Flying Among the Trees

A 3 track ambient ep (12m 16s) — released June 23rd 2023 on Blackford Hill

Flying Among the Trees by classical guitarist Morgan Szymanski and experimental musician Tommy Perman is the result of a long-held wish that the two childhood friends would get the chance to record together. The three tracks that feature on this new EP were recorded alongside the duo's recent meditative album, Music for the Moon and the Trees - a gentle thing of serene beauty and quiet innovation.

Taking advantage of a break in the Mexico-based guitarist's busy touring schedule, the duo took to a woodland cottage in rural Scotland to write and record over five days in midsummer 2019, using solar and wind power generated entirely on-site.

Arriving from Venice, Morgan joined Tommy in Perthshire for a night of listening to music and chatting by the light of a fire and the full moon about the project they might create together.

All of the sounds heard on the EP and album were recorded in the woodland surrounding the cottage. There was a childlike sense of wonder as the duo recorded the sounds of the trees, birds, bats and an assortment of found percussion. Convolution reverbs were created by snapping twigs and pinging spruce branches. Much of the music was improvised with live single-take performances by Morgan combined with Tommy's computer generative improvisations.

Morgan had just collected a new guitar made for him by Italian master luthier Luciano Lovadina. Luciano chooses the wood for his guitars by walking into the forest when the moon is full and listening to the sound of the trees. He selects the most resonant Italian red spruce, which is felled and seasoned for a year. The guitar made for Morgan is particularly resonant, which can be heard in the rich harmonics on the recordings.

They returned to their busy lives at the end of the week, and Tommy worked on producing the recordings over the next nine months – finishing this work during the UK's first coronavirus lockdown.

These recordings are a rich tribute to the many powerful forces at play and conjure up both the calm and the uncanny, inviting whoever listens to it to press pause on the outside world for a brief spell.

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