I often think of the process of composing music as being a bit like reconstructing imagined memories of places or spaces. I like to use the qualities of different sounds in combination, a bit like a tapestry of interrelated signifiers, to create a sort of imaginary, evocative, sonic world for me to listen back to. It’s quite a personal experience for me, in a way; a window into my soul for others, perhaps.
The starting point, and title, of this mini-album was the word ‘Petrichor’, which refers to the smell that accompanies rain. This is a smell particularly associated with the first rains after a period of drought: it’s Earth’s perfume; a heady aroma precipitated by the flushing out of oils held in the pores of rocks by high humidity and rainfall.
There is, for me, something quite captivating about this process: a microscopic explosion of action that occurs on a level far too small for the human eye to see; and the idea, particularly, of a whole other plane of existence that we’re, for the most part, completely oblivious to in our everyday lives. Within these tracks, I wanted to zoom in and reveal the sonic equivalent: an unseen, living, breathing place filled with darkness and light, where tiny, minute textures weave among one another in the shadows, occasionally popping into action.
And so, beneath the exterior of the tracks – the drums, guitar and bass – is a throng of radio static, disembodied voices, broken cassettes/tape delays and field recordings. This is my attempt to recreate such an undercurrent, one that lurks within the gaps between beats, and the unfilled holes in the frequency spectrum. An imagined memory of rainfall, on both a macro- and microscopic level.
Praise for Carbon Fields:
"This album is just what we need as we transition from the loud heat of summer into the pensive crisp air of the fall. Or maybe I'm just feeling the equinox extra hard today after seeing the surprisingly large moon out last night? Either way, for me, the most prominent feature of this album is the careful laying together of instrumentation with other various sound sources. This juxtaposition really fits the title of the album, which refers to the smell of wet earth when it rains; the disparate elements of dirt and water become something much more when combined.
On this record, intensity naturally emerges from this blending of elements, rather than from a single cranked up instrument or voice. Moreover, Carbon Fields really leans into the fact that the tracks are built from disparate elements by combining the transparent recordings of some instruments, like the drums and upright bass, with other signals coming in manipulated and layered in thick washes. This preserves a fresh, live feel while also conveying precision, intention, and restraint."
- Steven Senger, On The Fringes Of Sound
"The instrumentation is blurred and smudged while the background recordings, tape static and all manner of sounds rarely reveal their provenance. This is music of a quiet and considered power, perfectly evoking the complexities of nature and an inquisitive optimism reflecting back the rainfall so essential for renewal. Understated and outstanding."
- Mat Smith, Further.
released September 10, 2021
Composition, performance and mastering by A. Poole.
Artwork by A. Poole.
Instrumentation includes the bow chime, which was invented by Robert Rutman. Performed by A. Poole.
Feild recordings taken in Saffron Walden, Falmouth and North Norfolk.