I got this in from Craig a few weeks ago, a self released single which essentially is an audio documentation of his ongoing installation project called 'Sun Boxes'. 20 boxes of different tones are set up in an outdoor space, powered by solar panels the loops of guitar chords take days to go through a complete song cycle, the two tracks here were even recorded at different times of the year and in completely different environments. It's as much a field recording of happy accidents, the natural sounds of the environment adding as much to the recording as the tones themselves.
The A-Side has this track listed as "Frozen Pond", it sounds a little bit like the Budda Machine in it's real ambient understated tones, it's actually hard to sort of focus on paying attention to the fading in and out of layers of harmony here, it's easy to drift off thinking about other things for a minute. The really nice thing about the recording is that you can hear literally this recording was created on the frozen pond, in fact, Long Pond in Plymouth, MA. Environmental elements start to appear here and there...birds, ice cracking, ducks....it's hard to pick out exactly what is captured, but I know I'm hearing something other than the slowly rising and fading tones....which have as much to do with either the distance away from the speakers or the suns intensity. I imagine they're a bit like the 2001 monoliths, stranded here from another civilzation just blindly communicating away, transmitting information...and it's exactly what a frozen lake would sound like. To then take this solitary, weird experience and put it on vinyl adds another layer of mystery...this thing that slowly spirals inwards recreating these vibrations.
The B-Side notes this track was recorded in Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA in September...because of course the time of year is going to have different ambience and in this case the sound of grasshoppers adds another perfect layer of natural quiet sounds. You start to wonder how this might have effected insects, or bats at dusk happening to fly by this piece. There might even be bullfrogs off in the distance? It's the kind of recording where the differences are going to be in the subtle, tiny things, the way the tones overlap, the air, the creatures...because there isn't a section or track that you could even judge as better than another. It's afield recording of a great sculpture that is transformed into it's own artifact that's different than the original, and is just as important as being there in person.
Check out the bandcamp page for a feel of these field recordings. Double sided color sleeve on marbled grey vinyl with download code and postcard from Craig's Sunboxes website
I got a chance to talk to Craig on the phone about the single and this piece, Craig comes from a 7inch background with his own music projects and we talked about the b flat 6th chord, and a possible Sunboxes phone app coming soon.
The except during the interview is from a Sunboxes performance at Martha's Vineyard.
Direct link to the MP3 (20min).
Direct link to the MP3 (20min).