Richard Skelton: Marking Time

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Design by Mark Gowing

Richard has previously recorded in various guises – as Clouwbeck, Heidika, Carousell and A Broken Consort. Marking Time is his first work under his own name, and also the first to be released on a label other than his own, Sustain-Release. Through the prolific output on Sustain-Release, Richard has created a singular vision with his music: a sound that is at once complex and elemental in its questing nature, corporal feel and ultimately life-affirming quality. As The Wire writes, Richard’s music “inhabits landscapes – both physical and emotional – etched with memory and loss”. Marking Time represents a new beginning for Richard and finds him at his most direct and intimate, slowly turning on relatively bare textures of bowed strings, piano and guitar. A meditation on loss and the passing of time, its measure of transcendence accumulates in instrumental passages that work like gestures drifting towards a sense of space both rich and real. Richard continues to use his numerous names by which to produce music as well as further the relationship his creative muse has with his physical surroundings (he lives on the rural edges of Lancashire) through his Landings project,. Here, he leaves one-off recordings in the outdoors environment in which they’re made as a kind of offering and acknowledgment to the power and inextricable connection he feels from these settings. And as with Marking Time, it is with his music that Richard impacts on and affects that environment, by documenting his ever-changing shape in it by means not only uniquely personal, but universal in a devastatingly beautiful way.

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