From Shelter Press... Lake From The Louvers is a new solo work for concrete sounds, electronics and instruments from Australian composer-performer James Rushford, who has spent the last fifteen years honing his singular approach to composition and performance through solo works and collaborations with artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Crys Cole, Will Guthrie, Graham Lambkin and Klaus Lang.
Created primarily during a stay at the La Becque, an artist residency on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lake From The Louvers draws inspiration from the play of shadow and light on both the surface of the lake and the window through which Rushford viewed this lacustrine landscape. While the lake is itself at times directly audible in the form of field recordings, the image suggested by the record’s title is less directly represented than translated into sonic structures inspired, as Rushford explains, by ‘the passing of shadow through a fixed space’. The movement of light across these two flat surfaces, lake and window, finds its sonic equivalent in these eleven pieces, in which fragments and particles of sound – highly amplified crunches, synthesized squawks and pings, harp notes – ripple across the length of each track. Fixed sets of elements define each piece, often moulded into ephemeral ensembles in which individual voices consistently fade away and reappear.
Rushford’s performances on various keyboards provide the unstable, wavering foundations of many of these pieces, with microtonal tunings adding a woozy, seasick edge to his stately, often stunningly beautiful playing. Each side of the LP ends with an extended keyboard work: the first for groaning, sighing church organ, the second for a psychedelic cloud of detuned synthesizer tones in which harmonic fragments sink into their own melancholic recollection. Elsewhere the record makes use of elements as varied as microtonal harp, skittering drum machines and synthetic marimba, establishing a sound palette remarkable for its breadth, as well as its sparkling, glittering quality. Where many of Rushford’s solo projects have taken the form of long works with a sombre cast, Lake From The Louvers is strikingly bright and accessible, a series of sonic glimpses in which, like a late Monet, the shimmer of light undoes the distinction between image and reflection, foreground and background, surface and depth.