earthly delights archive


Nocturnal Emission
Tharmuncrape An'Goo
Track listing

The most recent and most surprising appearance of Nigel Ayers's long-running (17 years!) and ultra-prolific drone-throb project is this disc, a manipulation of bagpipe music played by John Webb. The essence of bagpipes is their drones: pushing breath through a series of reeds with tremendous force. Ayers plays with the sound of the drones (artificially slowing down or speeding up the passage of the "air"), and with the meaning of a drone (Does it have so be a note or group of notes? Can it be a repeated rhythmic pattern?).

Some of these tracks have new drones added to the sound of the bagpipes - barely perceptible electronic hums, or gentle mechanical noises that distinctly don't belong to the world of wood and cloth. Passages played on the chanters are looped and turned into cycling constants; one set of drones crossfades into another; the instrument's overtones are separated from their context, and presented on their own. After a few tracks, the piping no longer has the connotations of its original instrument - it's just a human and ancient sound.

Robin Edgerton and Douglas Wolk
CMJ New Music Report

back to Reviews index

Site Map





Network News