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Robin Saville - one half of the influential duo ISAN - returns to Morr Music with »Lore«, his fourth solo album to date. After 2020’s »Build A Diorama«, the British musician takes his love for field recordings, whirring pads, hovering bells and subtle electronics further, adding extra depth to both his sonic palette and his storytelling, focussing on biological diversity and its implications for human life.
For many years now, ›look and listen‹ has been Robin Saville's motto on his regular environmental explorations. The avid ambler does not just enjoy being out and about in nature; it is an important inspiration for his creative work as well. Sounds, smells, colours and even soil properties add to the experience. Equipped with a microphone and a recording device, Saville documents his strolls, using these recordings as a base for his compositions. »The field recordings on the album were made very locally this time, for obvious reasons,« he says. Welcome to the sonic landscape of the UK's East Anglia.
»Judith Avenue«, the opening track, is a great example of how Saville evolved his perspective on the sounds of nature: »It is a residential street, fading into a scrubby, wild landscape. There, I made a recording of nightingales at dusk. Such romantic birds! The males fly here from Africa a couple of weeks ahead of the females. They find a good territory, and at dusk, when all the other birds are going quiet, they start to sing to tempt the females down from their migratory flight paths. This has happened for thousands of years. However, the patch of ground where I made the recordings is earmarked for development and I don't suppose it'll happen there again. The recordings therefore become part of the history of that place, the lore.«
Recording the sounds of nature and enriching them with electronic sorcery, Saville is not only a documenting preservationist; he also translates these recordings into meaningful musical miniatures. Building on the soundscapes that marked his previous LP »Build A Diorama«, »Lore« is dominated by both open-hearted melancholy and more upbeat rhythms. But even when the music sounds quirky and loose, there is always deeper meaning. The album is characterised by an ever present melancholy about the threatening loss of living spaces, and a celebration of their beauty. This simultaneity turns the tracks into existential meditations about our human habitat. Saville enriches our lives musically by addressing the very issues we often ignore. At the same time, he becomes an agent of hope and change. Moving between light and dark, »Lore« is a musical allegory of where we stand today.
»The album is a document of places and times and while it is certainly a celebration of those things, it is also a record of things we are losing. That's how interaction with nature feels to me nowadays: something precious and amazing, but with an underlying sadness about the destructive relationship that humanity seems inevitably to have with the world around it.«
Let's not lose any more things.