The Icon for this image is in fact the inspiration for the track. It’s one small square of a woodcut map from the second printed edition of Utopia – 1518.
Full map here: citiesandmemory.com/utopia/
The track is meant to represent the sounds that might be heard in this area of the island!
In the spirit of the Cities and Memory website, I used a lot of new and old field recordings as the basis of the piece; if you want more details, then read on…
I’ve gone for a dreamy, mysterious atmosphere with this one. Bells ring out as the sun rises. You hear the burbling river that is still not far from its source*. Wind blows through the crow’s nest as waves swell around the ship. A gentle horn sounds from the castle battlements and is quickly joined by monks singing inside the monastery.
* Ignore the banner that says OSTRIUM ANDYRI (The mouth of the river Anydrus) – it’s generally regarded as a joke.
In the middle section the soundscape changes dramatically as a second horn rises outside the castle;
drums of war herald an approaching army and battle is joined.
The fighting fades away and we return to relative tranquillity; this time we also hear a lonely voice
from the battlements – first speaking and then singing a short lament.
Production-wise, everything is in this one, including my kitchen sink!
• Opening shimmering drone = Bells of St Anne’s Church, Moseley, Birmingham through 2 modules in Reaktor.
• Burbling brook – outlet pipe from my kitchen sink.
• Wind and waves – pure synthesis in Reaktor
• Horn – it’s a weird old alpine style horn I bought years ago – finally used it in a project!
• Amen – monks! :0)
• Deep brass chords – pure synthesis in Absynth.
• Horses – Earlswood Stables, Solihull.
• Swords – kitchen cutlery
• Elven language – gobbledegook based on the addendum to the book.!
• Female singing – synthesis.