Finding Shore (LP)

 
Finding Shore (LP) cover
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Tom Rogerson With Brian Eno
Finding Shore (LP)

[ Dead Oceans / LP ]

Release Date: Friday 8 December 2017

Like every child, Tom Rogerson loved to make a noise. Life as an improviser began at a tender age when he would copy his older sister after she'd done her piano practice. "I was three or four, my legs couldn't touch the ground," he remembers. "I enjoyed smashing the keys but I then rationalised it into what I do now."

Rogerson's new solo album Finding Shore isn't a discordant, jarring piece however, but 13 elegant and evocative tracks assembled in collaboration with Brian Eno, who he met outside the toilets after a gig. At first the pair didn't speak about music at all, but bonded over their roots in the Suffolk town of Woodbridge, located on the strange flat landscape of Eastern England, all heathland, military testing sites, estuary mud and the site of the ancient Sutton Hoo ship burial.

The first day in the studio was instructional in terms of what was to come. Eno had already mic'd up a piano and asked Rogerson to do what he'd normally do at a gig. Rogerson describes what he played as "very emotional, very cathartic, me wailing and screaming, getting quite out there. I thought 'wow that was just such a perfect 45 minute thing we could just release that'." But Eno had other ideas, eventually zooming in on just 30 seconds of music, cutting it up and looping it to a form inspired by Eric Satie. The result is the three-minute-long 'An Iken Loop', which is now Rogerson's favourite on the record. The fragment that made the new piece could not, of course, have happened without the preceding improvisation. "It was this classic Eno, almost scientific thing," Rogerson says now. "He always finds a system that can be a source of creativity". Other Eno-devised systems included playing along to an arpeggiator, cut-ups of chord sequences written down and pulled out of a hat, or placing Midi and physical sounds in juxtaposition. "It was never anything other than pleasurable," says Rogerson of the experience. "We had plenty of experiments that didn't work, but it never feels like you're failing. He's quite egoless as well about his own ideas."

Tracks:

1. Idea of Order at Kyson Point
2. Motion in Field
3. On-ness
4. March Away
5. Eastern Stack
6. Minor Rift
7. The Gabbard
8. Red Slip
9. Quoit Blue
10. Marsh Chorus
11. An Iken Loop
12. Chain Home
13. Rest