450 km from the arctic circle, The Rustle of the Stars is a phenomenon of austere beauty, a barely audible noise that occurs when the draught from human breath causes multiple collisions among the ice micro-crystals in the air.
Some words about this record from Richard & Frédéric:
We met on tour when performing in Europe with our respective bands Glissando and FareWell Poetry. We had beautiful times, drinking and talking our common grounds whilst some simple ideas formed in our minds: to compose an album together. To imagine a musical passage through the North Pole explorer diaries. To ask some people and some friends to participate. To record the project in a church. To act quickly.
We began to work at our homes in November 2010, In Paris (FR) and in Leeds (UK), with electric guitars, a bunch of pedals, piano, dulcimer, organ, crystal glasses, bows and field recordings, sending and adding ideas together to the tracks, trying to find a global organic sound.
We met in Leeds two months later at the beginning of 2011 to record in the St Margaret of Antioch Church, using a 'wall of sound' process in some of the tracks and arranging / recording the string parts you will hear in the music.
We would like to think of this album as a polar journey to the ends of the earth through the arctic sea. We kept in mind the first polar expeditions, Edgar Allan Poe's Dream-Land, the ships trapped or crushed by ice, the point of no-return, the minds sinking, the attempt on the Pole ending in disaster, the quest of the Northwest Passage, Erebus & Terror, the Mercy Bay, Mangazeya, Charles Francis Hall, Beechey Island, the Midnight sun and the Polar night.
released November 7, 2011
All tracks composed, recorded and mixed between Leeds (Cloud Blunt Moon, St. Margaret of Antioch Church) & Paris (Magnum Diva) by Richard Knox & Frédéric D. Oberland during the Winter 2010/2011. Recording assistance in St. Margaret of Antioch by Tim Hay.
Mastered by Lawrence English at 158.
Frédéric D. Oberland : piano, electric guitar, field recordings, harmonium, dulcimer, crystal glass, drones, slide, chimes, bowed glockenspiel, crackle, analog electronics
Richard Knox : electric guitar, drones, screwdriver, bowed cymbal, bowed glockenspiel, field recordings, companion organ
Angela Chan : viola, cello, choir
& guests, per order of appearance
David Ramsay : violin
Elly May Irving : choir
Matt Clark : ghost narration
Tim Hay : stompbox
Jayne Amara Ross : Super8 projector sounds
Thanks to Max Cooper for his remix of Sleeping Land Part. I
Photography by Frédéric D. Oberland
Layout / Design by Richard Knox & Frédéric D. Oberland
Drawing & print by Two Ducks Disco
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ROCK-A-ROLLA - UK 'An accomplished, evocative musical voyage through the vast arctic seas and beyond.'
THE SILENT BALLET (best winter album) - USA 'In order to see this beauty, one must risk everything and perhaps be a little mad. Stunningly enunciated by Richard Knox & Frédéric D. Oberland's nuanced approach to songwriting.'
FLUID RADIO - UK 'Sometimes bleak, sometimes discordant, but always powerful.'
THE 405 - UK 'Once in a while a piece of music comes along which stirs something deep inside, allowing you to forget about everything on the outside. Richard Knox & Frédéric D. Oberland have managed to achieve such a piece with The Rustle of Stars, as typical post-rock stylings are cut with an undercurrent of classical decency.'
EXCLAIM - CA 'The Rustle of the Stars is a quietly majestic work, subtly yet utterly sublime, with hints of the sinister and omnipotent peeking around the plodding piano, sorrowful strings and woozy guitar. Its overly reverberant production and fragmented nature are like listening to a symphony when you're on a long bus ride, half-asleep, drifting in and out of consciousness while catching glimpses of wonder.'
TEXTURA (album of the month / best of 2012) - CA 'The album rewards one's attention for reasons that go far beyond an imaginative album title and concept. The material is elegiac and dramatic ambient-classical in style and features a heavy emphasis on strings and electric guitar. It's also at times desolate, with the music evoking the limitless and barren expanses of icy terrain and often cloaked in a shroud of haunting gloom.'
PINKUSHION - FR 'L’auditeur nage ainsi dans les eaux troubles d’une musicalité emmêlée et hétérogène, sans pour autant s’arrêter d’avancer dans la ligne tracée par les différentes sonorités. Hormis un caractère éminemment sensuel, c’est un exercice de la disparition dont il est question ici, à travers la blancheur, dans toute sa beauté.'
HARTZINE - FR 'Nous faisant frissonner, nous enveloppant lentement dans son manteau de brouillard, The Rustle Of The Stars saisit par ses harmonies abyssales et ses notes mélancoliques et convoque les esprits des capitaines de vaisseaux faits prisonniers des eaux glacées pour l’éternité. Le temps se dilate, et laisse à la beauté de lentes harmonies le soin de nous apaiser.'