Cinematic instrumentals featuring instruments both electronic and acoustic.
Kim's background in film and TV shines through this album of engrossing recordings; uncluttered and atmospheric; transportational and moody. Birdsong In Mist is at times delicate and gentle with emotive piano chords and touches buoyed up on subtle electronica; in other places the music is more strident, dense with dramatic synth textures driving plaintive melodic phrases; there are even passages of heaving, metal-oriented intensity. Many tracks are beatless, having something of a neoclassical elegance, however If I wistfully echoes over a delightful downtempo beat that drags its thudding heels in similar fashion to the aching melancholy of Loss; the disquieting Bleeding Out features an ebbing-flowing sequencer rhythm of pure electronic tones whereas Steel Eye sees a complete drum kit powering electric guitar grunge chords and a darkly pumping theme. Halliday does a fine job of shifting the nature of each piece whilst maintaining a coherence of vision throughout.
Birdsong in Mist arrives in a deeply saturated gatefold digipack: lush green hues bathe everything - a dark bird of shadow ascending across the front cover. Rivulets of dark green run down three of the panels trailing into painterly blotches of foliage - dream-like, evocative. The rear cover presents track titles with times alongside: the uppermost right corner peels away to reveal a small section of a musical score beneath. Here too is note indicating interactive multimedia content gathered on the disc and a QR code that directs willing scanners to the Birdsonginmist website. Inside - the green theme is retained behind the clear plastic disk holder - bird absent. On the left section is a brief biographical note, relevant credits as well as website and email details.
The primary sound of Birdsong In Mist is that of the piano - Kim Halliday fills his works with powerful emotion and this acoustic instrument seems most suited to translating this feeling for the audience. That said, there is a broad range of instrumentation here: orchestral strings creep through Victim Selection; gamelan-like chimes hang in the air of Developments Of Late and lead the exotically hypnotic Eastern Games; there are effected guitars, double bass, tape effects and found sounds. Beyond the music there is much to discover on this packed disc: a further eight pages of digital booklet content; two wallpapers images; ringtones; a musical score for Developments of Late and a video of the artist discussing his work in cinema. The additional booklet pages provide some explanation of the artist's musical approach and attitude; there are notes for each track revealing origins and processes and there is an expanded biography.
Kim Halliday has been involved in writing music for film, television, theatre, multimedia and concert stage. Birdsong In Mist is released as part of a project with PARMA Recordings on Ravello Records, bringing together several strands of his work - filmic, minimalist and dark. As promotional material points out, these recording are effective for both a focussed listening audience or for various media projects. There are fifteen pieces in all on this album ranging from just over two minutes in length through to the five and a half minute opener Developments of Late. You can explore more of this release via Kim Halliday's own website where there are sound samples and in-depth notes revealing much of the artist's output. You might also enjoy a look at the Ravello Records page that provides some additional background and purchasing links.