Antiphonals was borne of a desire to merge my studio practice with the tonal characteristics and sound-on-sound tape delay processes that have informed my approach to live performance for many years. Historically I’ve tended to somewhat separate the two (studio practice and live performance) in order to emphasize the type of listening experience that each domain is particularly well suited for. I produced two demo EPs in the early stages of this album, Five Cadences and Gathers, both of which were released in the spring of 2020.
Antiphonals is a return to the sound palette of Mellotron, electric organ, piano, and synthesizer that was developed on 2018’s Let Night Come On Bells End The Day, and in many ways the two can be seen as sister albums for a subdued moment. The Mellotron is removed of its typical progressive rock connotations here, in favour of the lesser heard English horn, bass flute, clarinet, recorder, oboe, French horn, chamber organ, and nylon-string guitar tape samples. An array of quiet companions joins the keyboard quartet: violin, voice, harpsichord tuned to meantone temperament, pipe organ, and acoustic guitar. The album was recorded in a restricted manner, using only an RE-501 Chorus Echo and a TEAC A-2340 four-track reel-to-reel.
This is a collection of studies that began as a way of giving reverence to repetition and modality within a harmonic space. It is a minimalist music that is as much concerned with the vertical experience of texture as it is with the elongation of intervallic progressions across the horizontal realm – an occurrence that we might typically refer to as ‘melody’, but which becomes obscured here in the continual undoing of its staying power. Over time these somewhat generative articulations offered to me a meaningful expression of negative space and pervasive absence, a feeling of objects slowly being thrown into relief.