the ends (also end) of (the) earth and variants
Limited Edition of 50 cassettes and digital download
These recordings spring from a strange medieval English riddle, the Harley lyric, Erthe toc of erthe:
Erthe toc of erthe erthe wyth woh; Erthe other erthe to the erthe droh; Erthe leyde erthe in erthene throh; Tho hevede erthe of erthe erthe ynoh.
(Ms. Harley 2553).
The tiny lament or puzzle is impossible to translate, since in its four short lines the word earth appears twelve times. Like ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’, these identical words have different meanings – transitioning between soil, world, burial, cultivation, decay, earthly possessions, and our own bodies. The device of repeating earth so many times in such a short space creates an unsolvable lyric which, riddle-like, ‘only makes sense when we are prepared to hold several meanings of the word in our minds simultaneously’. How does one sing this tiny piece, or give it a tune?
This is an album of sonic variants, settings, and radio covers of Erthe toc of erthe, including those by invited guest artists and friends, Ecka Mordecai, Layla Legard (Hawthonn), Ceylan Hey (Bell Lungs, Mark S. Williamson (Spaceship) and Drew Mulholland. The modified field recordings, chants, twilight hums, nonsense riddles and layered repetitions are each inspired by the variant meanings of ‘earth’, in the ultimate group sonic field trip.
Cutler’s recordings were made in Luds Church, a naturally resonant mossy chasm in Staffordshire where Lollard ceremonies were held, including their alternative death chants. Combining guitar, voice, processed electronics, record hiss, and field recordings, these tracks (and the album as a whole) are each titled with phrases from the dictionary definitions of ‘earth’. Some of these meanings are undigestible by each other, whether scientific, metaphorical, or allegorical: e.g., the ground as a surface on which humans and animals move; the inhabitants of the world collectively; ‘earthing’ a conductive electrical circuit or terminal; to ‘go to earth’ meaning to take refuge as in an animal’s lair or burrow. Combining this mix of opposites – doom and refuge, sin and innocence – and playing on the end of the world-ness of elegy, this camper-van tape release becomes a sort of muted lullaby for earth itself.
the ends (also end) of (the) earth and variants is released as a limited-edition of 50 hand-numbered, professionally dubbed C70 cassettes (made from recycled materials) and digital download via the Crow Versus Crow Bandcamp. The cassette features full-colour artwork by Crow Versus Crow and Dr Amy Cutler.
Tape - £8
Download - Name Your Price. All proceeds from digital sales will be split between Crow Versus Crow, and will directly (and solely) fund future releases, and the artist.