‘Wild, Strange & Beautiful’ – Kris Keogh’s ‘Processed Harp Works, Volume 1′

Posted on May 21, 2011

Kris Keogh‘s ‘Processed Harp Works Volume One’ is the sixth release on New Weird Australia’s label imprint, New Editions. Several years in the making, this genuinely unique album is made entirely from harp recordings, processed using self-made Reaktor ensembles.

The eleven track release – with cover art from New Weird Australia’s Heath Killen – is available as a ‘name your price, no minimum’ 320kbps / FLAC digital release, from our Bandcamp store.  The original run of limited-edition CDs, housed in a gatefold card sleeve, has now sold out.

More info on the release, plus a video for “Above Paris, with stars in our eyes” can be found on the New Editions Release page.

Reviews & Interviews for “Processed Harp Works Volume One”:

MUSIC NT feature an extensive Q&A with Kris titled ‘The Future Sound Of Darwin’ with rare photography of Kris at Aoyama Harp Studio in Osaka: “His new album – entitled ‘Processed Harp Works: Volume One‘ – is a luscious, dreamlike conglomerate of ‘click music’ and sampled harp sweeps, processed through software which he wrote himself. It might sound like an odd mix but the glitches marry organically to the harps strings, to produce work reminiscent of Japanese electronica pioneer Susumu Yokota, known for making equally haunting, beautiful electronic symphonies.”

Kris supplies the cover art and is interviewed by Alexandra Savvides in Issue 28 of CYCLIC DEFROST“Processed Harp Works, Volume 1 is the sort of soundtrack that could easily accompany a Shigeru Miyamoto video game – imagine a Legend of Zelda-esque aural aesthetic married to beautiful imagery on screen.” You can read it online at cyclicdefrost.com, but we recommend downloading the PDF version for full effect.

The Australian blog EAST TO WEST is always unearthing amazing new local music. On Kris’ album, they say: “The crackling of the synths engulfs you as you come in and out of consciousness. It’s a cold, Eastern European winter and you wake up shivering throughout the night. Roll out of bed, crack open a bottle of vodka, warm your insides as you drown out the heavy rain beating down on the windows. Eventually, you’ll drift back to sleep…”

COME INTO LAND“Though it’s every bit meditative as you might imagine an ambient composer’s approach to harp music would be, every moment is compelling. Keogh’s sampling gives every moment of disconnectedness a heavy emotional charge, with each periodic interjection of harp tones punctuating a complex and sympathetic textural layer.”

GRASS HOUSES“As the name implies, the record is purely made up of recorded harp, processed and chopped, to an effect like a CD expertly scratched to skip choreographically. Moment of heavenly epiphany cut short by the subdued tones that should have built up to them. This, along with linear song titles, creates a narrative; or at least, it creates the sense of a narrative, obfuscated by constant jumps between chapters. Not so much a record of ‘catchy tunes’, treat this more as a piece of sound-art to be analysed, or else, on the contrary, as an ambient record to chill to.”

FLASHLIGHTTAG“It sounds absolutely wild. Strange. Beautiful.”

REVIEWS NT: “Under a new label and a new name Kris Keogh has pushed himself again to create sounds that the intelligent listener can understand. Not restricted to the mainstream structure of chorus, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, smash instruments. Kris has beautifully created his own world of noise that is visually enhanced by his own art work behind him on the stage and his laptop next to him.”

GRIND ONLINELike holding your breath so long you hear the tinkling of the angels wings

Thanks too to all the radio shows that have supported the record, including Sound Lab (Triple J), Sound Quality (ABC Radio National), Utility Fog (FBi), Difficult Listening (RTR FM), Delivery (3RRR), War Is Peace (4ZZZ) and more.

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