Andrew Wasylyk is the alias of Scottish writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Andrew Mitchell.
In 2018, Andrew was extended a residency invite from arts centre and historic house, Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland to create new music for their restored, 19th century, Erard Grecian harp.
During Wasylyk's five-month sojourn he created melodies and progressions echoing the building's unique relationship with the looming North Sea horizon. Using not only the harp, but the house's original grand piano, Andrew explored the Angus landscape and beyond, gathering field recordings on trips to neighbouring Seaton Cliffs and Bell Rock Lighthouse (the world's oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse).
Winter slipped into spring, and harp-led compositions gave way to an ambitious third, full-length album, exploring a range of themes utilising a broad palette of instrumentation, including flugelhorn, euphonium, oboe, string trio, vintage synthesisers, drones and upright piano.
From the wandering, Bob James-esque, Fender Rhodes and shimmering strings in the study of coastal light, "(Welter) In The Haar", to the plaintive brass and farewell transmission blowing through, "Adrift Below A Constellation", punctuated by the fragility of Wasylyk's sole lead vocal of this collection - "The Paralian" (a dweller by the sea), is a conclusion embued with blue and golden melodies that land in a territory akin to experimentalists such as Robert Wyatt and Brian Eno. Through which, Wasylyk weaves the listener along a Modern-classical, Ambient and Jazz dream of Scotland's east coast.
Athens Of The North team were stunned by the luminous beauty and creativity at play in this work. Falling between genres and time, it stands next to 60s British Jazz, effortlessly blending notes of Library and soundtracks with dashes of British Folk.
STAFF COMMENTS says: Athens Of The North have always been a big hit in the shop, with their jazzy hazy folk offerings proving particularly popular (Hampshire & Foat come instantly to mind), but nothing has quite hit home like the mind-blowing debut from ‘Andrew Wasylyk’ (aka Dundee’s Andrew Mitchell). From the outset, the paddling ambience and perfectly weighted piano of “Through The Field Beyond The Trees Lies The Ocean” sets the scene perfectly for the lysergic journey that is ‘The Paralian’. While “Greendrive #2” slowly ambles from plucked harp (I mean really, it could be anything, the last time I spoke to him he was off picking up a vibraphone because it’s yet another sound to shape into the electro-acoustic narrative he so perfectly forms) into a meandering percussive stroll through the Scottish countryside, it’s follower “Journey To Inchcape” that forms the peak of this narrative microclimate. Slowly swelling horns and reverbed CR-78 work away beneath the melancholic woodwind and shimmering guitar, hinting at sorrow, but working through it with a combination of otherworldly, soothing ambience and momentous stoicism. Later, we explore the same story arcs, but with each stroke rendering a broader and more colourful palette. The slightly tense “Flight Of The Cormorant” for instance giving way to the anxiolytic majesty of “Mariner’s Hymn” by way of the brittle “Westway Nocturne”, dispelling all tension and making every moment of dispirited majesty all the more necessary. ‘The Paralian’ is a masterwork, and an unbeatable way to spend a winter evening.