Adhelm’s compositions investigate the spaces where insistent nature and bleak urbanity meet. The result is a compelling admixture of resonant percussion, processed field recordings and spectral electronics. His adventurous compositional processes and experiments echo musique concrète, Cageian indeterminacy and the deep listening ethos of Pauline Oliveros.
I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
— T.S. Eliot / from The Dry Salvages (No. 3 of ‘Four Quartets’)
This album comprises two pieces inspired by T. S. Eliot’s The Dry Salvages.
Yasam Rose imagines a day-in-the-life of the vessel of the same name that works along the lesser known part of the Thames. The ship sits small and alone in the river it traverses, occasionally kissing the vast banks which stir with trade and gossip. Navigating murky and muscular currents, it surveys the bleak flat landscapes scarified by dense clusters of industry. From wider waters, where sea-faring ships sit so tall they dwarf even the Yasam Rose, it travels upriver where scatters of Wren’s London echo from the banks. A passage through rain thick with traces from a metropolis forgetting its bucolic past.