Darren Harper and Jared Smyth:
Kate Carr's Flaming Pines label has until now largely focused on EPs (ten in the Rivers Home series alone), which makes Home, a collaborative effort by Darren Harper and Jared Smyth a different kind of Flaming Pines experience. Aptly titled, the forty-minute recording evokes powerfully the intimacy of home life, specifically the experiences of its creators who, despite being separated by more than 2000 kilometres (one lives in Tallahassee, Florida and the other Nederland, Colorado) and never having met face-to-face, communicate a palpable sense of everyday family moments in their laid-back, densely textured meditations.
The album's eight pieces are fundamentally soundscapes, heavy on field recordings and tiny musical sounds in both processed and natural form (glockenspiel, vibraphone, harmonium, electric and acoustic guitars). Track titles alone, such as “A Quiet Crisp Snow” and “Father by the Window,” convey a vivid sense of the kind of small, everyday moments that constitute the fabric of our lives, and the album is sequenced to reflect a typical day's passage from “Dawn Rising” to “Evening Stars, 108124.” In general, Home embeds processed slivers of guitar and flickering embers of natural sounds within brief five- to six-minute settings.The recording's intimate mood is established from the outset when “Warmth” inaugurates the collection with a relaxed flow of homey field recording sounds and scattered musical sounds. “Count the Red Cars, Home” offers a particularly appealing example of the album's character in the way that its gentle guitar shadings blend with a surround of vaporous textures and plucks. Limited to 100 copies, the project's homespun character is also captured in the presentation, which finds the disc housed within a handmade sleeve. Home is the kind of texture-heavy recording that one could easily picture being issued on Hibernate or 12k as much as Flaming Pines, and is also the kind of release that should appeal to fans of artists like offthesky, Seaworthy, and Marcus Fischer.