The second of our new releases for March out today, sees the return of our label owner Harry Towell as Spheruleus. Harry has not released a CD on his label since 2016’s Obsolarium and with Canvas Homes + Supplémentaires he presents a double album of lockdown sound diaries. Some may recall Canvas Homes from Harry’s Home Diaries edition but 2nd Disc Supplémentaires is a new album, created during November’s lockdown mark II.
This limited edition double CDr edition uses photographs Harry captured during family walks as cover artwork and the sounds within these records cover field recordings, acoustic instrument sketches, household sounds and orchestral tones.
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“Spheruleus is Lincolnshire, UK based artist Harry Towell, who also runs Whitelabrecs and records alongside his brother Stuart as Paper Relics. Harry has been active in the modern Ambient music scene for over a decade and has released works with labels such as Eilean, Hibernate, Home Normal and Time Released Sound. His output on his own imprint has been scarce however, limited to one CD edition ‘Obsolarium’, released back in 2016.
We launched last year’s digital Home Diaries series off the back of ‘Canvas Homes’ which was a sonic diary of life at home during lockdown. The recording for this album began around 1 year ago with three key sound elements: field recordings, sketches made using acoustic instruments and MIDI keyboard arrangements. The sketches were all captured during brief 1-2 minute recordings to an iPhone whilst in his daughter Isla’s playroom. She unwittingly became part of the album and a positive constant during the strange events that were unfolding across the spring and summer. Walks out into local parks and woodlands became a source of field recordings and a connection to the natural world. Then evenings were a time of reflection and processing, as the sounds captured were orchestrated into tracks.
In November another lockdown was announced and Harry decided to repeat the process as a compare and contrast from his original process. The idea to create a second album began with the assembly of a new item of furniture for Isla’s room which arrived from France. A bag of spare fixings was labelled ‘Supplémentaires’ and Harry decided to set about a series of additional recordings with a view to release it as part of a double album. This time, the weather had turned cold resulting in a different lockdown altogether, with more time spent indoors. Isla had grown considerably in the space of just 6 months and her speech was much clearer. A familiarity with the ‘new normal’ also seems to have translated into the music, with longer, cosier tracks drawing out the winter months. There are more moments of calm and warmth; ‘les dormeurs’ was created at low volume one afternoon, as the household napped. ‘notre cocon’ establishes a sleepy comfort in the descent towards the festive period before ‘le résumé’ plays out a recollection of the year 2020, with Harry using every field recording he’d captured during this most eventful of years. The cover photograph was captured during a family walk in the summer; a reflective gaze into the local ‘Bourne Eau’.“
Written and produced by Harry Towell
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork and design by Harry Towell