“Grey Malkin, an enigmatic figure known mostly from The Hare And The Moon project. He also collaborated with Amanda Votta and Neddal Ayad on their The Spectral Light project (which we had the pleasure to present on Santa Sangre as well). A master of oneiric atmospheres and an aural illustrator of dark fairy tales.”
How would you summarize this past year on an artistic and personal level?
This year has been a strange one. It’s felt incredibly productive, fulfilling and busy but it will be early next year that many of the things I have been working on see the light of day so in some ways it feels like 2015 will be when things come into being.
Looking back there has been the Amanda Votta & the Spectral Light ‘Secrets To The Sea‘ album which I was delighted and privileged to be a part of. It’s swampy, goth noise is something a little different for all of the contributors and so was extremely satisfying. I also did some work on a still to be released The Floating World album, finished off two new The Hare And The Moon albums that are due early next year (one, ‘Haunted Cabaret’, a collaboration with singer Kentin Jivek and the other, ‘Wood Witch’, our brand new album that has been four years in the making!), remixed tracks for Ashtoreth and Palace Of Swords (the latter will be released on 7” next year), recorded contributions to potential Neon Lushell material and provided a couple of soundtracks for artist Paul Thomas’ animated films. Phew!
Highlights for me that I must mention were working with Alison O’Donnell from Mellow Candle on a contribution to the splendid ‘Songs from the Black Meadow’ compilation album and having Ken Patterson from Caedmon remix and play on one of THATM’s songs. I love and am hugely influenced by both Caedmon and Alison’s work so these were significant events for me. My review work and writing for The Active Listener music site has also kept me busy and put me in contact with many lovely and friendly artists and labels.
Rightly or wrongly I judge personal and artistic fulfilment as the same so overall it has been a very satisfactory time. On a personal level I have found myself becoming quite fascinated with photography but I’ve neglected my painting – I must get back to this next year!
Which album have you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2014)?
Can I name more than one? I’ve found myself returning to Om’s ‘Advaitic Songs’ repeatedly, it’s just a massively brilliant piece of music. Also Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, surprisingly dark and deeply eccentric English whimsy. And possibly Coil, a mainstay for me.
What was the best gig you’ve attended?
Without a doubt, Earth at the CCA in Glasgow in the summer. Mood altering, transcendent noise that demonstrated to me without any doubt that there is great power in minimalism and the right kind of repetition. I also got to see just how tiny Dylan Carlson actually is, he’s dinky!
What was the best non-music related cultural experience you’ve had?
There have been many. Perhaps the Smallpetitklein Dance Group performing at St. Giles Cathedral, in Edinburgh on New Year’s Day whilst accompanied by a Philip Glass score on the huge cathedral organ.
Was there an event within this past year that has significantly influenced your philosophy and outlook on life, or your perception of the world around you? For instance some specific place you visited, people you met and so on?
Numerous events, people and places. I’m probably a bit of a sponge; I tend to soak up aspects of wherever I am or whatever I’m doing. Visiting the west coast of America for the first time and staying in San Francisco was an eye opener in terms of the culture and history of the city, I felt enriched by being there. Although, I was equally affected by walking in the hills on my own in Edinburgh during the summer. I like to wander off on my own or take a train to a town or part of the countryside I’ve not visited before and just walk about and experience aspects of my environment. So probably being in nature, on my own, has influenced me the most. I’ve felt the need to retreat a lot this year and work out what I need in my life and what I don’t.
What was your greatest disappointment in 2014?
I tend not to get hugely disappointed with things, they are as they are.
Your plans, hopes and expectations for 2015?
Generally, for everything that is lined up music wise to go ahead as planned and in the best form and presentation it can be in. For more musical collaborations (there are a few in the pipeline) and for possibly something a little different – I plan a Grey Malkin project of some description, something quite different from THATM. Possibly also to grow a large beard. And to speak to more cats.