Caterpillar is our new digital sub-label; a platform for Sydney-based artists and collaborators affiliated with Splinter. For the duration of the coronavirus lockdown we’ll publish releases regularly, available to download on bandcamp.

Dandry Gorge Splinter Orchestra Cat002

Dundry FlowIn October 2018 Splinter travelled to The Pilliga, Gamilaraay country, to explore, listen, learn and record, in a period of intense drought. We were stunned by its rich avian sonoverse and troubled by the proximity of the proposed Narrabri Gas Project, which could see up to 850 coal seam gas wells drilled into this ancient landscape. 

Splinter spent 5 days and nights on the edge of The Pilliga Nature Reserve, mostly playing in and around our base at Eagle Valley; in gullies, over creek beds, in vast fields and splayed across rocky walls. We took a tour of the Sandstone Caves with Gamilaraay artist and ranger Brett Ashby who welcomed us to play as the sun set.

Dandry Flow. On a windy day, Splinter flowed from east to west — right to left in the stereo spectrum — down the dry bed. Two trees rubbed against each other and we used contact mics to capture their voicings. A few of us hid several other recording devices over a large area of the gorge. This recording is a stereo mix of ten separate tracks. 

There’s a bonus track if you purchase: Two Trees is what happened once we’d moved down the river, distant enough not to be heard. Just at the end, as we return to switch off recording devices, you hear our human presence.

Rhys Mottley – bass clarinet, Romy Caen – synth, Adam Gottlieb – trees, Melanie Eden – vocals, Jim Denley – bamboo flute and branches, Max Alduca – didge and double bass, Laura Altman – clarinet, Peter Farrar – junk percussion, Nick Ashwood – acoustic guitar, Alexandra Spence – electronics and clarinet, Solly Frank – prepared clarinet and smoke detectors, Bárbara Guzmán Galeb – voice, Andrew Fedorovitch – little instruments, Joseph Derrick – trumpet, Melanie Herbert – violin, Clara Pitt – flute, Bonnie Stewart – percussion, Weizen Ho movement and little instruments, Drew Bourgeois – in spirit.

Thanks to Nature Strip for generous funding to make this recording possible. Thanks also to Amy Putt and Jeremy Hegge.

Recorded by Splinter. Mixed by Jim Denley at Kaloola. Produced by Splinter.

Image Bárbara Guzmán Galeb.

Battery – Nick Ashwood and Laura Altman  Cat001

a0890892798_16Nick and Laura first met in 2017 and have been playing together both as a duo and in Splinter Orchestra since.

In March 2019 Laura travelled to nipaluna/Hobart, where Nick was living, to spend time playing, recording and hanging out — one afternoon was spent in a studio and two days in locations in and around the city. One of these places was Alexandra Battery in lower Sandy Bay — one of Nick’s favourite spots to play. They lugged their gear up a large grassy hill and then descended into the dark, reverberant concrete bunker where they played for an hour or so. The three pieces on this album are from this session.

Using clarinet, small amp feedback, tape players + cassettes, small objects, acoustic guitar and e-bows, their playing tends towards a series of colour exchanges that explore the possibilities of acoustic phenomena, methods of preparing instruments and long-form improvisational structures.

The artists feature on other Splitrec discs. Laura is a third of the trio Great Waitress, which released Lucid (Splitrec 22), and performed with Splinter Orchestra in their 3X CD release Mungo (Splitrec 27), while Nick’s guitar features in Submental by the trio 180º (Splitrec 29).

Battery was Recorded by the artists at Alexandra Battery, nipaluna / Hobart, TAS on Sunday 10th March, 2019. Mixed by Laura Altman. Artwork by Laura Altman and Nick Ashwood. Laura: clarinet, feedback, objects, Nick: acoustic guitar