SONNAMBLE: Blindlight (Forwind)


Posted on Sep 13th 2011 11:23 pm

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Sonnamble: Blindlight

Forwind 2011
04 Tracks. 30mins55secs

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Although originally the project of London-based sound artist Conor Curran, Sonnamble is in fact a collaborative effort between him and double bass and lap steel guitar player Peter Marsh, which aims at confronting live performance and processing. Following a first album together, Seven Months In E Minor, released last year, the pair return with a rather short collection of beautiful textural pieces.

Building on sound sources provided by Marsh, Curran creates intricate soundscapes in which he pulls the original sound components apart, distorts or distresses them, then places them into incredibly complex and dense miniature structures. These, clustered into four pieces of varying length, slowly progress through successions of delicate sequences, to the point where it is at times difficult to clearly identify how this evolutive process actually works. Yet, the constant refinement which takes place here is quite fascinating. Curran’s extensive treatment ranges from meticulous purification to advanced decay, applied on various aspects of the original sounds, with the resulting components and textures placed carefully in respect of each other to create entirely new pieces.

While this sets the tone for the whole album, the four compositions are actually more diverse than one could think. The short opening piece, Aphelion I, may only lasts two and a half minutes, but rapidly, seemingly random collections of notes are thrown against the smooth ambient textures which form in the background until melodic patterns take shape. With Aphelion II and Blindlight, Curran plays with contrasts in a much more complex way as he appears to constantly change the focus, at times revealing tiny sonic fragments, stuttering plucked strings or glitches and pushing them to the fore, at others favouring slow moving drone-like soundscapes which he allows to swell for a moment before deflating them again later on. Of the two pieces, the latter is the more fragmented and dense, its various components continuously moving the piece forward into more composite sections.

The addition of a vocal sample on Society brings a very different dimension to the record, yet these, like Marsh’s contributions, are subjected to a progressive grinding process as the music comes into focus, but, purified of its impurities, it eventually vanishes only for the vocal samples to be reintroduced.

This second Sonnamble album builds on its predecessor’s complex set up. Here, Conor Curran weaves Peter Marsh’s original sound sources and textures into a series of stunning miniature constructions which manage to be at once challenging, immersive and evocative.


Sonnamble (MySpace) | Forwind
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

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