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Room tones

by Jet Jaguar

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Bad Request 02:37
Tonal Drift 04:04
Cheap Sugar 03:53


In sound work for films and so on, recording a "room tone" is where you record the space where the action is going to happen, but while nothing is happening. I don't have any personal experience in that world, but I feel like I'm forever interested in music where not much is happening, so 'Room Tones' made me laugh - a collection of recordings that are barely there but still serve a point? I mean, I'm not Steve Roden or anything, but the name clicked. I'm usually looking for double-meanings in an album name and it hardly needs to be said at this point that any music made in the last few years is probably in some way about being tucked away indoors. So tones made in rooms, made for rooms? Sure.

When I was writing about my last album on Shimmering Moods, 'Recording', I compared music-making to a diary. Two and a half years later, I still really strongly feel that same sense. I don't write with a project or release in mind, usually - if anything I've been working hard on not being too bound by what I've already done - but it still all comes from me and I typically select things for coherence. That seems like something I expect from a diary. Perhaps where the metaphor falls down is that a diary is chronological, while with 'Room Tones' I'm pulling together finished bits and pieces I feel work together. It was 2007 when I made the recording that gives 'Ōokayama Cats At Night' its name, sitting on the back porch of my apartment, waiting for the washing to finish. In contrast, I made 'Tonal Drift' as soon as I recorded the korimako that showed up to make some noise in the garden at my current place. And while most of this music was completed around the same time, one track is maybe five years older than the others.

As always, thanks to all who listened or supported in other ways, especially Amanda, Adrien, Tim, Shanan, Jenny, Andy, Stuart, and all my family. Times being as they have been, thanks to little online communities like the Disquiet Junto, AEMC, and lines.


released July 1, 2022

Written and recorded by Michael Upton
Mastered by Andrea Porcu
Photo's by Michael Upton

Shimmering Moods Records 2022
SHM 219


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