Morris Cowan – Notes

When I got back to the studio with the recording I was satisfied with how it rattled along to all the synths be they smouldering or fully ablaze, the feeling of smoke billowing, whipped up in the air.

I tell myself all sorts of stories. Sometimes doing so may be in an effort to protect myself, sometimes to cut myself down. Honesty—including honest self reflection—is a noble goal, but we also need to nurture our own fantasy worlds. Without building those internal structures, how do we make sense of ourselves and our feelings? Without imagining what we might want, or what we need, how can we ever achieve anything–or at least how can we feel satisfied once we’ve achieved something?

On his latest album Notes, Cornwall’s Morris Cowan definitely gets at that comforting ‘writing electronic music in the forest’-type sound that you sometimes hear on a James Holden or Nathan Fake record. The song titles and cover art would imply that was the intention, or even the process. Or maybe, considering all the winds on the Cornwall coast keep forests from taking root, this is music for the rocky green expanse. In any case, this kind of intimacy is elusive for most composers of electronic music. Cowan describes some of the sound sources for the songs on the record: recordings of a cacophonous working wool loom he visited on the Isle of Mull, a 1990s Mattel toy drum machine, found-sound recorded by tapping sticks against trees. But for all of this field recording, it’s the songwriting and synthesis that give these songs most of their tenderness.

Grab Morris Cowan’s Notes on bandcamp now, or find it anywhere to stream.

Morris Cowan – “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” (sc)

Morris Cowan – “Toasting Marshmallows As The World Burns” (sc)

Morris Cowan – “Boss Music” (sc)


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