We introduced different times Australian artist Kate Carr, now based in London. According to her bio, her work explores our complex and contradictory relationship with the natural and built world. Her music blurs the boundaries between instruments and field recordings, underlining the intersections and overlaps between nature and culture and the myriad of incomplete ways we attempt to make sense of these terms.
She’s back with a new album called dawn, always new, often superb, inaugurates the return of the everyday. She explains: “This is an album which begins with a London roundabout in its exploration of connections, lost rhythms and new beginnings. The pandemic has underlined that what we thought of as the every day, is actually something quite specific and special. I made this album on and off through the lockdowns of 2020-21 and now as we hopefully emerge into something else, I have found myself asking what type of every day this new dawn will bring.
This record takes as its starting point the connections, vibrations, uses and history of the Bricklayers Arms roundabout in Bermondsey, London. A historic gateway into London this roundabout is named for a coaching inn which serviced wagons entering the capital, and has existed as an important junction and stop off point for more than 600 years. Today it connects Tower Bridge Road, Old Kent Road, New Kent Road and Great Dover Street and serves as an important linkage within London, but also more broadly connecting directly to Dover, a major port to the EU.
The album was not originally conceived during either the pandemic or Brexit, but as I composed it over the last 18 months its meditations on linkages and the rhythms of public space took on new meanings. What was once a bustling, thrumming junction, fell silent, and its connections within London and beyond took on new significances and vulnerabilities.
In making this album I composed primarily with vibrations captured by a specialised geophone, and contact microphones which I used to record vibratory repercussions in grates, lamp posts, walls and drains, caused by the passage of cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and buses through the roundabout. It also draws on recordings taken (between lockdowns, and just after the final implementation of Brexit) in Dover itself, the frictions where the sea meets the shoreline, the rumble of lorries passing through, and ocean winds hitting coastal fences.
I offer it as a re-valuation of the every day, and a tribute to the links we continue to hold onto and the importance of hopeful beginnings even in the most difficult of circumstances.”