Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spheruleus - Voyage [Hibernate Recordings]


'Voyage' is the latest album from Lincolnshire based sound designer Harry Towell. Released under his Spheruleus guise, this album utimately provides a soundtrack to a doomed sea-voyage. Through eight different movements, 'Voyage' chronicles everything from the immense pride felt as the ship sets sail to depicting the horror and heartache of its sinking. The album then closes with detailed passages that portray the decomposition of the ship as it begins to rot deep under sea.
This album is well researched with Harry having explored his chosen subject thoroughly. For the two years in which the album has been in the making, the young sound designer studied the history of great sea disasters and also took inspiration from soundtracks such as Gavin Bryars’ ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’ and Gareth Hardwick's 'Of The Sea And Shore'. Although the Titantic's infamous fate was naturally a strong influence on the project, 'Voyage', does not refer to any particular sinking ship. Instead, its purpose is to sonically depict the various emotional aspects that lie within a failed sea voyage, as felt by all those who are affected by it.
Once the concept for 'Voyage' had been born, Harry revisited one of his old demos from early 2010 and decided to make this the spine of the album. He then used his instrument collection including; guitar, violin, trumpet, bugle, zither and keyboard to add several layers to the demo. In doing so Harry has been able to develop his chosen theme and create the character required to turn this forgotten treasure into the album it is today. As a poignant exaggeration of the events that unfold through the track 'She Sinks', there is a contribution from Russian pianist Alex Tiuniaev that opens and closes this dramatic track. He also performs on the track 'Clouds Swarm', as it heads into a crescendo.
Aside from his solo production work, Harry also records with brother Stuart under the name Paper Relics and runs the Audio Gourmet netlabel, which specialises in 15 minute EPs designed for shorter 'tea-break' listening. His work as Spheruleus has seen him release through netlabels such as Test Tube, Resting Bell, Earth Mantra, Audio Gourmet and in March 2010, his first physical album 'Frozen Quarters' was released on CD format by the Under The Spire imprint.
Mastered by Rudi Arapahoe
Photography by Richard Outram and Daniel Crossley
Limited edition CD pressing of 200. Release date: 07/10/11

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