Colin Whitby


Synchronicity The title Synchronicity is a play on the word “sync” as in potential synchronization with film projects and other media. It also kind of refers to the ‘unexpected’ meeting or surprising co-existence, if you like, of disparate and diverse genres and instrumentation in a ‘shared space’. I wanted to create nuances, shifting grounds, unexpected juxtapositions that keep the listener guessing. Each track came about naturally from personal experiences and choices made from a wide field of musical interests I've developed over the years. The end result, the album as a whole, I think is a landscape of diverse sounds, a kind of confluence of styles and genres. Each track is a small ‘window’ onto a ‘soundscape’ coming out of a disparate range of instruments. They variously refer to the timeless classical past and contemporary eras of the West, to tribal/ethnic chants, to tonal shapes and structures that point to the more ‘futuristic’ allusions of minimalist Systems Music. Each track holds subliminal ‘cinematic memories’ or themes inspired by film/pictorial moments, perhaps continuing in the tradition of “Music for Films” (Eno) and “Pictures at an Exhibition” (Mussorgsky).

The Seven Tracks

Walker: A leftover Rare Groove riff with the hype strained out. The Didgeridoo is the essential sombre mood-setter throughout. This is Wasteland Funk, the sound of the wilderness. The drumming is almost Industrial, the rhythm section of a ‘dystopian’ lament. The ‘Systems’ cycling Marimba gives way to a Clari-Monkey Chant in the bridge. Introducing the Dobro, the whole ensemble is lost in a universal wasteland, neither Outback nor Deep South.

Journey to the Coast: There’s a pulse throughout, from the Persian Castanettes. Each section remains a block of juxtapositions – no fluid ‘developments’. Marimba, the quintessential Systems signifier, has a cyclical repetition. Sub-ish bass is discrete but pumping. The Tom Toms dominate the ‘breakdown’ (minus tow-truck). The Trombones complete the “Road Movie” reference with their emphatic mimicry of the Doppler Effect.

Stomp: From the lilting trills of the Clarinet, to the shuffling percussion created with Bow slaps to a Bass. A lazy tempo vibe is contrasted with raucous animalistic Horns; a concrete jungle.

Fire on the Mountain: A conventional Drum kit, brimming in mixed delay is accompanied by more epic percussion; Tong Zi Drums with their relentless pounding. Gongs (rim scrapes) throughout. The tragic Cellos build to a romantic interlude with Chinese Bawu, returning to the ‘credits’ theme; a chant for Basses with more evocative rim scrapes, Temple Bells and Gongs.

Black Seed: Dub references, as the Horns mimic mixing desk delay. Melodramatic Brass with more dancing Horn delays painted over. The Tuba maintains the Dub Bass. All this culminates in a Chant section, emphasised by Gamelan and Angklung.

Emerald Isle: A pulsing bass line punctuated by a chorus of Ewe drums. Floating in the foreground is the Frame Drum from Celtic traditions. The Harp is an almost Techno, sparse accompaniment while the Uilleann Pipes add their song-like melodic refrains. Oboes lend an almost Ambient spatial texture as backing.

Off the Rails: Refers back to classical modern soundscapes with ‘Music Concrete’ effects tracks heightening the suspense. These are juxtaposed with “Thriller” strings, with a hint of psychological disturbance.

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