so I thought it deserved a track of its own. First, the new parts of the theme appear in this introduction.

7. Glasshouse Theme 3 [6:47]. The full theme appears in this, the final track.

Guitar: Harley Benton R-458BK 8-String, tuned B-E-A-D-G-B-E-A with Octave4Plus custom top A string.

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