I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the specific qualities of digitally encoded music – and music on CD in particular. It is one of the ironies of music history that the format which precipitated the ‘loudness war’ of the 1990s, a sort of arms race amongst mastering engineers played out in escalating amplitudes across the entire frequency range of human hearing, might just as well have been the format most suited to very, very quiet music.
Listening to the present track at the volume that I – at least – would choose to listen to it, a level where the passing aeroplanes heard in the first few seconds might almost be mistaken for ones flying overhead outside, beyond the closed window of your living room, would risk its disappearance beneath the noise floor of any other medium. On CD, perhaps, less so.
Putting this thing together, I was keen to produce something that could make as few demands as possible on the listener. There’s plenty here to listen to if you want to. The track pieces together recordings made on three different continents, as well as more domestic sounds – a struck wine glass, a boiling kettle, a radiator, a breath. But equally I like to think of this as something you could just sort of put on and leave playing, walk away even. Perhaps you will notice it change the feel of the space it inhabits. Or not. That’s fine too.