Simon Rackham

Harmonium Music (a Soundscape for Empty Churches)

by Simon Rackham

Released 2012
Released 2012
A subtle ambient soundscape for empty churches. The musical equivalent of a light mist on a lake at dawn.
‘Harmonium Music’ was made in the spring of 2012, with the intention of creating a work as a sound installation for churches. I wanted a piece that would have an ethereal wafting presence that would add something subtle to the silence. For this reason I decided to dispense with my usual method of composition (which is very ordered and with a constant pulse) and instead make something of a more elusive nature. I chose the harmonium for its traditional association with church music and for its sustaining quality and overtones. I individually recorded seven notes of a diatonic scale (some with octaves to create a richer texture), and then using copy and paste placed them in the recording as if making a collage of notes. This method gave me more freedom in spacing the notes as they are not tied to any metrical frame, but of course there is no score so the music only exists as this recording. The music should be played as quietly as possible, just at the level of audibility, (the musical equivalent of a light mist on a lake at dawn), with the CD set to replay.
© SR 2012