PAUL CORLEY is an American composer, sound recordist and engineer who some might recognize through his appearances on albums such as Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972, Ben Frost’s By The Throat and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Draumalandið.
Corley’s music never settles. It’s music that makes the listener fiercely attentive to the present, to the very idea of listening. It takes some doing, and some patience, to produce an atmosphere so unearthly and yet so radiant, to organise fragmented -¬ sometimes found -¬ sounds into such sparse, sustained and spiritual coherence. It comprises of delicate, primal (prepared) piano variations, a sequence of exquisitely reflective slow songs, and a metaphysical field recording where resonances are set off by real and imaginary geographical features. It seems to be a recording of a dream, not necessarily Corley’s own, as if he slipped into the mind of someone asleep and calmly set up his equipment. The music suggests a walk through an icy wasteland under a darkening sky, with unspecified creatures lurking at the edge of vision, a drifting walk that ends in the shadows of a vaguely familiar deserted city. Some might discern in the distance the footsteps of Morton Feldman who has once passed nearby or is about to, or might spot some wires discarded by Chris Watson and a question or two written into the sand by Anton Webern.