Issue 07: Sound & Music
Looking beyond the hype and the hyperbole of the pop charts, we instead examine the science and the magic of music making.
We cover subjects as disparate as Aphex Twin’s robot maker, Godfried-Willem Raes, the field recordings of ex-Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson, the Shipping Forecast and yes, even the odd hurdy-gurdy.
You’ll find beauty, passion and skill everywhere you listen. And as for craft… well, music and making go hand in hand. That’s why the issue boasts interviews with some of the world’s best musicians and instrument makers, including the incredible kora player Seckou Keita, piano makers Steinway & Sons and generative music pioneer Dr Mick Grierson.
We delve into the obsessive world of the audiophile – whether their interest lies in obsolete recording technology or the historically accurate harpsichord performances of Linda Nicholson, who boasts one of the finest private collections of early keyboard instruments in existence.
The analogy with craft is a rich one: Andrew Weatherall, the legendary DJ-producer (and ex-carpenter) tells us in a rare and exclusive interview how a seemingly throwaway track that took him six hours to record ‘hadn’t taken six hours; it had taken 25 years and six hours.’ Likewise, we examine the incredible attention to detail (not to mention tongue-in-cheek humour) behind the serial numbers Factory Records gave to everything they produced.
Elsewhere you will find contributions from musicians including Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl and Pete Wiggs of St Etienne. We celebrate the joy of discovering a lost classic – whether it’s in a secondhand record store or the vaults of a recording studio – and examine how the popular music of the day influences and shapes our fashions and attitudes, from the high street to the coalmine.
Our contributors this issue include best-selling authors David Nicholls and Richard Benson, magazine legend Ian Birch, music journalist Jude Rogers and photographers Andrew Bettles, India Hobson, Christopher Sturman, Kira Bunse and Joss McKinley.
Welcome, then, to the Sound & Music Issue. As Jeff Barrett, founder of Heavenly Recordings, so neatly puts it, ‘There’s that necessity to either call it a day or make it brilliant.’ We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.