A Ladder Is Not The Only Kind Of Time

Benjamin Tassie

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Format: CDR

Cat No: BRC021

Release Date:  08 December 2023

Label:  Birmingham Record Company

Packaging Type:  Jewel Case

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  5060644810200

Genres:  Classical  

  • Description

    Sheffield's historic Rivelin Valley was once a thriving hub of water-powered industry. Today the ruins of 20 watermills can be found along the river's length - ghosts of the city's industrial past. But the river Rivelin is alive, teeming not only with life but with the stories of life - with the multi-layered mess of mixed-up times, and with an invitation, generous and accommodating, to be still and to listen. It is rich with layers of history; sedimented, overlayed, and obscured.

    A Ladder is Not the Only Kind of Time features 3 water-powered historical instruments designed and built by Benjamin Tassie and Sam Underwood. Played by the river, these instruments produce sound mechanically. Waterwheels turn, plucking and bowing strings concealed within while another uses the river's water to displace air in its chamber, playing organ pipes according to an Ancient Greek design. The delicate recordings on this beautiful album feature the sounds of the river and its environment of birds, traffic, children, dogs and joggers joining in with almost forgotten instruments.

    The historical nature of these instruments evokes an idea of a time before the world became loud. For us today historical instruments suggest something lost in the rush to modernity. They remind us that progress need not always hurry forward, that the past might have lessons for us - that a ladder is not the only kind of time.

    Benjamin Tassie (b.1987) is a composer, artist, and researcher. He is particularly interested in how historical musical instruments, tuning systems, and performance practices can be recontextualised to speak to our contemporary experiences. His music has been commissioned and performed by organisations, ensembles, and soloists including The National Galley, Tate Britain, Historic Royal Palaces, Nordic Affect, Zubin Kanga, Liam Byrne, the Ligeti Quartet, and Juice Vocal Ensemble.

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Walkley Bank Tilt
      • 2. Frank Wheel
      • 3. Plonk Wheel
      • 4. Upper Coppice Wheel
      • 5. Little London Wheel
      • 6. Hind Wheel
      • 7. Swallow Wheel
      • 8. Second Coppice Wheel
      • 9. Roscoe Wheel
      • 10. Wolf Wheel