So, I just couldn’t resist writing this quick little bit about a band/album I discovered yesterday.
The band’s name is Kiln, and the album is called Meadow:Watt.
My first impression of this music was to write it off as a form of IDM (intelligent dance music) – all blips, crackles, and static – which I typically find tedious and self-aggrandizing. However, there was something there that had me pause and listen deeper. Perhaps it is the practice I’ve had over the past few years working on noticing nature more deeply, but I had the distinct intuition I should explore the depths of these compositions.
And as I sat, with eyes closed and headphones on (definitely headphones music!) I couldn’t help but thinking I was experiencing an aurally constructed forest of sound. This wasn’t a stereotypical new-age flute, synthesizer, and birdsong sample-based song, but rather a more organic experience. I was experiencing a creation that was growing as I listened to it. In the electronic creaks, cracks, and whispers I found myself hearing tree branches, wind, and leaves underfoot. I heard roots moving under earth, leaves emerging from buds… Birdsong was there, but transformed, alongside the chirps and whistles of what I perceived to be a variety of insect life. It was a soundscape of both familiarity and mystery.
Having studied Attention Restoration Theory (ART), which purports that the environment of ‘soft fascination’ provided by the forest and its fractal shapes acts to realign our brains into a more relaxed state; I couldn’t help but thinking as I listened to this music, that I was experiencing an electro-organic version of ART. As I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the constantly shifting sounds, I noticed that I was fully engaged in this music with a modicum of concentration I haven’t given to an album for quite some time.
I was giddy, challenging myself on how many different sounds I could hear within the framework of each song. I loved experiencing the unfolding of each song, how the layers built up a nourishing duff for my own senses. I was never bored, actively listening for whatever new twists in the path came next. This music transported me to the forest in a very atypical way – but one that I so deeply appreciated.
Needless to say, I quickly delved into the rest of Kiln’s catalogue. Reading up on the band I discovered that the band’s first incarnation was named Fibreforms, their first album – Treedrums!
I guess I wasn’t so far off in my interpretation. I hope you give this a chance…it may reward you in entirely different ways.