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Musician Joe McKee releases ‘Ultra Letizia’, using field recordings captured along a three-week voyage aboard a cargo ship.
British-born, LA-based musician Joe McKee found a whole new world of sound for his record Ultra Letizia on a three-week sabbatical aboard a cargo ship. As the vessel navigated the waters between Japan and the United States, McKee moved along the 1,200 ft boat with mallets in hand to test the sonic quality of different densities and materials. With a basic zoom recorder and shotgun mic, he collected spontaneous organic sounds and delicate moments, such as a janitor on the ship reading a lullaby to his two-year-old son, who he would not see for a year due to the job.
When the voyage was complete, McKee fed the audio samples into Ableton to create a meditative, expansive soundtrack that reflected his time on the sea. Howling winds cascading alongside the stern of the ship; the manic chugging of the ship’s engine room — each element carries listeners on his journey. A video of McKee exploring the ship was released with the record. It was taken from the documentary Are The Green Fields Gone?, directed by artist Cole Sternberg. This new work is perfect for listeners in an exploratory mood, especially after the sun has dropped beyond the horizon.