Light Folds by The Seaman and The Tattered Sail is a collaboration between Craig Tattersall (The Boats, The Remote Viewer, The Humble Bee, Cotton goods, Theodore and Hamblin, The Famous Boyfriend, etc.etc. and artist/designer) and Bill Seaman (SEA, Attsea, Otic.Info.Set, sp.op.cit, Spilly and the Drops, etc. and media artist exploring linear and interactive works). The work took place via the internet, sending differing files back and forth using Drop Box, wetransfer.com, and vast quantities of email. After about 2 years Tattersall and Seaman met face to face!
It started with a simple back and forth set of responses to a few audio files, building up loops and tracks. Over time it built up to over seven hours of music. We initially made a double CD of works but we kept abstracting and remixing and colliding things. Tattersall brought his distinct form of “dusting” which explored unique forms of noise, tape ambience, tape degradation, etc. Seaman often explored abstraction using Ableton Live, especially in terms of time / pitch manipulation, and exploring the combination of a multitude of Ableton plug-ins. Huge amounts of data were sent back and forth! Occasionally we went a bit mad with naming and keeping track of things… Usually a number of mixes for each initial work emerged out of the process. Sometimes the abstractions went quite far away from the original tracks. The double album on Vinyl came late in the game where a series of shorter versions and new abstractions were defined.
Tattersall played Guitar, piano, dusted loops, analogue loops, digital loops, drum machine, analogue synth, synth bass, field recordings, abstractions, fragment constructions and reconstructions, abstractions of Seaman (etc.), analogue spatial recordings, artificial wind, crackles (record surface noise).
Seaman was working primarily with Ableton Live and contributed Piano, vocal, text, fragment constructions and reconstructions, time abstractions, quartet samples, trumpet samples, clarinet samples, drum machine abstractions, drum machine constructions (samples), digital distortions, bit reductions, synth abstractions, abstractions of Tattersall (etc.), digital loops, radical pitch shifts, noise enhancements, historical samples, crackles – record surface noise (from Tattersall), artificial crackles.
We worked with some excellent musicians in the construction of the samples… Trumpet (sample recordings) – Robert Ellis-Geiger; Ciompi Quartet (sample recordings) – Eric Pritchard (violin), Hsiao-mei Ku (violin), Jonathan Bagg (violin and viola), Fred Raimi (cello); Clarinet drones (sample recordings) — David Beaudry; in Ableton Live (construction space), and Seaman used a Roland Edirol R-09HR Ver.3.0 for instrument and voice recordings.
The musical influences run the gamut from ambient, industrial, glitch, dance, pop, jazz, classical, experimental, noise art, etc. Seaman has called this alt.genre in the past… although it really defies a single musical label.
The working process was quite exciting… to hear what each had done with the tracks as an ongoing process… The project is incredibly rich in its subtle exploration of psychoacoustic spaces and layerings, and it is vast… The works form a series of plateau-like spaces where time is explored and erased, and an atmosphere for reflection and association is presented. Duration was not worried about and many of the works are quite long. The entire project has been incredibly exciting and rewarding in that we each seemed to pull the best out of the other!
It is also worth noting that as an aside to creating within this album, there was a huge element of learning within the album.
Working with a new creative partner always begins with finding a commonality in working practices, then from this you can bring your individual approaches to working practices, it is in the dialogue whilst working through these passages that you learn from each other.
Like most work undertaken there is an underlying aesthetic language that has been built up over years of arts practice, whether this be audio or visual production. An aesthetic language seems to span audio and visual works that is to say that you use a language and approach to creation in the same way whether it be audio or visual work, so it seems obvious that visual artwork that is in creation at any given time will in some ways mirror audio creation at the same time.
So as we were in the thick of creating the audio I had started making some experimental pinhole lumen prints (a photographic technique where you work with photographic paper within direct sunlight).
These were simple images of dots created with holes in little metal boxes. They were interested in capturing light and time rather than a conventional image. So the images were created using one (pin) hole exposed for one hour, two (pin) holes for two hours and so on up to 12 holes/12 hours.
I was sharing these with Bill and as well as Bill liking the work/process it became apparent that they seemed to share an aesthetic with the audio we were working, looking at light, time, space.
So in conversation with Bill I started to take the photographs into digital forms, exploring how the ‘dust’ of the analogue process could be extrapolated through digital forms, and then of course taken back into the darkroom and analogue processes, exactly how we were working in the audio work.
From there, and through extensive email conversations the artwork developed into the body of work that comes with the release.
Like the artwork the titles also reflect the abstraction process. Needless to say - “Light Folds” can be understood from many different perspectives.