Artist: Philip Jeck & Chris Watson
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: Tone 83
Street date: 16th June, 2023
You can pre-order this CD album from today, 1st June 2023, here
2. Barn – click to listen
3. Beetroot Train
8. Salt End
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Photography by Chris Watson. Cover design: Jon Wozencroft
With thanks to Mary Prestidge, who writes:
At the end of January 2022 Philip was taken to A&E at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital suffering from severe back pain and was admitted for investigations. In the hospital ward, with some strong pain relief, he could more comfortably rest, mostly horizontally. During the day he could be angled slightly toward a sitting position.
Over the following days, aiming to make sense of his current predicament, Philip regained a tiny level of normality. With his laptop in place he tapped into familiar territory and, when finding the most favourable times, listened to and worked with the sound files that Chris Watson had sent him.
During these brief, intense spells Philip gave all to his ear and heart to guide and shape the music forming at his fingertips. Oxmardyke is the album which resulted from this collaboration.
Philip’s laugh was infectious. Our conversations would usually begin with exchanges around the enthusiasm we had for each other’s work and the respect we shared for other Touch artists. However, as we were most likely to have met over drinks at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool the evening would gradually dissolve into convivial disarray. What did emerge from these soirées over recent years was a desire to find ways and means for us to collaborate at a place where our ideas converged.
In 2017 I was recording along the north bank of the Humber estuary and one morning driving back from Faxfleet I was stopped at the Oxmardyke rail crossing. The gates were down. After setting up a microphone array by the tracks for a passing freight train the signalman shouted an invitation to climb up into the gate box to make some more recordings.
Over the following weeks I made several return trips to Oxmardyke and gathered a broad palette of recordings. I discussed the sounds, stories and history of the site with Philip after a show and we were both excited by the potential of making a work together.
Philip was drawn to the ancient history of the area from 6th century Anglo-Saxon times to the Knights Templar and how the sounds, rhythms and textures from those periods may still inhabit the contemporary landscape. My thoughts took inspiration from ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens and the painting ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’ by Joseph Mallord William Turner. We agreed to share ideas and exchange tracks.
Oxmardyke gate box has now passed into history.
I hope my contributions may frame Philip’s exceptional work. [August 2022]