top of page

Create Your First Project

Start adding your projects to your portfolio. Click on "Manage Projects" to get started

Nine Movements (featuring Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)

Project type

Album

Date

October 2021

Location

Los Angeles & Sydney

The Guardian

Bandcamp

Stream / Purchase

"Ambient music can often be theoretical or medicinal; this record is both”
- The Guardian

Nine Movements was composed as a sound bath and developed over many performances to horizontal people around California. Featuring the talents of Los Angeles underground OGs Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño.

Released by Longform Editions October 2021.

Matthew Liam Nicholson: Composition, arrangement, acoustic guitar, processing, synthesizers, field recordings
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Violin & Composition
Carlos Niño: Space Percussion
Bellarine Singing Bowl group, Australia. Tibetan and Japanese singing bowls, directed by MLN
Michelle Hodnett: Crystal Bowls, Tuning Forks
Scotus Dunshee: Didgeridoos
Adam Weiss: Tenor Saxophone
Mixed by John Hendicott and MLN.
Mastered by John Hendicott

Artist notes from Longform Editions site:

Nine Movements was composed to be performed and received in an immersive, meditative, comfortable setting, indoors or outdoors, most often horizontally. It is intended as an instrumental guided meditation and invocation, to relax, engage and balance the being. The harmonic relationships throughout are generally designed to be heard or felt by each bodily energy centre in ellipses throughout the 39 minute piece. Whilst it also works played quietly, it is intended primarily to be listened to fairly loud in a single full session, as a sequence of nine movements—and such that the sub bass and frequency stacks can be felt in the physical, emotional and mental and bodies as much as heard through the ears.

Earlier versions of Nine Movements were performed to audiences sound bathing under the stars, in gardens, yoga centres, halls and homes, with my partner Michelle and other guests—and was featured in full multichannel spatial audio for a week at a massive outdoor temple at Burning Man. The lockdowns put a halt to our performances, but created space for the piece to be embellished and completed for release.

The many singing bowls that form the base of the sound bed were recorded previously in Australia in a regional community hall with a small group, for use in my score for the multimedia component of an installation in the Bargello National Museum of Florence, Italy. I took some of my favourite sections of those recordings and arranged them in a series of movements—and began adding layers of tones that worked with the often complex and strange harmonic relationships between the metal bowls. The first big sound that drops in the first minute, signalling the beginning of the meditation, is one of the largest and oldest singing bowls being circularly played, which took three people to lift.

Apart from the natural harmonics of the singing bowls upon which the composition was built, the main body of harmonic tones moving and floating throughout, are many tone swells generated from my acoustic guitar, amplified, processed, stacked, delayed, looped, re-sampled—shifting clouds of harmonic layers passing by, creating a constantly changing harmonic field guiding the listener through the meditation. The musical guests we had performing didgeridoo and saxophone at the live shows also performed on the recording. The piece also comprises field recordings collected from around the world. The combining of sounds from multiple distant points in time and space, into a single immersive audio scape, has always interested me as an experimental, evocative process.

Los Angeles is home to such an intoxicatingly rich swathe of humanity’s creativity—magnetised there from all over the world. LA native Miguel Atwood-Ferguson was one particularly exceptional human to cross my path there—we hosted a number of live string salons with Miguel in Los Feliz, which were always magic. I was thrilled and honoured when he responded strongly to an earlier version of Nine Movements and added his violin layers, taking the piece to entirely another level and initiating our ongoing collaboration. Miguel introduced me to his long time friend Carlos Nino, who also responded to the piece and added his layers of perfectly timed sensitive space percussion, which completed the textural palette of Nine Movements. Another of my favourite humans in LA, John Hendicott, an English spatial audio expert, completed the mix with me and mastered the album.

bottom of page