Kris Keogh – ‘Processed Harp Works Volume 2’ (Provenance)
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Influenced as much by Debussy as Atari Teenage Riot, Processed Harp Works Volume 2 is a series of ten micro-sculpted sound worlds, written, played, recorded, mixed and arranged by Kris Keogh in his home studio.
It was inspired by two simultaneous life-changing events – the birth of his daughter and the death of his father. Kris describes his feelings at the time as “intense joy and crippling sadness, all combined, all at once”, and he made the album as a way to express those feelings through music. Thus, Processed Harp Works Volume 2 is an elegy, but also a fantasia – a gift to anyone needing a space to listen, to reflect in, to escape to.
Kris notes: “Everything I make is about juxtaposition, about creating something unexpectedly cohesive from seemingly opposing sources, from polar extremes. These extremes are ingrained at nearly every level of this album.
“It’s the contrast of a gorgeous, acoustic instrument with the heavy digital audio processing that it is transformed by. It’s making music that is happy and sad at the same time. And it’s making music that works well as both an ambient background for the casual listener and an intense sound experience for those willing to climb in and really pay attention.”
The follow up to the 2011’s Volume 1 (released by New Weird Australia), the album was recorded in Kris’ home town of Nhulunbuy, in Arnhem Land, in Australia’s Northern Territory (1,043km by road from the nearest city of Darwin). It was made entirely by Kris playing harp through ‘Processed’, a self-made Reaktor ensemble, “designed by trial and error” over the last ten years. The software is included as a bonus download with the album – a gift from Kris for anyone interested in mutating and transforming their own musical ideas.
“The glitches marry organically to the harps strings, to produce work reminiscent of Japanese electronica pioneer Susumu Yokota … haunting, beautiful electronic symphonies.” Music NT
“Despite the digital wizardry, beauty and tenderness survive” Rave Magazine
“Every moment is compelling. Keogh’s sampling gives every moment of disconnectedness a heavy emotional charge” Come Into Land
Kris Keogh is an Australian musician and producer from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. He is intent making the most beautiful noise possible, any way he can.
Kris’ classical training sits happily at odds with his 18 years in the electronic underground. His well-loved electro-acoustic project, Blastcorp, spawned five albums of everything from “washing machine music to acoustic lovesongs” and led to supports with artists such as Diplo, Mad Professor and Regurgitator. The brief but beautiful collaboration Red Plum And Snow was followed by a hard-left turn into bass music, which saw Kris launch the ZZAAPP Records label and his Laptop Destroyer live persona.
Kris is also a co-founder of Happy Yess, a not-for-profit arts organisation and DIY music venue that exists to support original Darwin music.
1. Just Before Forever 05:55
2. Starlight, Splintered and Fell 04:08
3. Until Underneath Everything 01:27
4. Stillness 03:23
5. Dissolved / Detached 07:35
6. Moving / Melting 01:31
7. Never Unknowing 04:57
8. Breathing, But Breathless 03:18
9. Lost, Eventually 03:02
10. Endlessly Undivided 07:28
Written, played, recorded, processed, mixed and mastered by Kris Keogh.
Album artwork: ‘Blood-Crystals of Squirrel’ from ‘A Text-Book on Physiology: For the Use of Schools and Colleges’, published by Harper & Bros, New York, 1866. Image restoration by Nico Liengme.