MIDLANDS (2019)

By Didtractfold Ensemble
Live performance at Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik in Bludenz, Austria, on 3 October 2019

Distractfold Ensemble:
Rocío Bolaños, clarinets, objects and electronics
Daniel Brew, electric guitar
Linda Jankowska, violin, objects and electronics
Alice Purton, cello, objects and electronics
Emma Richards, viola, objects, percussion and electronics
Sam Salem, diffusion

Commissioned by Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, funded by the Ernst Von Siemens Foundation.

Guest performers:
Mark Knoop, keyboard and accordion
Ute Wassermann, voice

Direction: Sam Weaver, sound engineer Emily Moore, producer

 

Description

…if we strip a thing of all its disposable dimensions, we reach a state of ineffability. It is as if we could detect… at the heart of existence, something ineffable that does the job of ‘being that thing’; the receptacle of each and every name, itself standing before names.
Federico Campagna, Technic and Magic

1. Dreamt in Fire
2. And Despite The Support Of Your Despair
3. There Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack
4. How To Build A Machine

Midlands is many things to me. It is equally psychogeographic and biomythographic. The psychogeographic is concerned with the city of Derby, in the Midlands of the UK.

Derby is the site of the first water-powered cotton mill, the engine of the Industrial Revolution and William Blake’s original “dark Satanic Mill”. And yet, Derby today is largely post-industrial. To gather this thread of the narrative of Midlands, I walked the 120km of the River Derwent, a river that bisects Derby and whose flow shaped our world.

The biomythographic is concerned with my experience of growing up in Derby as Other in the 1980s. Now, in my own midlife, I wish to channel these experiences, with alchemical aims.

Thus, finally, the outline of the territory of Midlands begins to reveal itself. It describes a literal and ineffable geography, an exterior and interior landscape. Or else, it is a ritual, undertaken to transform darkness into light.

“How To Build A Machine” contains a sample from “Acid Test” by Gorilla (Whitby, Kersey, Cooper, Gatford), which is taken from the Extended Play EP and used with the permission of the authors.

Special thanks to Clara Iannotta Iain Reekie.