From Jackson, Mississippi, Nicholas Maloney carves a vision of lo-fi atmosphericana. Though there is some use of traditional instruments, like guitar, organ and banjo, Lignum Muzek functions more like a weather vane. Field recordings of natural spaces around Mississippi result in bouts of almost-silences, which are less sound, more detectable pressure change. But then there’s the occasional insect, a sheet metal’s melody. A barely recognizable trombone, the sigh of trees.
Minimalist in arrangement but planetary in room size, the longform tracks move between spatial experiment and texture-as-mood. Wood has a heavy presence on the album—Maloney saws it, throws it off a roof onto a shed. But musique concrète is just one of the tape's dimensions. There are affective swells, romantic and buoyant, but still they retain a climatological sensibility. The artist’s interest in pushing the listener’s focus leads to deep listening gone weird: Lignum Muzek evokes that feeling when the sounds of Earth suddenly become understood as cosmological events, alien, gorgeous, and terrifying.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered August-November 2019.
Composed using field recordings of wooden structures, trees, large outdoor spaces, wood degradation, and various natural sonic environments around Mississippi - along with prepared acoustic guitar and banjo, woodwinds, trombone, sheet metal, thrown objects, cassette tapes, voice, synthesizers, and organ.