Boomkat Product Review:
The richly rewarding monthly series from string virtuosos Laura Cannell & Kate Ellis pulls in significant contributors for a masterful suite of fireside storytelling
Hosting input by estimable BBC field recordist Chris Watson, Swedish documentary maker Milene Larsson, and Irish singer/songwriter Adrian Crowley; the ‘October Sounds’ volume travels from Scandinavia to Northumberland and New York via a quietly engrossing mix of strings, nocturnal woodland atmospheres and traditional folktales. Anyone following the series the far will maybe know how much we love it, and surely know what to expect, and ‘October Sounds’ does not disappoint. It’s one of the most layered and immersive yet, benefitting from the additional personnel in a similar manner to their previous works incorporating the likes of Rhodri Davies and Stewart Lee.
Chris Watson’s recordings of the Northumbrian nightlife (think Corvidae and wind in trees, not the Bigg Market) lend an absorbing texture and space to three of its works, including Milene Larsson’s evocative regaling of a Swedish folktale about mermen set to distant sounding folk strings in ’Näcken’, to his recordings of layered over Cannel & Ellis’ brooding strings recalling scenes from a Belá Tarr flick on ‘Cloaked by Ravens Wings’, and the darkly sublime stillness of ‘Within the Forest Darkness’, while their absence only heightens the attraction of Adrian Crowley’s intimate delivery on ‘Blue Is The Colour’.
We warmly advise spending the long nights in with the whole series for the best kind of distraction from the outside world.