+ Emphemetry - Old Dreams
My studio, where my piano is kept, is situated in a very old mill at Darley Abbey in Derby.
There are crooked passages between the mill’s buildings, bits of machinery from dead industries, and strange empty structures with walls swelled by years. In the foggy none-days of mid-late winter this place has an uncanny resemblance to how I picture the shadowless walled town in the ‘end of the world’ scenario from Haruki Murakami’s novel Hard-boiled Wonderland & The End Of The World.
I started bringing the book with me to recording sessions, and taking it to the ghostly pub around the corner. With every chapter I could point to a place or think of a person in the world around me here that fits the words perfectly.
Inspired by the piano in Nils Frahm’s studio (where he mixed my album A Lullaby Hum for Tired Streets), I began playing mine with these similarities in mind, and recording it in new ways (capturing some of the inner workings of the instrument as well as the music it makes).
This is the first piece from a set of pieces inspired by Darley Mills and Hard-boiled Wonderland & The End Of The World - a soundtrack to one of my favourite books, or to a film of it I wish someone would make.
At the end of the recording there’s the sound of geese flying past the window as the last chord rings out, and the hiss of the violent weir below the Mill: uncanny artefacts in the recording, that further blur the distinction between the book and this place.