All Becomes Desert
This is a series of (mostly) analogue improvisations, done a while back on my old Roland Juno 106 and recorded straight onto DAT (historical note - Digital Audio Tape, popular in the 1990s), then transferred onto a modern setup for processing and mixing.
It is an album which uses processed minimalist ambiences and warm analogue soundscapes to evoke the wide-open, empty spaces of the great deserts and their hostility to human interference.
Cover design by Lionel Avignon at www.hartlandvilla.com.
Electronic Sound magazine, Issue 52, April 2019 by Push
http://www.whisperinandhollerin.com/reviews/review.asp?id=14647 April 2019 by Christopher Nosnibor
Les Blessures Invisibles / Invisible Wounds
Ian Williams has contributed the soundtrack to the new documentary film by french director, Eric Michel, which investigates the effects on the Gabonese town of Mounana of almost half a century of uranium mining. For many years Mounana was the biggest supplier of uranium to the french nuclear industry, but in 1999 the mines were deemed no longer viable and the mining companies and their personnel left, with the infrastructure falling into disrepair, and the townspeople left facing an uncertain future with the after-effects of years of close contact with radioactive materials not yet known.
The soundtrack album features not only the music used in the film, but also much of the music written for footage that does not feature in the final edit.
Cover design by Lionel Avignon at www.hartlandvilla.com from a still from the film.
The Dream Extortionists
Recorded between 2005 and 2017 on a 1904 Steinway baby grand in the French village of Cogny, an 1899 Blüthner at Studio Slaughterback in London and an unknown, earthquake-tuned piano at the Ice Cream Studio in Tokyo, this album is a dark and disturbing trip through the decaying and decadent last days of human civilisation, in an overpopulated world where nothing works, nobody is content, and the masses are controlled by a handful of billionaires intent solely on not sharing their dubiously acquired wealth, along with a smaller handful of high-tech megacorps intent solely on owning, tracking, watching and manipulating everything we do - The Dream Extortionists.
Some tracks feature the piano as a simple solo instrument, but often it is heavily processed and accompanied by electronic and orchestral textures, voices, and, at one point, even a spaghetti-western guitar to alter the musical landscape. Melody is key, however, albeit as the melancholic soundtrack the Ballard-esque titles would suggest. In any case, it's about time that 'gothic chill-out' became a genre...
Cover design by Lionel Avignon at www.hartlandvilla.com, photography by Ian Williams
Ian Williams started out in the 1980s as a founder of Beautiful Pea Green Boat, whose ethereal, atmospheric sound pre-dated the current vogue for dream pop. More recently, he has worked with singer Claudia Barton as Gamine, releasing two albums of dark, piano-led torch songs and lullabies.
He has also collaborated with Lebanese choreographer Joumana Mourad's dance company, Ijad, during which time he produced music for several productions, developing a hybrid Arabic / classical / techno / ambient style.