Pastoralna erozija. Srednjovjekovni hodočasnici polako, jako polako penju se uz plastične strme stijene.
Richard Moult & David Colohan - Hexameron V from Ljóðhús on Vimeo.
Richard Moult & David Colohan - Hexameron III from Ljóðhús on Vimeo.
Hexameron is a collaborative effort between Richard Moult, and David Colohan... both of whom play with the brilliant neo folk group, United Bible Studies, and each of whom is involved with numerous other projects either on their own, or with others. This is a profoundly and deeply felt imagined soundtrack to the remote places of pagan pilgrimages, early Christian Hermitages, and the wanderings of the ancient wastelands of their unique heritage. This beautiful interplay of piano, electronics, and treated guitar work will take you across these ancient vistas and into the religious wilds of a Europa long gone. - timereleasedsound.com/
Timelines can give us a lot of historical information in an easily accessible way, but they’re just static, stationary bars. In a classroom, 10,000 BC may be a turn of the head, or the click of a mouse, away from 500 BC, but in reality the distance is of course massive and immeasurable. For many of us, the classroom can now be added to the timeline in being a thing of the past. Music, though, continues to teach us lessons, perhaps even more so during adulthood. Timelines are all well and good, but music drops the listener instantly into any period, no matter the century.
Timelines are useful in that they highlight crucial periods in history, but that’s where the line ends. History can’t be viewed in a straight, serene line. The gaps, placed between the timeline’s white lines, tell of steady upheaval and brutal repression, disguised by leaders as peacekeeping when in actual fact it was mere abuse of power and retribution. There’s so much more going on underneath the surface; there’s a complicated amount of activity which must be deciphered. In turn, this process itself would take thousands of years to fathom, let alone unwind.
Likewise, music measures its movement by way of airborne vibrations, but it never moves in a straight line. She curves, swerves, sways and skips her way through the air. The notes are not used as a reference, but they help to define the sentence and the outcome of the phrase. And like dates in history, they link up to one another, hopping from decade to decade and changing the course of history as they do so. In the scheme of things, Hexameron is a fair distance away, tapping into the ancient rural recesses left behind by the Roman Empire and the first, harsh stirrings of medieval machinery. The word Hexameron literally means ‘six day’ in Greek (hence the six compositions here), a theological commentary that describes God’s work on the six days of creation, usually taken out of Genesis 1.
The music, then, is ancient. It birthed itself at a time when our new year of 2014 was but a speck on the horizon. In fact, Hexameron could be a recently unearthed remnant left over from the ancient world, dug up by musicians Richard Moult and David Colohan, both members of the experimental-folk collective United Bible Studies. In a place of peace and serenity, clean tones chant honestly and the open expanse rolls into view. Ancient warriors lurk behind their vantage point, ready to strike at any moment.
Arrows of distortion leave wounds on the skin of the cleanly strummed guitar. The chords lack resolution, so the anticipated battle is left suspended, left to wait. Sparsely strummed guitars are left to ring on and on, and over the foothills the piano walks, wandering through the ancient land. Deep caves hide the lower tones, covered in mud and sediment as if after heavy rain. Their music sprawls itself over the chasm of time, over the centuries, spanning the time between this very day and the time of yesterday gone. United Bible Studies have a passion for mythology, and the music rears its vicious head as if it were a minotaur.
Despite the seismic gap lying between the centuries, the music isn’t age-old and tattered, but it does sometimes bend to the plague of distortion, which cuts through the music with its abrasive blade of ruin. The duo take us to ‘the remote places of pagan pilgrimages, early Christian Hermitages…into the religious wilds of a Europa long gone’. The notes that ring out are on a melodic pilgrimage, slowly shuffling closer and closer to their destination. The adventure is exciting, with continents yet to be discovered.
As the ancient tones trickle out of the music, so too do they bleed onto the quaint landscape; a land where the threat of jagged cliffs and stormy weather makes the journey treacherous, but a land where dim lights frequently shine through the music, calling the notes home and helping them through the fire. It’s a small comfort, but one that is needed when you’re far away from home.
Music is the oldest language, predating the timeline itself. It was there when the Earth was an infant, her music thrashing in the roaring wind and rushing through the volcanic plasma. Music isn’t created by man – we’re just the vessel, and the instruments are the temporary body. She will never need to contemplate extinction, no matter the century. - James Catchpole
Each sound on Hexameron is like a cliff edge, leaving ever step of my journey in transitory uncertainty and suspension. Moments are held open in the weightless expectation that the future will come to catch them – pianos hang with held breaths, with open chords beckoning the response that will endorse its next step forth, while gleaming guitars span out like a path into fog, setting out a journey of intuition and instinct rather than with the explicit prize of destination in mind. The album is a state of wandering, embracing transit as its own sort of stasis; a waltz with landscape, acquainting itself with every soft tuft and fractured edge of its surroundings to find peace in the constant unraveling of heritage and sensory detail.
I am brought to mental images of contemplative pastoral plains – rolling, uninhabited hills, with choir voices gathering like vapour in the conjoining valleys. The erosion of time haunts every instrument here, with a coarse static coat alluding to the history to which every fractional detail of its placement and texture is in debt; even though there’s an improvisational quality to the distorted guitar leads that rip open the music’s midriff, and to the piano melodies that trace the constant arpeggiating gradients of the landscape itself, there is also a strong presence of pre-destiny, as though Hexameron is gliding gracefully down the spiritually assured channel of fate. The moments of climax feel like the points at which vague sensation comes into meaning; where belief thickens into certainty, turning every searching step into an enlightened onward motion. - Jack Chuter
As usual with Time Released Sound you get two versions of this. A digipack retailing at under a tenner and a limited edition at over £30. At just 75 copies and composed of original pages from a 100 year old book on the work of the obscure 15th century printer and illustrator, Anton Sorg its probably pretentious enough to provoke interest to justify such a price tag.
The music is pleasant interplay between treated piano, affected guitar and what the sleeve advises is alto sax but I’ve not heard any yet (thankfully). ‘Recorded in gale force winds’ it says, and there’s something as lonely and lonesome of being trapped in a lighthouse on a stormy night about the compositions. They ebb and flow like the tide battering away on the sea walls at Seahouses.
Its reminding us of the Harold Budd and Brian Eno album ‘Ambient 2; The Plateaux of Mirror’, a constant roll of piano with improvised guitar providing deeply atmospheric music that has a dark edge to it. That alto sax I mentioned earlier has just appeared and its as discordant as ever so I’m off for a lie down. - Norman Records