Michael Begg 'Titan' CD
Michael's work is consistantly excellent.That being said, this is one of his finest - highly recommended!
This CD comprises a stereo mixdown, by Michael Begg, of the original quadraphonic audio installation that was housed in the wheelhouse on top of the Clydebank Titan for the 2017 Sonic-a Festival. The work was a commission from Cryptic.
Michael Begg’s “monumental” work includes extensive field recordings from the site and its surroundings and the sounds of aeolian harps that were created by Begg to harness the winds that frequent the wheelhouse and viewing deck, 150 ft above the River Clyde.
From Cryptic’s Sonica literature… High over Clydebank, in the wheelhouse at the top of the Titan Crane, Michael Begg presents a site-specific installation that transforms the iconic structure into both musical inspiration and musical instrument. The crane symbolises past and future, both a monument to an industrial age of unprecedented feats of engineering and exploration and, today, signals a prospective epoch of ambition, imagination and outgoingness. In Begg’s piece, the crane and its environment become the basis for a work for electronics, cables, strings and breaths, playing on the material of the structure and the voice of the wind that sings around the elevated wheelhouse.
'Begg’s extraordinary sound… building to moments of ecstatic beauty' - The Scotsman
*REVIEW FROM VITAL WEEKLY* By now there is quite a bunch of Michael Begg releases, twelve it seems, under his own name and as Human Creed and also from the group he’s a member of, Fovea Hex. A busy man, but he also finds time to create audio-visual installations and one of those was in the wheelhouse on to the Clydebank Titan, as part of the 2017 Sonic-a festival. That was quadrophonic, reduced to stereo (obviously) for the CD release. The music is made from field recordings in the area, as well as Aeolian harps Begg build over the years. The wind around the wheelhouse playing those harps is also at the foundation of the music. All of this is very ambient and as such it may seem odd (or at least I thought so) that the eight pieces are not very long; from a mere one-and half minute to six, but around four is the most usual. It’s good to see someone who believes less is more and not plays out his ideas too much and thus spreading it thin. In all of these pieces there is an endless amount of drone material, but of a lighter nature. Delicate and sparse, rather than full and dense. I had the impression that some of these pieces consisted of just a few sounds, rather than a multitude of sources. Begg’s music may be ambient and quiet, but it is not always very gentle, which is exactly how I love these things. He knows how to add a sharp edge to his sounds, almost as if he’s aware of the hole that he can fall into, the dangerous shady world of new age music. Begg stays safely away from that world with his ringing and singing overtones, like singing wine glasses and loops of obscured field recordings (in ‘It’s All Triangles’ for instance), topped with a fine spice of dark reverb and, as easy as that may sound, that’s all you need for great album by Michael Begg. (FdW)