The first collaborative release by Ian Hawgood and Danny Norbury - this might be one of the most long-awaited releases we’ve come across. Some might be very surprised that this is their first release as they've been friends and long-time collaborators for many years now. They've been making music together occasionally on Ian's solo releases and some compilations, as well as the groups like the Black Elk Quartet (it started as the collaboration by Ian and Danny, later Clem Leek and Tim Martin (aka Maps and Diagrams) joined) and Kinder Scout (with Jason Corder (aka offthesky)).
And now they release their first full length album. It's almost a decade after Home Normal launched in 2009. This must be one of the most important releases for the label given the time and connection behind it between the curator of the label and the artist who ha appeared on more releases than any other on Home Normal.
"Faintly Recollected" is originally a single long track (33 minutes) that has been edited by Stefano Guzzetti thereafter. Danny played cello and Ian played and processed Hokema Sansula kalimba ambient tones as well as looping and editing on the recordings onto reels. The resulting album is minimal but so elegant. The graceful cello by Danny (which he also provided for numerous albums by their friends The Boats) is epic as it slowly opens up the deep darkness as reflected through the perfectly matching imagery of the cover photo by Eirik Holmøyvik.
This is the music for everyone who wants to enjoy the quietness and calm of hidden moments.
- Words by Shinsaku Ohsaki (P*Dis / Inpartmaint)
All music by Ian Hawgood and Danny Norbury
Mixed by Ian Hawgood
Edited by Stefano Guzzetti
Photography by Eirik Holmøyvik
All rights reserved
'A beautiful and somber long form neo-classical piece.' This Is Darkness
'The music is melancholy, thoughtful and slow. Every note takes its time. Danny Norbury‘s cello is in turn mournful and thankful. One wonders if the album is inspired by loss. But then the chimes enter – first at the quarter mark and again at the half. These have a soothing effect, implying deep spirituality that is not restricted to any particular religion. When they first leave, they are missed; when they are gone again, their memory is cherished all the more, because the listener was not sure they would visit a second time. Perhaps this is how it is with memories, embraced all the more if they have been faintly recollected. The final third offers an even deeper experience of peace, as a subtle drone inhabits the sonic scenery, allowing the other elements to fade. This combination allows for the softest possible landing, a consolation of sorts, a reminder of the beauty that is as opposed to the beauty that was. Both have value, but when one fades, the other is an unexpected blessing.' Richard Allen (A Closer Listen)
'This release falls under the ambient genre, even with the primary inclusion of the cello, which is of course a mainstay in classical and modern composition – one of its most prominent arteries, in fact. The very nature of the long form piece promotes deep solitude and rest, a quiet evening in with only the music and the ghostly company of these two treasured artists. It not only deserves but needs to be played in its entirety. It’s continuity encourages a one-sitting–listen, and only then is its beauty truly revealed.' James Catchpole (Fluid Radio)
'Wistful layers of cello, serene and cinematic passage through ambient vignettes.' Norman Records
'We sink into it, submerge ourselves into the past like a baptism of thought. It envelopes us in placid reverie, the music and slowly re-encroaching drone timeless and drifting, untethered. There is an untouchable perfection to reminiscence, and it spreads a radiant warmth out from its core to illuminate even the greyest and coldest Winter days and nights, lost in a dream of beauty and satisfaction.' Hear Feel
'Alors qu’on a l’impression que les deux Britanniques se relaient pour assurer les notes tenues en arrière-plan (tantôt acoustiques lorsqu’elles émanent du violoncelle, tantôt synthétiques quand il s’agit de mises en boucle électroniques), chacun s’efforce de ne pas prendre le pas sur l’autre afin de proposer une ambient régénérante. Jouant joliment sur un mini-flux et reflux engendré par les allers et retours de l’archet sur l’instrument de Norbury, le propos se veut assurément discret et profond, à même de remplir l’espace tout en conservant une forme de quiétude. De toute évidence, l’album y réussit pleinement.' EtherREAL
'The first collaborative release by Ian Hawgood and Danny Norbury contains music for everyone who wants to enjoy the quietness and calm of hidden moments.' Clear Spot
'ゆったりと天上から降り注ぐように奏でられるDanny Norburyの優雅な響きのチェロと、なだらかに浮遊する仄かなドローン、柔らかいトーンで優しく染み渡るカリンバの儚いサウンドなどの、Ian Hawgoodのオープンリールのテープを使ったループ・サウンドによる、ノスタルジックで繊細なアンビエント・サウンド。エレガントなクラシック・サウンドと、夢見心地なドローン〜アンビエント・サウンドが出会った、Home Normalのリリースのファンのかたに大スイセンな、静かで落ち着いたサウンドにゆったりと浸れる美しいアンビエント作品です。' Linus Records
