FolkWorld #75 07/2021

Experimentation Within Folk Music

‘In geometry, the torus is a shape generated by constant revolution. This spiralling flow of energy is constantly refreshing and influencing itself, creating an infinite dance of information. You can see the toroidal form in plants and trees, hurricanes and electromagnetic fields, and in galaxies beyond our own. Torus is an exploration of the flows which connect us to our world, and a reminder that change is our only constant.’

James Lindsay

James Lindsay

Artist Audio James Lindsay "Torus", Oir Recordings, 2021

Artist Video James Lindsay

New genre-bending album from acclaimed composer and instrumentalist James Lindsay.

The Orcadians of Hudson Bay

Artist Audio »The Orcadians of Hudson Bay«

Torus is the latest album release from composer James Lindsay; it is an expansive and atmospheric continuation along his trajectory of experimentation within folk music. This album follows his critically-acclaimed debut Strand, presenting a seamless blend of Scottish Folk music, contemporary jazz, experimental rock, and ambient textures. Torus contrasts traditional instrumentation and tune forms with contemporary harmony, abstract rhythm, and the freedom of improvisation in order to create a dynamic space of musical exploration.

As a composer James has received the Martyn Bennett Prize for Composition, been awarded a first prize at the 2020 Nature Scot/Fèis Rois In Tune With Nature competition, and earned a nomination at the 2018 Scottish Awards for New Music for ‘Innovation in New Traditional Music.’ As a musician he has performed on stages around the world with renowned folk band Breabach.

Written over a period of two years and completed in lockdown, Torus takes a kaleidoscopic look at contemporary Scottish Folk; the music is by times intense and expansive, darkly atmospheric and up-lifting. The album title reflects the cyclical interactions of humans with nature as the music traces revolving tensions between things ancient and modern, places wild and urban. Torus is an exploration of the flows which connect us to our world, and a reminder that change is our only constant.

In the summer of 2020 James ran a successful Crowdfunder campaign and, with the assistance of Creative Scotland, was able to record at Glasgow’s GlowWorm recording studios with acclaimed producer Euan Burton (Kris Drever / Siobhan Miller / Seafarers) and a group of Scotland’s finest cross-genre musicians. The record was mastered by Grammy award-winning engineer Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Sufjan Stevens / Anais Mitchell / Dillinger Escape Plan).

The album artwork ‘Observatory’ is by Scottish artist Alice Strange, with cover design and photography by Elly Lucas. Torus also features a new piece of Scottish Gaelic prose written by Ewen Henderson entitled “Clach-stèidhe” (Foundation Stone), which is sung by Deirdre Graham on Lewisian Complex.

Featured musicians:

Angus Lyon - Accordion			James Lindsay - Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar,
Ben Macdonald - Electric Guitars	Moog, Synths
Deirdre Graham - Vocals			Norman Wilmore - Alto Saxophone
Jack Smedley - Fiddle			Scott Mackay - Drums
John Lowrie - Keyboard			Signy Jakobsdottir - Percussion

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) James Lindsay, (3) »The Orcadians of Hudson Bay« (Graham Rorie) (unknown/website).

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