Thursday, January 14, 2016

How I Made 'Cycle Of Liminal Rites'

Conrad Clipper has sent a personal account of the process of making our next release. We have the tapes and should be ready to ship in a week or two. Keep you posted!


"How I Made Cycle Of Liminal Rites

I started recording this album three years ago after I heard a late night radio show discussing the poet Rilke and his use of ‘the liminal’. If that sounds a bit fancy, it’s actually quite straightforward: the liminal world is the one that is around us but always unseen. We may find it in the moment of prayer, in an old photograph, in the moment before we go to sleep, in birth, and in death.

I felt like my music has always wanted to try and capture this quality but I didn’t know how to name it. Once I understood that this was what I wanted to achieve, I was able to start making the record. I don’t read or write music so I had to work out a way to score everything. I did this mostly by hand, using midi. I then played the piano back against these midi scores, and I used a number of different pianos in different locations across Berlin. Then I learned how to build software arpeggiators in Max MSP, which you can hear in tracks like Lake Kinesis and Fugue State. It took many, many hours of trial and error to score the rest of the parts for the woodwind, brass and string sections.

I recorded everything onto a cheap tape recorder and into the computer. Then I sent stuff back out onto tape again, to get that saturation you can hear. I also used a lot of field recordings that I made on my phone, from many different locations - car parks and churches in Berlin, airport toilets, on the banks of rivers, in the Welsh mountains. Finally when I was happy with the way it sounded, I took my gear to an abandoned sanitarium in the French Alps and played everything back, and re-recorded the sound of it playing in these dusty, forgotten rooms.

In this way, the record is actually a little like a live performance but no one attended apart from me."  
- Conrad Clipper


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