Meantime life outside goes on all around you

cassette by BUNKR

Photo by BUNKR

I’m over the moon to have a new track released on this superb compilation from Castles In Space. ‘The Isolation Tapes’ contains music recorded by artists in lockdown during the 2020 COVID-19 Corona Virus Pandemic.

The Isolation Tapes has 3 parts; CD, Cassette & Download, each with different tracklistings. My track, under the ‘A Farewell To Hexes’ moniker is on the cassette, but all three are chock full of truly great and fascinating music, and this release is highly recommeded with or without me!

Buy here: Castles In Space bandcamp with all proceeds to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

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Background Information from Colin Morrison of CIS:

CiS062//The Isolation Tapes:

Castles in Space brings you a stunning collection of new music recorded in isolation during the COVID19 lockdown//Released 29th May 2020//

A total of 62 tracks across CD//Cassette//Download selected from more than 250 submissions.

// A charity compilation in aid of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust//

On April 3rd 2020, two weeks into the UK’s total coronavirus lockdown and in an attempt to find something positive as a break from ping-ponging between high anxiety and frustrated bemusement, I sent out the call for submissions for a new compilation of music, which had some clear stipulations.

The message read as follows:
Submissions are requested for inclusion on CiS062 – “The Isolation Tapes”.
Submissions must have been recorded between:
Monday 23rd March:
The date the UK lockdown was imposed
and
Friday 17th April:
The closing date for submissions to the project.

Submissions *must* be new works recorded by the artist in isolation.
Castles in Space will handle mastering and manufacture, we just need your pre-mixed masters.
Submissions must include an image which represents the artist or the creation of the piece in isolation.
Release date for CiS062 is 29th May. Profits will be donated to Cavell Nurses’ Trust www.cavellnursestrust.org
They assist nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of coronavirus.

Please send submissions to
hello@castesinspace.com

The results were positively overwhelming and easily surpassed anything that I could have hoped for. I thought that I *might* be tapping into something, as some conversations with musicians I know and work with were indicating that the enforced period of downtime was proving to be extremely productive. Albums were being finished. Ideas exchanged over Zoom conversations were being laid down on hard drives around the world. There was, quite literally, something in the air.

By the end of the 2.5 week period the window for submissions was open, I had received somewhere in the region of 250 submissions. Pretty much all of them being of astonishing quality and accomplishment. While this was extremely heartwarming and satisfying, it also presented a real challenge in that the editing job was going to be massive and difficult. Further criteria were therefore set to assist the selection process.

1. As a general rule, anything too dark or dystopian was out. There were several sampled politicians and creeped out drone-a-thons, but I quickly came to the decision that this release had to offer something uplifting for the listener. We had to find some light and positivity in the darkness. For me, the tracks that worked best offered a droll commentary on our unprecedented situation without being overwhelmed by it.

2. The works really did have to be conceived and completed between 23rd March and 17th April. That rule was enforced pretty hard. Anything that had been “finished” or had undergone a “final mix” during that time was deemed to not meet meet the criteria for submission. It was important for me to capture the moment in the reaction of the contributors. Hopefully this global lockdown situation will never happen again, so I was viewing this as a one time only opportunity to document something unique.

3. As the submissions rolled in via email, Twitter, Instagram and facebook, it quickly became apparent that the original idea of releasing one cassette volume was not going to be sufficient. There was simply too much good stuff coming in. The scope was therefore quickly expanded out to include a CD volume and a cassette with three sides. ‘Side three’ being a download only selection.

And so began the selection of around 60 tracks which went forward for mastering by Jez Butler. Jez did a fantastic job of carefully mastering everything to a consistent, steady level. Brightening and de-harshing where necessary. There than began the marathon weekend long session of sequencing what tracks were going to go where. Once a final selection and sequence was decided upon, Nick Taylor was engaged to do his usual superb job on the artwork.

The finished compilation offers more than 60 tracks across CD, cassette and digital download.

The images submitted by the contributing artists add another dimension to the project and are available to see at castlesinspace.com

The Isolation Tapes project is sold in support of the magnificent Cavell Nurses’ Trust. A wonderful organisation which helps nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of coronavirus.

It is sincerely hoped that you will find much to enjoy in The Isolation Tapes. It was both an absolute joy and an arduous headache to put together (in a good way). The final edit was extremely difficult and there is certainly enough stuff in the can for further releases if these volumes find some appreciation.

As ever, thanks for listening.
Stay safe and well.
Colin Morrison
Castles in Space. May 21st 2020

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