Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seaworthy / Grouper - Melbourne

Seaworthy make a rare trip to Melbourne this week to support US artist Grouper. The gig will be at the beautiful Northcote Uniting Church, Northcote with special guests Breathing Shrine. Friday 1 October 2010. Tickets available via Oztix

Fluid Radio Mix

Our friends at Fluid Radio invited Seaworthy & Matt Rösner to contribute an exclusive mix to their website in conjunction with the release of Two Lakes. The draws on many of our favourite artists, particularly those influenced by or incorporating field recordings in their compositions. Many of these artist’s works have inspired the pieces contained within Two Lakes, our debut collaborative release on 12k.

Fluid Radio

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Boomkat & Two Lakes

Our friends at had some nice things to say about Two Lakes:

A brilliant new collaboration from two of Australia's leading electroacoustic practitioners, Two Lakes finds Seaworthy's Cameron Webb joining forces with Matt Rösner for an album based upon the sounds of the coastal ecosystems of Lakes Meroo and Termeil in New South Wales. The duo set about collecting detailed location recordings of the various lakeside habitats and environments, capturing sound from forest regions, streams and beaches at different times of day. Hydrophones as well as more conventional mics were used to document the natural sonic activity, and the two musicians even found some time to set-up a studio in a nearby cabin so as to lay down improvised instrumental performances using acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele and electronics. Instrumental and environmental sounds are unified in the final mix, and the results never fail to be enthralling. That's not always the case with albums of this kind. It's all too easy for music like this to become a little wishy-washy - neither one thing nor the other - but Two Lakes feels like a very synergetic meeting of documentary field recording and instrumental performance. The tone of a piece such as 'Meroo Stream' far transcends the sort of pastoral tranquility you'd expect from such a project, and instead there's a real sense of solitude, and even... dampness permeating through the mix. Superbly recorded and beautiful on a surprisingly visceral level, Two Lakes comes very highly recommended indeed.

Buy Two Lakes from Boomkat

Monday, September 20, 2010


There is a healthy frog fauna in the region around the two lakes with much of the environment protected within the national park. The seasonal activity of the local frog species varies greatly and during the relatively cooler months, such as April when these recordings were made, fewer species can be recorded calling.

It is only the male frogs that call and they call to attract females. Each species has a distinctive call and sound recordings from habitats can be a useful tool in identifying local frog diversity. Having said that, sometimes it can be a little tricky identifying a particular frog species when many are call or there are many species calling together. The sample below is from a series of recordings made around 10pm one night in a low-lying area beside Lake Meroo. With thanks to some of the guys from it seems as though the most prominent species calling is Pseudophryne dendyi (commonly known as the southern toadlet or Dendy's toadlet) but there may be a couple of other species in the background (drop us a line and let us know). For more information on this species visit the Frogs Australia Network. If you're keen to learn more about frogs, you can sign up to become a member of your local society, in NSW try Frog and Tadpole Study Group (NSW) FATS.

Nighttime Frogs Meroo by seaworthy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Brainwashed review of Two Lakes

Last year I reviewed Seaworthy's 1897, in which I was fascinated by Cameron Webb's careful balance of field recordings and traditional musicianship, often working together to create a sound where nature itself was the musical instrument. Working with like-minded artist Matt Rösner, the two use a similar approach, and the result is a work of the same spirit, but a different sound.

The album feels as much like ecological research as it does a piece of music. Based upon the duo's careful field recordings of the ecosystems at two coastal lakes in Australia, the results feel as much musically as it does as a living, breathing organism. They mostly mix unprocessed field recordings with treated ones, sometimes with pure musical accompaniment and other times alone.

Most are more of a hybrid, such as the shimmering drone of "Meroo Sedgeland Pt. 1," which marries subtle crackles of water, treated and natural, first with an expansive, gentle ebow drone that seems to stretch far into the horizon. Once the drone retreats, what remains is the sound of insects and frogs amongst the marshland, eventually augmented with gentle, sparse acoustic guitar. "Meroo Forest" is of similar character, combining birdsongs with a lower, sustained tone. Vibrating acoustic guitar strings add a subtle touch to what is more of an instrumental and nature duet.

The longer "Termeil Dunes" also carefully blends sparse, but deliberate tones, initially alone, but then paired with field recordings in a beautiful synthesis. "Meroo Sedgeland Pt. 2" is another where it is difficult to distinguish where the music begins and the nature ends, which is nothing but a compliment to the strength in which Webb and Rosner are able to marry the two. There seems to be a quiet digital texture carefully weaved between the sounds of nature around it, but it is so subtle it is nearly impossible to discern.

On other pieces, the sound of traditional instruments form the focus. "Meroo Stream" is a short piece that focuses on acoustic guitar plucking with occasional, but very subtle, treatments and the gentle sound of water behind it. The closing "Meroo Lake Pt. 2" is purely guitar for the first half of the piece, before it falls away to leave only the sound of water splashing about in one of the few situations in which the human and the natural sounds are distinct from one another

Two Lakes sounds like the work of four artists: Webb, Rösner, and each lake, as both the traditional playing of instruments and the calm sounds of nature contribute equally to the final product. There is a sense of life and timelessness that pervades the work and makes it perhaps one of the best statements of environmentalism possible, because rather than being just rhetoric, it captures the actual essence of nature amongst the songs.

Creaig Dunton - Brainwashed

Friday, September 10, 2010

Forest around the lake

Surrounding the two lake systems are extensive woodland and forests dominated by eucalypts. These forests provide habitat for a number of threatened species such as powerful owls, sooty owls, masked owls, glossy black cockatoos and yellow-bellied gliders. Closer the the lake edge, there are also pockets of swamp oak woodlands that provide an eerie link between lake and forest.

Many recordings made within the forest made it onto "Two Lakes", particularly a series of songbird recordings made at day break one morning. Also, listen closely to try and spot the eastern whip bird call somewhere on the album.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lake Surface

A short sample providing an example of some of the recordings made across the surface of Termeil and Meroo Lakes. These recording were made with a shotgun microphone set as low as possible to the lake surface. While capturing the sounds of the foreshore and woodland approximately 100m away, it was hoped that the occasional sounds of birds, insects and fish interecting at the water surface would be captured.

Lake Surface by seaworthy

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vital Weekly review of Two Lakes

It seems almost like a romantic notion: Seaworthy (being Cameron Webb) and Matt Rosner traveling to the south coast of New South Wales to record sounds at two lakes, Lake Meroo and Termeil. They carry various sorts of microphones (hydrophone, shotgun and stereo microphones) to record beaches, streams and forest sounds, while at night they retreat to a small cabin where they set up a small studio, with guitars (acoustic and electric), a ukelele and some electronics, digesting the day's work in nocturnal, pastoral tones.

All improvised on the spot, while the tapes are running the water/bird/wind sounds, later to be edited by Matt Rosner in his home studio. Some of these pieces are merely a collage of field recordings, while others are focus more on the music, yet all together these nine pieces make a great set of music. Slow, peaceful music, with endless sustaining notes played with an e-bow on the guitar, harmonious tinkling and watery soundscapes.

Very microsound (although hardly computer based) one might say, and as such not the newest drift around in that scene, but its all done in a great way. Intimate music, in a way that Tape also plays. Very refined.

Vital Weekly