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The Underlying

by Bethan Kellough

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Salton Sea, California, August 2020.

The air of the refuge bulges with low drones that consume the quiet of the place while overtones drift unevenly in the breeze, mingling with the rushing of the reeds and the chorus of insects. Birds rustle in the undergrowth, calling out with thin, complex voices that permeate the dense air. It is 108 degrees. The atmosphere is thick with heat and sound. The overtones waver like a sonic mirage and the low frequencies intensify. On approach, the mechanics of the power station stake their claim with a rhythm that ignores the pulse of the travelling bass - a pattern of white noise that slowly melts into a wash of water violently ejected into the still, strangely reflective surface of the Salton Sea. There are rocks stacked on this shoreline, hiding places for the small birds, chambers where the low rumbles multiply.

The Underlying features field recordings made in August 2020 at the edge of the Salton Sea, California – the site of a bird refuge and several geothermal power stations. It was composed in July 2021, reflecting on this impression of the soundscape.

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released August 27, 2021

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Touch: Displacing London, UK

Following Touch: Isolation which covered the first lockdown period in the UK, Touch: Displacing is a new subscription project where the focus falls on longer-form compositions, released on a monthly basis over the coming year and featuring artists for whom duration is a key feature of their work. ... more

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