Saturday, 10 November 2012

Spheruleus - Cyanometry [Tessellate Recordings]

The cyanometer is a circular measuring instrument made from graduating shades of blue, originally created as means to measure the blueness of the sky. It was invented in the late 1700s by Horace Benedict de Saussore to assist his studies and fascination with the sky. He correctly supposed that the level of blueness visible in the sky was as a result of the amount of suspended particles present in the atmosphere.
In recent times, not much has been written about cyanometry and a quick scour of the internet will yield you little in the way of further reading. 

It was on a particularly crisp blue day, the sort that would have had Saussore engaged, cyanometer at the ready when Harry Towell (Spheruleus) happened upon the concept for his latest project. He embarked on a long walk through the surrounding countryside in Lincolnshire, UK with the intention of drawing inspiration for a new body of work.
He had hoped that the quiet farmland, trees, fields and electricity pylons would provide the spark required to propell his work with sound yet on that day, it was the sky that fixated him and thus Cyanometry was born.

Back in the studio, Harry set about weaving his collection of acoustic instruments into his usual style of rustic melancholy. Inspired and fresh from his walk with a theme in mind, he allowed the resulting lo-fi sounds to retain their melodic properties and set them against a backdrop of noise, radio interference and vinyl crackle.
Field recordings taken during the walk and at other locations filter into the mix; an old lady pushes her trolley through the backstreets of a sleepy village, ice cracks under foot on a cold morning and the cogs and gears of a bicycle turn, all the while permeated by fragments of forgotten radio broadcasts.
The final stage of the recording process saw Harry team up with work colleague and piano owner Neil Winning to round off this set of short recordings with an additional element.
After a short period of tweaking, the final outcome was married with track titles to reflect the varying moods of the sky.



released 12 July 2012
Recorded and produced by Harry Towell
Piano by Neil Winning
Cover photo by Paul Randall
Artwork by Harry Towell
Additional photography by Harry and Baz Towell

Instruments used:
Piano, classical guitar, violin, duduk, ukulele, harmonica, glockenspiel, trumpet, bugel and keyboard

Bonus remixes by Tom Honey, Hummingbird and Harry Towell. Remix photography by Harry Towell and Hummingbird

CD print design by: Christian Roth

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