C O L L E C T R E S S reveal the windswept lament of ‘Goodbye’ from their debut Mondegreen, plus support acts for upcoming live shows confirmed‏

February 20, 2014


I am pleased to offer you yet another window into the beguiling world of C O L L E C T R E S S, a talented collective of UK based multi-instrumentalists who are self-releasing their debut album, Mondegreen on 24th March 2014. Leading on from last month’s audible treat ‘Spell’, which you can still listen to here, comes the windswept lament of ‘Goodbye

Goodbye sweeps up the lonely sounds of a prairie – animal calls, hushed howls, unopposed wind – and sets them to work creating a wandering, living composition, animated by the creaking pull of cello and the fullness of the vocal refrain. It is most certainly one of the album’s most mesmerising pieces. Says the band about the song; “Goodbye is inspired by a Katherine Mansfield’s short story The Wind Blows: Now the dark stretches a wing over the tumbling water. They can’t see those two any more. Good-bye, good-bye.”
The live dates for March are fast approaching, including a notable appearance at this year’s Women Of The World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre. To celebrate the launch of Mondegreen, C O L L E C T R E S S have curated shows in Brighton and London featuring a mix of analogue light and sound installations as well as solo appearances from some of the other fine musicians who helped them realise the album. Here are the confirmed live shows, including support acts…
Friday 7th March, 1pm, WoW Festival, Southbank
Sunday March 23rd, 8pm. Mondegreen London Launch. Vortex, Gillet St, London
Featuring Amy Dickson’s ‘Light Time’ (mixed media performance installation) and Andrew Waterworth’s ‘Looking for God’ (Solo double bass)
Friday March 28th, 6.30pm. St John’s Church, Bridgetown, Totnes
Sunday March 30th, 5pm. Mondegreen Brighton Launch Little St Peter’s, Preston Park, Brighton, with guest appearances from Mary Hampton and Joanna Burke plus Joe Watson’s (Stereo Lab, Junior Electronics) ‘The Long Loop’ (analogue tape installation)
Sunday April 27th, 6pm. The Local @ ACE Hotel, Shoreditch High Street, London  (with Ruth Barnes and Talk in Colour)
Pre-order Mondegreen  via the band’s own Peeler Records:
Mondegreen‘s song titles represent the sounds and locations that inform each particular piece of music: “Whitechapel” thaws the numbing cold of the empty church in which it was recorded; “Goodbye” rises and falls with the undulating sigh of a great expanse. “Owl” teems, crawling with the sounds of heavy breathing and crunching gravel. The whole album is alive with sounds, urgent footsteps and creaking doors, bicycle wheel clicks and rifled cards all nestling themselves between delightful string arrangements – Mondegreen is bursting at the seams with imaginatively organised sound, and you can’t help but be thoroughly engrossed.
Coined by Sylvia Wright in an essay in Harper’s Magazine in Nov 1954, a Mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as result of a near homophony, in a way that gives it new meaning. Likewise, C O L L E C T R E S S find fruit in mishearings and happy accidents recognising that paths through are sometimes oblique or followed without intention; they flow intuitively from improvisations where the outcome can’t be known but is often far more beautiful than could ever have been planned. Music is a form of recycling where every new player, every new listener, makes new, unique and often very personal meaning from essentially the same set of notes or sounds. This record has been made with four sets of ears making four sets of collaborative hearings and mishearings, and shaping together the paths that flow from them.

We first played Whitechapel at a lovely gig at the Whitechapel Gallery featuring our dear friend Francesca Simmons. The theme which Quinta wrote stuck fast, but the structure would never sit still. So we improvise around it and watch it change character each time: Flint wall, Teal and Hat in the Ring.
Spell was written as a counterpoint to some of the slower improvisations we had been making at the time, something quite constructed but also jubilant, that really bowled along. Like a troupe of circus gymnasts, the whole expresses balance, line and exchange both compositionally and in performance: a mixture of hand- holding and ball-throwing which keeps us alert every time we play it.
Harmonium is a slow, quiet entrance … sssshhhh.
Pumphouse was written for a gig in the Pumphouse Gallery in Battersea park. It was a beautiful summer’s evening and we played outside at dusk. The song evolved into a Blake-like reflection on the industrial and pastoral.
Owl is about communication and miscommunication. The repeated call and answer speaks of an intensity of purpose, but also the sadness felt if one lingers in the forest too long: listening and calling out, listening and calling out, listening and calling out.
Woodenheart celebrates practice. It grew from a way Rebecca had of warming up her fingers in the morning, of finding notes and enjoying their resonances. It is named for the four oak hearts, hand-carved by a talented friend, that we were given whilst recording at La Rocque in Normandy.
Don’t be tricked by the melodramatic start, Movement is an absurdist exercise in movement. It relies on getting just the right chairs so that they don’t fall over when you tip onto two legs.
Mouseclover (a spoonerism of closemover) plays with movement in space, physical and harmonic. The field recording at the start is Alice walking into Little St Peter’s church, Brighton. The change in ambience from a summer’s day by the A23 to the spacious still silence of the medieval church is what made us want to record the album inside these old stone walls.
Rolling was written and recorded very quickly at Alice’s house as a soundtrack for some movement experiments which Caroline had been doing. We like the sudden change of focus from the space of the church.
Goodbye is inspired by a Katherine Mansfield’s short story The Wind Blows: Now the dark stretches a wing over the tumbling water. They can’t see those two any more. Good-bye, good-bye.
Before and After was spawned in a moment of procrastination many moons ago and got lost in the postal system of south London. Years later, the string parts came out during an interval game. The slowed down blackbird arrived in the track on a very long snowy train ride across Sweden. Meditation through performance.
As a reminder, you can also watch a video clip for the track Whitechapel (Flintwall) and watch live footage of the collective performing in Union Chapel on 30th November 2013 via Youtube, here’s one clip:

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