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Memorising The Sea / From Upon The Soil

January 24, 2024

On 1 January 2024, at 16:10 (JST), the Noto earthquake struck 7 km north-northwest of Suzu, located on the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It had a devastating effect on communities within the region.
To assist in bolstering recovery efforts, Akira Kosemura & Lawrence English have written two collaborative pieces as a way to start support disaster relief in Ishikawa Prefecture. All proceeds from this release will be donated to Japanese Red Cross Society.

North America with Loscil 2023

September 19, 2023

Scott Morgan and I are coming to visit. We’re celebrating the release of our Colours Of Air edition on Kranky with shows across North America and Canada this October.

We’re kicking off with a very special presentation as part of Vancouver New Music’s Vox Organi Festival. I will also host a Radical Listener workshop in Vancouver and then a slew of dates across the states.

Tenniscoats

July 22, 2023

Friends, this is Ueno and Saya from the legendary band Tenniscoats. We have known each other for almost 20 years at this point, and during that time they have been a well spring of wonderment and inspiration.

I am so thrilled to share a pair of editions from them; Totemo Aimasho turns 15 this year and to celebrate we’ve revisted the master recordings and also found new archival pieces from those sessions. We’re also releasing a bootleg cassette of them live in Tasmania. Hell, I am even playing the drums on this recording! A shadow looms of my earliest musical self. Enjoy!

Notes towards a future Ambient

July 3, 2023

Ambient is a music of lived moments.


Ambient recognizes control must be forgone with respect to how the music is encountered (but not how it is composed).


Ambient is experientially discrete, but not musically so.


Ambient acknowledges the deceit that is the promise of repetition.


Ambient is never only music for escapism. It is a zone for participation in a pursuit of musical listenership that acknowledges sound’s potential values in broader spheres (the social, political, cultural etc). It is a freeing up, an opening out and a deepening, simultaneously.


Ambient pulses; it courses. Rhythm is a rare friend to this music.


Ambient is never only music. It is a confluence of sound, situation and listenership; moreover it’s an unspoken contract between the creator, listener and place, seeking to achieve a specific type of musical experience.


Ambient is about the primacy of listening (for audience and creator). The music and the spaces and places (interior and exterior) it occupies are critical to how it is appreciated, understood and consumed.


Ambient is transcendent but does not seek some higher plane. It is not new age music. Rather ambient music’s transcendence is within, and invites us deeper into the lived experience of the everyday.


Ambient is never a documentation of somewhere or sometime. Instead it creates an individuated, impressionistic and imagined place. It is realized in-between our internal and external selves.


Ambient is a music of perspectives. It is never fully knowable, in that the music seeps between perspectives (micro and macro) and dimensions of listening constantly. It maintains a sense of the eerie (as Mark Fisher noted).


Ambient is friend to noise, to volume, to physicality. It is however, an enemy of uncalculated dynamism.


Ambient is never finished. It is an experiential process of becoming – for listeners, for creators and more broadly as a musical philosophy.

Thank You Ryuichi

March 28, 2023

It is night, outside
Inside, a fire glows deep
Pulsing, eternal

On Tides

October 20, 2022

I was reminded abut this little incident from the summer of 2019 recently….something of a long story.

Today, we all took a trip to the beach. We arrived at Burleigh Heads in the later afternoon. The babes and Becks were all enjoying their usual spot. Ahead of them was some pretty horrific surf and a pronounced rip, coiling out past where the beach meets the headland. I was walking down to see them and, as I approached, I could see two young girls swimming just about 20 metres ahead of them in the relative shallows. As I got closer, I started to notice one of the girls was moving very quickly away from the other girl, towards the open ocean. Suddenly, her friend turned around and had a look of complete terror; it was clear her friend was caught in the rip and was being sucked away from shore.

At this point, I ran into the ocean (and you have to picture it…sunglasses, Stetson and all; hey, I’m sun smart!) and started to swim out to the girl. She was moving very quickly now. I could feel the intensity of the rip around me. When I caught glimpses of her, I could see her screaming, but I couldn’t hear her calls over the thumping and fizz of the waves. As I got closer, I could see her slipping under the water more often and when I was about five metres away from her a wave crashed right on her and in that moment I lost sight of her.

