Richard Skelton’s latest release on Aeolian Editions comprises two pieces inspired by research into glacigenic landforms and are the first recordings in his Moraine Sequence1. The title, Till Fabrics, directly uses geomorphological terminology for sediments left behind by former glaciers. Till refers to unsorted glacigenic sediment – that is it contains a full range of sizes from the fine clays produced by glacial crushing to large boulders transported in or on the ice2. Fabric is the orientation and dip of stones in the till, which help scientists infer glacial processes.
The crest of a lateral moraine near Lago Bertrand (Chilean Patagonia)
Like previous Skelton works, time is sounded by long-form pieces featuring drones, repetition and soothing melancholy. As stated on the press release ‘here can be heard the effects of attrition and ice weathering over millennia, as evidenced in low-end synth debris suspended in a shimmering matrix of violin and cello regolith’. Skelton’s expanding body of landscape works (incorporating writing, music and art informed by geography, science, literature and history), shows us that deep reading of landscape is best achieved through holistic viewpoints.
1Also worth mentioning here, but not in the Moraine Sequence, is the 2018 release Front Variations, ‘music for the retreating ice sheets of Iceland, produced whilst on a ‘Frontiers in Retreat’ residency in Seyðisfjörður in 2016’. Here Skelton uses sine waves and feedback to simulate the ice-albedo feedback mechanism.
2David Evans (2017). Till – a glacial process sedimentology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118652541