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  • Release Date 2016-05-06
  • Label Tru Thoughts
  • Catalog BLV2360895
In 1900, radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi built a hut at Cornwalls Lizard Point - the southernmost tip of the UK mainland - to experiment with sending radio signals over long distances; it was in that hut that the first ever ship-to-shore SOS signal was received. Last summer, composer and producer Joe Acheson, known for his acclaimed work as Hidden Orchestra, spent a week there for the National Trust's first ever sound artist residency (as reported by The Guardian, The Independent and BBC Ones Countryfile) and Marconi & The Lizard is the fascinating result.

This intricate and evocative four track EP features the natural sounds of the stunningly beautiful Cornish coastline - wind, sea, grass, insects, birds, rain and waves - as well as man-made noise: sculpting the rare local Serpentine stone, launching the RNLI lifeboat, weaving lobster pots, lighthouse and ship foghorns, stacking empty 'bongos' (large plastic containers for storing fish on a boat), and fishermen chatting over radio out in the bay. Sounds also come from inside Marconi's hut or over the airwaves: vintage spark transmitters and Morse code receivers, radio noises picked up through aerials on his historic sites at Lizard Point and Poldhu (where he made the first transatlantic radio transmission to the US). There are also archive recordings from local sound and radio enthusiasts, such as a transmission from an amateur satellite in orbit, reporting back its temperature and battery status in a robotic voice. As if to heighten the urgency and import of the project, some of the sounds captured by Acheson have disappeared since his visit, like the now-decommissioned spark transmitter.
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