Arthur King’s Changing Landscapes is defined by two factors: process and location. The process, or artistic methodology, is focused primarily on field recordings, and is the unchanging framework that allows the location to truly serve as the focus of the art. For this installment of the series, Arthur King traveled to the Isle of Eigg in Scotland for a weeklong artist residency along with Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle. Arthur King and their newly-inaugurated member spent a week exploring the island, collecting a vast amount of photographic, audio, and video source material. They recorded the sounds of sheep, wind turbines, streams, waves, the local pub, rain, and wind. They pointed their cameras at souvenir shops, ferry landings, locals tending their gardens, electrical transformers, birds, and cows.
After a week far afield, the members united for an improvised performance that brought the artists’ solitary experiences together in a collective collaboration.
The finished album opens with a shimmering tremolo synth pad as a medley of field recordings weave in and out. Half-intelligible conversations, a vague rustling, wind, a rooster's cawing. The pulsing thud of a kick drum slowly creeps in like a heartbeat. The song culminates in a swirl of drum machine and guitar feedback before dissipating into the quiet, plaintive musings of a small church piano that Lytle stumbled across. Raindrops fall on the roof overhead. This palette reaches climactic heights in the album's opus "Eigg Electric," a fever pitch of industrial electronic percussion, synthetic drones, and crashing waves. The journey reaches its conclusion in "St. Franny's," where an elegiac string synth procession commences as birds chirp and sheep bah in the distance. The album closes with the reverberant trail of a lone dove’s call.
1. An Sgurr
2. Laig Beach
3. Eigg Electric
4. St. Franny's