NEWS: Lawrence English announces new album


Wilderness of Mirrors by Lawrence English – out digitally July 21st, on vinyl August 1st – PRE-ORDER

Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. It is two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A Baker’s novel, The Peregrine. It is English’s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation.

The phrase, wilderness of mirrors, draws its root from T.S Eliot’s elegant poem ‘Gerontion’. During the cold war, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial.

Wilderness Of Mirrors also reflects English’s interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The album’s overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics.

“During the course of this record,” English explains, “I was fortunate enough to experience live performances by artists I deeply respect for their use of volume as an affecting quality, specifically Earth, Swans and My Bloody Valentine. I had the chance to experience each of these groups at various stages in the making this record and each of them reinforced my interest in emulating that inner ear and bodily sensation that extreme densities of vibration in air brings about.”

The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness Of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane.

“We face constant and unsettled change,” English notes, “It’s not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bare witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?”

Wilderness Of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality.

01. The Liquid Casket
02. Wilderness Of Mirrors
03. Guillotines And Kingmakers
04. Another Body
05. Wrapped In Skin
06. Forgiving Noir
07. Graceless Hunter
08. Hapless Gatherer


ALBUM REVIEW: Lawrence English | The Peregrine

written by Chris Familton

Lawrence English’s music is never merely a collection of musical pieces or songs in the traditional sense. The sound artist sculpts his audio work based on concepts, themes and source material that while it is isn’t essential to be familiar with, greatly enhances the listening experience. The Peregrine is English’s homage to the writing of J.A. Baker and specifically his book of the same name that portrays the bird’s world in East Anglia from both macro and micro perspectives.

The predominant musical approach that English takes is one of layered, textured drones. There is little distinction or separation between the instruments creating the otherworldly sounds and though much of what we hear is alien and mysterious it works extremely well in creating a holistic world and the feeling of space and movement both in the air and closer to the ground. This is immersive music with little in the way of perceptible horizon or objects to grasp onto but you feel like you are being led through the record by an ethereal and endearing tour guide.

The Peregrine is limited to 1000 vinyl copies and over its two sides the music shifts through seven passages that range from the soaring organ of the opener The Hunting Life, through the dense coruscating sheets of choral drone of Frosty’s Bitter Grip to the ominous and meditative Heavy Breath of Silence and more. Within the confines of decaying sculpted sound English has created a work that succeeds in creating an evocative, emotional and resonant picture of an environment that he has only visited through the words of an author. That is testament to both English and Baker’s creative bravery and mastery of their art-forms.

this review was first published in The Drum Media