The new E.P was recorded in January 2020 at London’s Kings Place concert hall by Lau’s sound engineer Tim Matthew.
Available on CD or digital download Live Series 1.0 captures Lau live at the start of their Unplugged Tour and features a collaboration with Chris Watson (founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, now one of the worlds leading recordists of wildlife and natural phenomena).
“Chris Watson thinks about sound in the most inspiring ways. He was a particular joy to work with, not only for his famously affable personality, but for the depth of his sonic understanding. He hears music in every detail of the natural world. He knows better than anyone how to capture those details, and how to manipulate them into results that are somewhere between musique concrète, David Attenborough documentaries and Brian Eno.
He has a huge archive of sounds and he was keen to use material that relates to our sense of place. He settled on recordings which he made on the Black Isle – paired with the air ‘Gallowhill’ which Aidan wrote when he was staying in Cromarty.
You’ll find places called Galllowhill outside many towns in Scotland – places once used for executions and now normally just a scattering of stones or a cairn. Cromarty’s Gallowhill stands proud at the end of the peninsula and from there you can look north towards the Flow Country and south across the Moray Firth into Aberdeenshire. In that direction you look across the site of the Battle of Culloden. The story goes that the local people not involved in the fighting on 16th April 1756 climbed Gallowhill and from there they could hear the gunfire and see the smoke from the battlefield. Because of the nature of the Jacobite cause, people from both the Stuart and the Hanovarian sides were watching the battle from Gallowhill.”
Chris Watson says: ‘Gallowhill’ – what a remarkable story and coincidence. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years on the Black Isle. In the 1990s I recorded sound for a BBC Scotland film on the Bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth and stayed over in Cromarty as we were working with the Sea Mammal Research group based in the old lighthouse. We used to sail out from the Souters and into the firth. I spent time one summer recording the seabirds and ravens on the cliffs at North Souter and in the meadows up on Gallowhill. I also made lots of recordings of the dolphins’ calls and echolocation signals with my hydrophones.”
The new EP is one of several archive releases the band have made available via the recently launched Reveal Records Bandcamp page. During lockdown digital re-issues and rare material including live performances, remixes and collaborations have been released digitally and the band have also made a new series of “Unplugged” apparel and tour prints available from their website.
For the re-scheduled Unplugged tour Lau will recreate and rearrange material from across their catalogue highlighting an hour of raw, stripped down performance without pedalboards or electronics, just voice, fiddle, guitar and accordion and a 4 track tape recorder.
Artists’ website: https://www.lau-music.co.uk/