How do we view the printed book today and what type of reader does it make you?

Image by Syd Wachs @videmusart on Unsplash
Image by Syd Wachs @videmusart on Unsplash

When is a book not a book?

When it is an electronic book. E-books are so common place today that we have a whole generation growing up and reading from them, both at home and in schools, at a rate some may say threaten to one day supersede physical editions.

An e-book is a book publication made available in digital form, consisting of text and sometimes images, readable on the flat-panel display of our computers or other electronic devices such as our smartphones and tablets.

Although sometimes defined as an electronic version of a printed book, some e-books exist without a printed equivalent. …

A captivatingly intimate and melodically warm third release on the mailbox label showcases Cormack’s talent for soundtracking the wonder of nature

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Feral (mailbox, 2020)

Sit down, or perhaps even better go for a walk, and press play on ‘Feral’ by Ishmael Cormack. Close your eyes and listen:

Listen closely to a micro-world
overflowing with wild flowers
hidden hedgerows and desire paths.
As we explore the unknown, the previously invisible.
Off the well-travelled path, we rediscover nature.
We dance between dandelion seeds blowing.
We shrink down to molecules, tasting the air.
These melodies melt time.
Guitars drift through ages. …

A long-form audio collage inspired by the drift of recent times

Looking through the same windows

The constant rolling/scrolling news

Those brief escapes on familiar, yet changed walks

As spring found summer
Chaos found a friend in solitude

Beneath a thousand leaves
Aside an ancient stream

Heavy Cloud creates sounds inspired by landscapes and environments – especially influenced by Cornwall and the South West of England.

Covering ambient, electronic, experimental and field recordings, at the heart of their music is a love for collage and movement, self-reflection and emotion.

Listen to Heavy Cloud on Bandcamp

Eleanor Cully is an artist, composer and performer based in Huddersfield

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clarity-unclarity (self-released, 2020)

The Fall sang, ‘We dig repetition in the music/And we’re never going to lose it.’ Legendary DJ, John Peel, infamously described Mark E Smith’s band with the witty line, “They are always different. Always the same”. This is a poetic truth that not only aptly describes this band, but also more widely the acts of performance and of listening in general.

Although many of the Fall’s songs do feature a range of repetitive drums, baselines, or guitar riffs, every record, and indeed every performance of a song, even say, Repetition itself, would always create something new in that very moment of performance. Mark would wander over and turn down an guitar amp, or knock into a band member. A ringleader of being in-the-moment, he constructed unique performances in tandem with ambient and emotional environments – influenced by how he was feeling on any given day, the merry-go-round of band members, the performance space of the venue itself and the dialogue between band and audience. …

The beautiful second release on the mailbox label sees El Conejo gift us with a powerful wordless lullaby on classical guitar

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A Lullaby for Elisa (mailbox, 2020)

Although the concept of a lullaby goes back four millennia, the root of almost every one remains the same today as it did in 2000 BC. Despite differences in context across time and continents, a lullaby finds its roots firmly embedded in love, tenderness and empathy.

Typically, we look to words when we think of lullabies, although these are unnecessary when we unpack the core of the cradle song. …

Released on La Petite Chambre Records, this is the sixth round of an inside project facing the outbreak, where an artist is invited to share two unreleased songs. On this release, James A. McDermid allows us to escape to the woods and beyond.

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At Home With​.​.​.​(​songs for solitude) Vol. 06 (La Petite Chambre Records)

In an on-going series of EP releases with the theme of solitude at its heart, it seemed apt to get to know this sixth entry by James A. McDermid over the past week while listening to it alone — working from home, on walks as part of our daily exercise allowance, unwinding before bed.

During these listens, my experience of this two-track EP has felt like a mixture of holding a black mirror up high to the world and for it to confirm everything bleak within its reflection to have come true, but — and this has become the stronger feeling by far — we will endure and the black mirror will eventually smash and from these shards new light will refract new life. …

Finding the usual forms of escapism within my own four walls — writing, reading, cinema — harder to concentrate on, I found a creative outlet from the anxieties of lockdown and social distancing in the form of collaging

Look out there, actual air
Look out there, actual air
Look out there, actual air (image by the author)

Welcome to Westworld (Greekworld, too)

From being transfixed by Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns as a teenager — wishing to be the Man with No Name — to trying to unravel the nests of stories found in Greek myths, the grand narratives, array of characters and iconic locations of both subjects have long held a personal interest.

These are two themes I knew I wanted to incorporate into a new creative project during this period of lockdown. But I just didn’t know at first what the project would be. …

Wake, robin!
It’s time to return
to a cup
on a saucer
Three petals,
three leaves
A whorl about a scape
These blooming birthroots,
a blessing on the banks

A bloom of trilliums in the woods.
A bloom of trilliums in the woods.

A double bill of short stories told through sound — concerning the type of life-altering changes we feel in our heart and gut; the changes forever attached to memory.

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Transit + Transition (Mailbox, 2020) — artwork by Inês Ourives Delgado

This limited edition split release brings together the engaging talents of two ambient-drone artists from both sides of the Atlantic. And this displacement of space and place becomes the thematic genesis of the personal journeys which inspired and echo throughout the individual sides of the record.

Residing in Toronto, Ontario, Anthéne is the solo project of Brad Deschamps — owner of ambient label Polar Seas and one half of glacial drone duo North Atlantic Drift with Mike Abercrombie. The titles of Anthéne’s releases from last year — Asymmetry, Lost Channel, Weightless and Skyglow, are indicative of the type of enveloping cloud-gazing drift which looks both inwardly and skywards. …


Ryan Hooper

Words and noise. Loops and leaves. Jump cuts and scribbledehobble. Inspired by language, sound, and vision. Writer and content designer.

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