'Faintly recollected est un opus calme et extrêmement contemplatif qui se fond parfaitement dans l’esthétique du label. A l’origine pensé comme une pièce unique, l’album a été pour sa sortie, divisé en 7 pistes qui s’enchaînent logiquement parfaitement. Les mélodies mélancoliques et soignées de Norbury sont délicatement accompagnées par des touches de kalimba d’Hawgood et par la précision de ses textures électroniques. L’italien Stefano Guzzetti, autre habitué du label, se charge du mastering de l’album pour reboucler la dimension collaborative et quasi familiale de l’écurie Home Normal.' Dive into Sun
'Faintly Recollected should be heard as one single uninterrupted 33 minute track, even if on the album it is divided in seven parts. It is a very calm and subdued piece, with the soft processed Hokema Sansula kalimba tones and ambient loops colouring the background for the melancholic cello themes. Even with this relatively short length, the album creates a feeling of timelessness, a moment of introspection.' Ambient Blog
'The work’s ancillary elements — in conjunction with deliberate compositional restraint — help propel the duo’s music beyond the finite grasp of rehashed classical and into a headier, less explored territory...Despite the cello’s mournful qualities, the music brings peace and serenity more to mind than regret or loss. In this light the words ‘faintly recollected’ can be interpreted as advice for the future as opposed to a warning about the past. There are some memories we want to lose — others we need to lose — in order to continue seeking personal growth and to gain comfort in the idea of who we might be down that long and winding road. Above all, this music has the power to strip away all notions of the future and past, leaving one squarely in the experiential now. Gone is the baggage of days behind and the musings of days ahead. All that’s left to do is to listen.' The Alcohol Seed
'You get the feeling of ‘going through something’ be it a situation, a mood, something deeply personal and internalized. This is what the cello brings to the work as it fundamentally, for me, is a tool to express human emotion.' Drifting, Almost Falling
'Let's put it this way - this is simply one of our favourite works ever!...A collection of variations on a theme that drift by, perfuming the air, or that stop a moment to whisper you a story. Evocative in its sparse beauty, We are sure this will been the permanent playlist always, right alongside Arvo Part's "Alina" and offthesky's "Silent went the Sea"' Editions Vaché
'Uma obra que, não sendo necessariamente simplista, atesta simplicidade, beleza e elegância suficientes para destoarem do abandono melancólico a que a capa do disco (fotografia de Eirik Holmøyvik) nos convida.' Arte Factos
'ダニーの麗しいチェロに、イアンによるデジタル・プロセッシングしたカリンバのアンビエント・トーンやフィールドレコーディングをオープンリールのテープに録音。元々は33分の長尺トラックを最終的にStefano Guzzettiが7曲にエディットして完成した、深い暗闇をほのかに照らし導いてくれるようなぬくもりあるポスト・クラシカル作品です。Home Normalの長い歴史において、もっとも重要なリリースとなるでしょう' P*Dis
'“Faintly Recollected” permane come unitaria scia priva di soluzioni di continuità coerente alla sua iniziale forma di unica lunga traccia costruita come intenso e delicato dialogo tra il violoncello di Norbury e i dilatati bordoni derivanti dal suono processato di una kalimba scolpiti da Hawgood. Le due componenti si intrecciano in un sinuoso incedere fatto dei palpiti emozionanti dello strumento che languidamente scivolano sul vibrante fondale generando una cinematica sintesi dall’eco vagamente solenne...Una poetica peregrinazione attraverso l’infinito stupore di intimi paesaggi emozionali.' So What Musica
'La concentrazione dei tempi nei singoli movimenti enfatizza la compunta solennità dell’ambience creata dai due artisti, al tempo stesso intima e riflessiva, umbratile e permeata di lieve romanticismo, come si conviene all’incontro tra due sensibilità dalle evidenti affinità elettive.' Music Won't Save You
'As the work progresses it moves into a very lush work of violin sounds, multiple ones, together and intertwined, of great sadness and desolate beauty. It no longer sounds the way it opened, which was sparse and austere. Over the course of thirty-three minutes it expanded and yet stayed quiet and melancholic. The beginning may have had a feedback drone every now and then, but that is entirely gone at the end and the piece has become a small chamber orchestral one. Beautiful.' Vital Weekly
'둘의 연주는 테마를 확장하기보다는 그 내연의 깊이를 천착하는 방식으로 진행되고 있어 앨범의 타이틀 Faintly Recollected라는 제목의 정직성을 실감하게 된다. 앨범에는 I에서 VII까지의 일곱 개 트랙이 있지만, 원래는 하나의 단일 연주로 녹음된 것을, 불과 얼마 전까지 이들 둘과 함께 작업한 적이 있는 피아니스트 Stefano Guzzetti가 편집해 분할한 것으로 전해진다. 때문에 음반 전체는 하나의 긴 호흡 과정이 이어지고 있어, 앨범의 커버 아트로 사용된 노르웨이 사진작가 Eirik Holmøyvik의 작품 "Black Road"와도 묘한 조화를 이루고 있다. 포장까지 만족스러운, 진솔한 마음이 담긴 선물을 받아본 듯한 앨범이다.' Komeda
'深い暗闇をほのかに照らし導いてくれるようなぬくもりあるポ スト・クラシカル作品です。' Pastel Records
'Daarmee belanden ze ergens tussen ambient, fragiele experimenten en neoklassiek. Het is uiterst subtiel wat ze hier brengen, maar laat toch zeker diepe sporen na. Ze spelen op fraaie wijze met geluid en stilte, waardoor er veel door de luiteraar ingevuld kan worden...Een buitengemeen schitterend kleinood.' Subjectivisten
A Closer Listen - Top 20 albums for the first half of 2018 / Best Post-Classical Album
Music Won't Save You - Album of the Week