A new “electronic travelogue” full-length from Toronto-based C.R. Gillespie arrives today via Séance Centre.
We’ve been closely following the introspective, highly conceptual sonic works of Colin Roy Gillespie since his incredible 2017 debut Séance Works. With each release, the Toronto-based artist has explored ambient territory dense with deeply enveloping melodies, all tempered by a range of non-musical influences. Sleep patterns, the dreamy meta works of Jorge Louis Borges, his memories of Southeast Asia — whatever the idea may be that informs the music, it is clear that C.R. lives in the wavelengths and is continuing the lineage of minimal greats such as Hiroshi Yoshimura, Laurie Spiegel, and Enno Velthuys. Today we’re excited to premiere his latest – Tracings in Honey, an album born from a lived experience and a desire to document the awes of his travels in Vietnam, to recapture his memories, and to sonically compose a place and time with all of its reality and fantasy.
We caught up with Colin who recounted the details of that trip which became the basis of the recordings, and how Tracings all came to be. Here’s what he had to say of the new LP:
“The origin of the tracks on Tracings In Honey came about in anticipation for a trip my wife and I were taking to Vietnam following our wedding (that’s where the Honey part of it comes from ;). Vietnam offered a tantalizing mix of urban settings as well as a few rural excursions that included hiking, caving, and exploration of the beautiful, lush landscape, occasionally supplanted with equally awe-inspiring rice paddy systems. The idea was that I would record some synthesizer improvisations before I left, trying to forecast the feelings and images we would encounter, and then pair the expectation with the reality when I returned in the form of field recordings.
I had collected recordings on my travels before, but for this journey, I wanted to capture the feelings of travel in a way that documented the scenery and sounds as akin to photographs. Not being much for journals or taking pictures, I can see now that this really is the best way to capture moments for me, as listening back to the album, I can close my eyes and still vividly place myself in those spaces. It’s funny how the brain orients itself to spatial cues; how reverberations can illuminate more than just depth and size, but also definition.
It really is wonderful for me to see this record come out on the physical medium (especially on Séance Centre, a label who’s output I have idolized and enjoyed over these last few years, also weaving into the audio glue that makes up the memory of this happy time with my wife). Music, specifically album-format listening, has acted as my primary arbiter of memory for a long time, back to when I used to carry a discman and 5+ CDs with me everywhere I went, willing memories into aural journal entries. I feel like that’s probably the best way to summarize this record: an audio postcard of a very happy and cherished time in my life.”