Pefkin: Celestial Navigations
morc 81 - lp
A1. Celestial Navigations
A3. Numenius Borealis
B1. I am John Rae
B2. Aurora Borealis
released february 25th 2020
ltd to 150 copies
--> 14 euro <--
Gayle’s third lp on morc truely brings together everything we like so much about her work:a mesmerising and enigmatic layering of vocals, violin, analogue synth, zither, psaltery, harp, guitar, found objects and field recordings, all blending together into slowly-unfolding, ritualistic hymnals that draw heavily on the landscape and natural world
In 2018 Gayle was asked to play at the Øy Festival on Papa Westray with a brief linking islanders to space exploration. These 5 tracks are the result.
The opener and title track describes a past method of navigation across the seas using a sextant to read the stars and plot a course. It features Gayle's fellow Celestial Navigator from Electroscope on VCS3 and Revox A77 tape recorder - John Cavanagh.
The other 4 songs are loosely focused on Arctic exploration, in particular the Orkney-born explorer John Rae who discovered the fate of Lord Franklin and inadvertently the North West Passage. Alan Davidson of the Kitchen Cynics plays some magnificent psych guitar on 'I Am John Rae'.
It wouldn't be a Pefkin album without birds, and 'Tulungusaq', a dreamy slice of psych pop, is based on an Inuit creation myth about the crow.
Finally, both sides close out located firmly in frozen far north. 'Numenius Borealis' is the scientific name for Eskimo Curlew which made the Arctic tundra its summer home and was hunted into (probable) extinction. The only photograph taken of this beautiful species of wader was in 1962 in Galveston.
Gayle met Stromness-based metalworker Fiona Sanderson on Papay, who lent her Aeolian Chimes, a sculpture created from a handthrown copper bowl and grandfather clock chimes. This beautiful creation features throughout the album, most prominently on 'Aurora Borealis'.