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Lawrence English


November 20, 2020

Transit was my first full length solo recording. When I say solo, I’m in no way reducing the contributions of friends like Mike Cooper, Tam Patton, Cat Hope, DJ Olive, Ben Frost, Gail Priest, Scanner, Philip Samartzis, John Chantler and Heinz Riegler who all helped to realise this work. Frankly, without them the record would have been a whole lot less interesting.

As the title suggests, this is categorically a record about motion, about transitions and about the ways of recognising the lived-in world that is so acutely felt in the earliest years of travelling. During this time, my world view expanded considerably and I was struck by the complexities of the world, the interpersonal relationships people experienced each day, the political intensities that haunted cities (perhaps most clearly captured in the transformed recordings of ultra nationalist speakers on the streets of Tokyo), the dynamic shifts of season (something rather foreign to us antipodeans) and the experiential list goes on.

At the time of making this record, I was quite focused on the idea of creating sound works that were detached from emotion. This wasn’t to say I wanted to create a cold music, but rather one that was utterly focused on the sensory qualities of the experiences that informed it. Phenomenology instead of affect theory I guess you could say. Returning to this record a decade and a half on, it’s funny how powerfully nostalgic and intensely emotional the memories carried in these pieces have become. My intensions, at least from my own listenership, have completely failed and I can say I do (deeply) feel this music (and thankfully sense its places and spaces too).

Each of the pieces on Transit were born out of field recording. During these years, I was recording literally all the time. I found it a powerful device for memory and also for imagination. Revisiting the recordings months or years after making them, I found different qualities of those times were revealed and those shifts often shaped the way the pieces were composed. It’s with pleasure I share this work again, freshly remastered and with a few little bits and pieces cleaned up.