The waves were getting stronger and I had swum to right near where she was and at that moment I could see her arm in the froth of the post-wave water. I reached out and grabbed it and pulled her out from below. Her eyes were all red, she was terrified and desperate in a way that we all perhaps become in moments the grave danger. I wrapped my arm around her and started to swim back to the beach. In my swimming out to sea, both my hat and sunglasses had been washed off me.

As we got closer to the shore, I said to her not to worry and she was safe now, just as I was saying that, my hat literally floated up to me, sucked back towards us by the rip and I was able to put it back on my head as we swam in. By this stage her mother, and I am guessing her aunt and cousins, had all gathered in the shallows watching her and this strange person bringing her back from the depths. Her mother wore an expression every parent wants to avoid, that panic of nearly losing their child. She was crying as I reunited them, as was the young girl and her friend with whom she’d been swimming. The mother, I’m guessing who was a tourist on holidays, quietly thanked me and they all went off to take a moment together….

It was a lucky outcome; a true example of how complex and random life can be. To think of the chance of her choosing to swim just there and the chance of me arriving at that point… both of these situations were completely down to numerous incidental decisions made throughout the day; pure randomness and a testament to the limitless complexity and unpredictability of being.

The only tragedy from today though is that from now on, every birthday and significant life milestone this poor young women celebrates, she will likely have the relive the tale of that time the Aussie Cowboy Goth rescued her from drowning in the ocean.

2019 is going to be a year, of that I am sure.

Be safe folks…and thanks to the ever present Churaki, an ancestor who still watches over us all along the coast!

(Here is the last photo of my sunnies and my ’non-saltwater version’ stetson)

On Listening As Practice

September 10, 2022

Black Snow

September 16, 2020

Photo by Sancintya Simpson, on location in the last burning cane fields in Home Hill, Queensland.

Merzbow 2019, The Substation

July 4, 2019

Photos by Siobhan Sweeney

Ambient at 40

July 3, 2019

I was invited by Fact Magazine to write a little note about Ambient.

https://www.factmag.com/2018/02/04/ambient-music-at-40-lawrence-english/

Marina Rosenfeld’s Sheer Frost Orchestra

June 22, 2019

A delight to finally have a chance to realise this masterful work from my dear friend Marina Rosenfeld, as part of Borderlands at Dark Mofo.

Marginal Consort

May 3, 2019

Easily one of the most profound performances experiences I have enjoyed.

I had the privilege to collect these portraits of Marginal Consort also.

THINKING ABOUT TONY

April 10, 2019

I was reminded recently about one of the last times I meet up with Tony Conrad…it was in Madeira off the coast of Portugal.

I wrote this shortly after he passed….

Here’s five things Tony Conrad taught me.

Ideas are everything, be curious
minimalism is not about less, it’s about deeper
structure and frame are places for play, nothing is fixed
humour is paramount (in life)
be restless

Still miss you Prof….

SELVA OSCURA EUROPA 2019

March 17, 2019

FOR MY FATHER

March 17, 2019

When I was 8 or so, my father told me to close my eyes and listen to the world. For anyone who has heard me speak about listening, I often use this exchange as a means of recognising how individual moments linger in life and in time. The incidental can forge the ongoing, and for me this small gesture opened a wholly new way of knowing the world.

This is but one of the many great things this man has passed to me during his time on this planet. His kind, gentle and generous way of coming at the everyday, and everyday people, is something I will carry forward with me for the rest of my days.

Thanks dad. RIP, you have earned it. You were indeed one of the good ones… xo

(This image taken by me – I am guessing – when I was 10 or maybe 12. Probably using Dad’s Yashica…out looking for birds as we often were.)

IMMEDIATE HORIZON

December 2, 2018

Atonal festival, Berlin 2015

SEIRÁ, LOS ANGELES 2018

December 2, 2018

SEIRÁ, LOS ANGELES 2018

November 11, 2018

BASINSKI/ENGLISH – SELVA OSCURA

September 4, 2018

Dedicated to our friend Paul.

CROW

September 4, 2018