Monday, 22 March 2010

Exposure: beneath us, the waves

I am a huge fan of classical music, particularly modern minimalist and ambient. My love for this genre began back in 2005 when I found a copy of Ágætis byrjun in a Woolworths bargain bin. Having never heard of Sigur Rós, I decided to buy the album based on the album artwork and the £3 price tag and I can safely say it was the best choice I have made to date. This opened up so many new doors, leading me to discover artists such as Olafur Arnalds, Ludovico Einaudi, Jonsi & Alex and Seabear to name but a few. But recently (as recent as little over an hour ago) a Warsaw based, Scottish artist was brought to my attention.

Neil Milton is a name you may recognise, whether it be as one half of the
photographic collaboration We Sink Ships or as founder of record label Too Many Fireworks but what you may not know (you probably will, I fear I'm way behind everyone else on this one) is that he composes music under the moniker beneath us, the sea. Heavily influenced by a variety of Iceland's ambient artists, his music evokes emotion through beautiful arrangements and stunning instrumentation. Each piece fills your head with images of vast landscapes and spectacular scenery, making it the perfect visual music. It's easy to see why he was asked to score music for the Glasgow Tramway theatre to accompany a promo video. He is also working on strings accompaniments for a few Scottish bands, most notably for The Kays Lavelle front man, Euan McMeeken's solo EP which is due to be released later in the Spring.

As I mentioned earlier, Neil currently lives in Warsaw however he is returning to Scotland very soon to make a few live appearances in Glasgow and Edinburgh. beneath us, the sea will be accompanied by a live string quartet and will be playing in Edinburgh at the Wee Red Bar on the 30th of March with Euan McMeeken and The Japanese War Effort. On the 1st of April he'll be moving across to Glasgow to play a show for the Elba Studios folk at their Elba Sessions Presents... event at the Liquid Ship before playing a headline gig at Stereo on the 12th of April which will also feature The Last Battle and Maple Leaves. Neil also tells me there will be a beneath us, the waves and Maple Leaves collaboration that night.

I thank Neil Milton for getting in touch with Scottish Scribbler and introducing me to his wonderful music. I am now very excited for his final Glasgow show at Stereo and urge you all to toddle along before Mr Milton takes beneath us, the waves back to Warsaw.

Elegy For Tramway by beneathusthewaves

Click here to listen to beneath us, the waves. You can also click here to listen on SoundCloud.
Too Many Fireworks is currently on hiatus but Neil is preparing for a re-launch later in the Spring.
We Sink Ships, his photographic collaboration with Glasgow based photographer Heidi Kuisma, can be found here. Their weekly podcasts can be found here.
For tickets and other information, visit the above links.

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