TL010GreyWing Ensemble - lines of flight

The recordings on lines of flight are an eclectic combination of responses by Western Australian composers Catherine Ashley, Eduardo Cossio, Sam Gillies, Cat Hope and Lindsay Vickery, exploring a range of current (and ongoing) preoccupations. Perhaps the most common theme running through the collection is desire to blur the lines between compositionally prescribed and improvised situations for the performers. The works approach this goal through a range of extended, graphical, textual and extended notations (some examples are included with this release). Nearly all of the works here take advantage of the potentials of digital notation presented on networked iPads. This can be seen in the attention to the aesthetic qualities of the notation and heard through  the often idiosyncratic musical structures, such as indeterminate sectional structure (Marking Time, lines of flight) rhizomatic form (detritus) and game-like generative notation (Tectonic: Rodinia), or in the case of here, apparently using digital tools to precisely transcribe a recorded improvisation. Another thread of GreyWing’s repertoire – the exploration of contemporary social issues - is reflected in the focus on 2014’s revelations about mass-surveillance in Snowden and Signals Directorate and the expanding global refugee crisis in Marking Time. Hostage and ghost take a more intimate approach, reflecting trauma on a personal scale in one case and the sonic world of a childhood memory of the supernatural in the other.

Limited ed. of 10 concertina fold-out scores in a laser-engraved wooden case.

TL011GreyWing Ensemble - nature forms (1)

The recordings on nature forms represent a number of composer’s responses to shapes, sounds and imaginations of nature. Emulation of the sounds of the natural environment may be one of the earliest manifestations of music, but the manner in which the ‘extra-musical’ sounds of the sonic environment have been emulated in human music has greatly shifted with the capacity to capture highly detailed nuances in the pitch and timbre of natural environments. This has driven efforts to move beyond human-derived aesthetics and engage with the sounds of nature as much as possible of their own terms. 

The majority of the works here derive from “field recordings” captured by composers themselves or artists including Leah Barclay, Philip Kenworthy and Catherine Ashley. In most cases the recordings have been analysed to create notated emulations (lyrebird, wellington forest, small waves) or resonant frequencies (Shelter, A'aa and Nocturne). The work nature forms, in contrast uses digital photographs capturing the grasping shapes of living things and the actions of weather over time in a collage graphic score, and in Sonic Dreams the composer turns inward to the performers’ imagined sounds of extinct and endangered Australian fauna (their last known locations are also included on the postcard insert). Only Ono’s pre-digital secret piece takes a diametrically opposed position, emphasising the essential impossibility of anthropomorphising the sounds of nature - hiding a single human sound amid a recording of a dawn chorus of birds. 

Limited ed. of 10 concertina fold-out scores in a laser-engraved wooden case.

GreyWing Ensemble (est. 2016) is a Perth-based new music ensemble consisting of Kirsten Smith (flute), Catherine Ashley (harp), Lindsay Vickery (clarinet) and Jameson Feakes (guitar).

Recording, mixing, mastering and artwork by Lindsay Vickery.
Additional performances by Sage Pbbbt (voice), Zoe Kilbourn (soprano saxophone), Josten Myburgh (electronics, conducting), Dan O'Connor (trumpet), Eduardo Cossio (harmonica, electric guitar), Philip Waldron (bass), Aaron Wyatt (viola), Tristen Parr (cello), Michael Terren (conducting) and Stuart James (conducting).

Artwork designed at Future Shelter.
Photo by Josh Wells Photography.