Recorder Ensemble

Teardrop

 This is a cover of Massive Attack's Teardrop from 1998. It was released in their third album, Mezzanine.

Recorders, Sounds, Vocals, Mixing and production: Racheal Cogan

Recorders made and designed by Geri Bollinger: Contrabass, CBass. Bass, Tenor.

 

The artwork is by my dear friend Carolyn Walton in Banff. Banff is a small town within a National Park nestled in Alberta's Rocky Mountains along the Trans-Canada Highway.  Magpies and crows are some of the few birds that stay throughout the winter of its subarctic climate and, whilst the bears slumber, their presence is an important part of this magical place along with the elk, wolves, enigmatic cougars, and the rare lynx. This lovely miniature work was created thinking of these birds and the many stories associated with them told by the First Nations peoples.

 

The Music

bird1.jpg

I wanted to utilise the raw sounds of my instruments and objects around me. So I worked on percussion ideas with slapping sounds on my larger instruments. One day I was mulling over some extra sounds the percussion needed whilst absent mind-idly tapping on the cardboard packet of some disposable razors. As I was thinking I started listening and thought that this was exactly the sound I was after. I also use a harpsichord sound in a couple of places to link back to the soundscape of the original piece.

One day, whilst prepping for dinner, I took a small break and fell into a light dreaming whilst my partner finished up cooking. As I slowly woke I could hear Massive Attack's Teardrop bubbling on the surface of my consciousness and in those suspended moments of waking I attentively fixed my focus to the sounds. It was a magical moment for some beautiful music. I decided to make a cover version; 1998 is more contemporary than my 'cover' of a composition by Hildegard von Bingen almost 1,000 years ago.

Tanpura

Tanpura (Racheal Cogan 2014)

Paetzold Contrabass (by Herbert Paetzold), Kung Bass Recorder (designed and built by Geri Bollinger), Ganassi in G and C ( by Michael Grinter), Futujara ( by Vladiswar Nadishana),

Bells, Gongs, Skiddaw Stones, Tubular Bells (from soniccouture).

I have always loved the resonance of the tanpura and jealously adored the overlapping resonance of this plucked string, drone type instrument.

I was aiming for the same feeling of resonance and notes overlapping on recorders - like a large organ, but with the sounds coming from different places and each with their own unique tone, length, and shape from the minds of each individual player.

With that in mind,  I began shaping this meditative piece with each note played into a different track, overlapping the one before to create long phrases made up of different players working together to make a cohesive, integrated whole. Even though it's just myself playing each track, as I created this piece I envisioned many players coming together to make up a moment of resonant space and sound. As I worked, this music felt to me like a form of falling deeper and deeper into an ocean.

Listen with a good set of headphones in a quiet space.

The image is a painting from a very dear friend who is an incredible and dedicated artist - Mitch Lang. I have adored both her and her art for at least 25 years now. The world is a richer and more generous place for her being in it.

Australian Waters by Mitch Lang
Australian Waters by Mitch Lang

 Mitch's image is both a reflection on living by the sea and the current Australian Government's long term and increasingly callous and inhumane treatment of refugees seeking asylum by boat in Australia.

Thank you to Violaine Corradi for always encouraging me to go yet further and to Andrew for always listening.