On March 15th Erased Tapes presents the invigorating and powerful debut solo album Lines of Sight by Australian-born, Liverpool-based composer, saxophonist and founder of Immix Ensemble, Daniel Thorne.
Deeply moving, full of otherworldly beauty and rapture, the album is alive, throbbing like a circulatory system, colourful and glowing. It literally dazzles – effectively capturing what the birth (or death) of a planet might sound like.
In Daniel’s own words, “Thematically, this music was inspired by birds-eye aerial images and the idea of perspective - how something incredibly complex like a river or the surface of the ocean is reduced to a simple line or shape when viewed from the heavens. The line between natural and man-made becomes increasingly blurred.”
Every strand is fresh, vital and purposeful. The description ‘seamless’ might suggest a smooth, bland fusion, but here elements overlap in intermittent, undulating layers of mesh. Avant-garde, noise, electronics, ecclesiastical, classical, a touch of jazz and traces of Wyatt-style contemporary folk come together, each occupying their own space while acquiescing with the whole.
“Several compositions are derived from ratios and processes, and are highly calculated, while others evolved in a much more organic way. I wanted to create music that blurred lines between acoustic and electronic, organic and synthetic, composition and improvisation.
I’ve long been a fan of studio-based composition, but have always found the infinite possibilities on offer daunting and, often, a stumbling block. To get around this I set myself a challenge of limiting myself to the physical instruments in my possession – a few different saxophones and a bass synth, with no more than four tracks to record them,” he adds.
Lines of Sight follows Thorne’s work as artistic director of the acclaimed, collaboration-focussed group Immix Ensemble. Together with experimental electronic artist Vessel, he co-wrote Transition released on Erased Tapes in 2016, described by BBC Radio 6’s Mary Anne Hobbs as “a remarkable new piece of music”. More recently, he worked with acclaimed modular synth wizard Luke Abbott, to create a four-part suite, which was premiered live in June 2017. Immix Ensemble have also performed special live commissions with Kelly Lee Owens, Dialect, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones, among others.
Prior to leaving Australia, Daniel was fortunate to work with some of the country’s leading new music ensembles as both a composer and performer, receiving commissions from the TURA New Music Festival and the Australia Council, as well as being appointed as Composer in Residence at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In the UK he was the recipient of the prestigious Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition, and also undertook a residency at Metal Liverpool, which provided him with the time and space to create Immix.
As the first track under Thorne’s own name, ‘Iroise’ was recorded for the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary release 1+1=X, alongside works by Nils
Frahm, Penguin Cafe, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Rival Consoles. He also recently remixed Manu Delago, known as the live percussionist for Björk and Ólafur Arnalds.
After a first solo performance at Sea Change Festival 2018, the new year will see Daniel tour across Europe, promoting the forthcoming release of Lines of Sight.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Dense synthetic soundscapes mix beautifully with shimmering post-apocalyptic drone into a richly textured and highly hypnotic suite of electronic soundscapes. With the tender touch of modern-classical (no surprise being an Erased Tapes release) slowly moving into soaring euphoric musique concrete.