Shearwater Drift

Shearwater Drift cover
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Al Fraser, Steve Burridge, Neil Johnstone
Shearwater Drift

[ Rattle Records / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 15 June 2018

Seemingly familiar but tantalisingly mysterious, these beautifully composed sonic landscapes offer a unique experience of the world through sound - the known and the unknown.

Shearwater Drift is a vast sonic collage that explores real and imagined landscapes. The compositions are created from pieces of sonic architecture utilising elements from the man made environment, the land, ocean, and sky, and those strange places in between where sound is a hybrid. Many of the sounds are unique to New Zealand, in fact some are unique to Wellington, while others are from Scotland.

There is a cyclical aspect to this piece, which begins and ends with birdsong from the two hemispheres of our globe. Our aim was to create an album that takes place in a slowly evolving, ethereal world, with pieces that express, reflect, and explore non-linear time and memory as sound. Ancient and ultra-modern sounds are woven together by the luminous sonic threads of Al Fraser's nga¯ taonga pu¯oro playing, the elegant, ornate soundscapes of Neil Johnstone and the deft sound design of Steve Burridge to create a beautiful and, we hope, transcendent aural experience.

Neil Johnstone (recording, manipulation, composition)
Al Fraser (ngā taonga pūoro)
Steve Burridge (engineering)
Ross Harris (accordion sounds on Tsitern)
Nick Pilcher (piano on Ferrous Aro)
Robert Baldock (treated sea samples on Cloud Shadow)


1 Mirror of light (8:32)
2 Plumed waves (4:39)
3 Shearwater drift (6:05)
4 Haunted by lotus pollen (3:20)
5 Tsitern (5:14)
6 Kōwenewene (4:32)
7 Petipeti (4:02)
8 Whale fall (7:31)
9 Collapse of sleep (1:32)
10 Pīwakawaka flame tip (3:55)
11 For Phyllis (5:10)
12 Irukandji (7:12)
13 Cherry blossom pool (5:05)
14 Hollow wax snails (2:41)
15 Honeycombed bee orchid (4:37)
16 Ferrous Aro (3:21)
17 Cloud shadow (3:21)
18 Haere (3:21)