The Winterhouse "Gathering Autumn" 2xCDr
"Gathering Autumn" is the 5th collaborative album between DataObscura's Anthony Paul Kerby from London, Ontario and Robert Scott Davies from Ithaca, New York. Released on DataObscura at the beginning of January 2014, this double album comes with an eye-catching front cover image by Robert. The same image is also featured on a pro printed glossy card, which is included with each CDr order. Each of the previous collaborations from these two creative sound sculptors offered a tremendously transporting journey, so my expectations are again really huge. Let's confirm that...
Disk One starts with "Secluded Vale", a tranquilly organic piece, led by rich natural field recordings and surrounded by monolithic drone and intermittent rumbles. This soundscape is exactly described by its title, no wonder I am immediately immersed. The journey has begun!!! "We Must Endure", which clocks over 15 and a half minutes, is quickly invaded by monumental drift expansion, again rather flatlined, with hidden, slightly mysterious distant embellishments. The transition in the middle is warmly relieving and shifts from gorgeously wide-screen panoramas through polished lively cascades to nearly symphonic blankets. Welcome to deep drone paradise, it's intense and graceful!!! The next piece, "Deepwoods", which is a few seconds longer than its predecessor, safely stays in serenely encircling forest wilderness and quietly traverses from calmer terrestrial authenticity to slightly harsher and disruptive shadowy paths. Another appropriate track title!!! No wonder "Curious Pathways" immediately follows ... A mysteriously undulating texture blending warmly drifting expanses with nostalgic culminations. Colorful sounds of the ecosystem's inhabitants are starring in "Autumn Nights", while monotonously spiraling distant drone is guarding above. "When The Day Ends" quickly dives into heavier, hissy fields although hauntingly counterpointed with joyful and placid piano expressions. Moving through richly sculpted cascades, both natural and hummed. This is a stunningly exciting conclusion of the first part!!!
Disc Two unfolds with "Gathering Autumn", a 10-minute title track, on which is immediately apparent coalescence of a massive static drone blanket and live performances of forest residents. Along the way smooth traverses with rumbling motifs and uncanny noises inconspicuously sneak in, while sparse fragile tinkles add contemplative feel. "The Shifting Sky" keeps its panoramic structure, floating and ebbing through intense peaks, with velvety clinks mesmerizingly arising from behind the mysterious clouds. "Growth Of The Soil" again precisely amalgamates catchy organics, meditative patterns and monochromatic drone mindscapes. The next track, "They Lived Here Before", attracts with its deeply evocative yearning texture, masterfully embellished by occasional native flute fragments and distant rumbling delicacies, but toward the end an array of sharply outbursting and swirling rattles steal the center stage. "Autumn Gardens" returns to a more relieving, yet colorfully enticing environmental terrains. The following composition, "Wandering Alone", meanders quietly through scenic landscapes, touched by slightly pensive calmness, before reaching a glitchy flavored piano conclusion. "To See Everything" with 11 and half minutes the longest piece on this disc and a closing opus, merges subtle oscillations with hissy dissonances, all guarded by celestial drifts, gracefully floating and swelling. Fascinatingly immersing finale!!!
Without doubt "Gathering Autumn" is a really monstrous double set from The Winterhouse!!! Hats off to both, Anthony Paul Kerby & Robert Scott Davies, who effectively integrate their freshly distinctive signature sculptings into one utterly homogeneous and detailed recording devoted to the natural beauty and diversity of flora and fauna in beautiful forests that are within our reach. "Gathering Autumn" works well as a background ambience, but I definitely would recommend a deeply attentive listening session, and if possible, with your headphones on. Trust me, this way you will explore many well-hidden surprises and rewards!!!
Richard Gürtler (Apr 13, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)