congratulations to the young men of nelson
traw: congratulations to the young men of nelson
CD-R, limited edition of 50.

about this release

by turns sinister and soothing improvised electronics, recorded live to 2-track tape and constructed entirely from the sounds of wooden toys, acoustic guitar, kitchen implements and roofing material. dedicated to the young men of Nelson, Mid Glamorgan.

the second installment of fourier transform's white box CD-R series. CD-R, limited edition of 50, housed in a white padded presentation box with four lovingly designed inserts, sealed with a translucent paper obi.

simon's recording notes

owen and myself had, over the years, collected a small number of interesting wooden toys (some specifically musical, others not intentionally so) from our various travels, and owen had long entertained the idea of a group of us turning up at an open-mic session with a bag full and playing them. we figured though that that would require balls, which, at the time, neither of us had in abundance. the next best thing, we figured, was to record some of their musical properties and attempt to fashion some structured pieces around the raw material. this required no balls at all, and was therefore much easier to get around to doing.

we got together one sunday afternoon at my house - richard turned up too, as he'd locked himself out of his flat and therefore had nothing better to do. traw, as they say, was born. we took it in turns to bang things, scrape things, knock things together, every way we could thing of of making the things we had make noise. it was fantastic fun. as well as blowing into the bamboo flutes, we used them as drumsticks on my conservatory roof. as well as playing the senegalese thumb guitar, we rolled jamjars and chopsticks down the fretboard. the ocarina was rolled around inside a fruitbowl. then we moved into the kitchen and grabbed the eggwhisk.

A selection of wooden things

eventually we ran out of ways to hit things, and called it a day. it was time to implement phase 2 of our plan. the three of us retreated to our secret musical bunkers where we spent time familiarising ourselves with the new sounds and doing some processing on them. the idea behind this phase was to uncover the inherent musicality of all things. a rainstick sounds like rain when you tip it upside down - slow the sound down 16 times and it becomes something entirely alien and different. the afterglow of a thumbguitar strum makes an incredibly warm boards Of canada keyboard loop. and so on. i'll admit, with hindsight, that i got a bit process-happy - some of the sounds i worked on became abstracted to well beyond the point of recognisability. but there were no strict rules of course, we were just making music. it was all valid.

a couple of weeks later, the three of us got together again and decided that rather than sit down and collaboratively write music with the sounds, we'd just make stuff up with the tape rolling. group improvisation. three laptops plugged into one minidisc recorder. and as if that concept wasn't enough, we decided on a truly life-affirming system of nomenclature for the sessions based upon an old welsh tongue-twister: llongyfarchiadau i lanciau ieuainc Llanelli (congratulations to the young men of llanelli). we figured it was unfair for the llanelli boys to keep getting all the praise especially when they didn't appear to have done much in recent times, so we thought we'd spread the love around and congratulate young men from other towns too. the first improvised session was recorded in praise of the young men of brackla, bridgend. our first live outing, a short set at chapter arts centre, was dedicated to the young men of crymych. then it was the turn of the nelson boys to be recognised, and the results of that session can be found here, on this CD. subsequent recordings championed the young male populations of gorsgoch, hirwaun, ogmore, porthcawl, cwmparc and bucharest, and they each have a quite different atmosphere and sound palette according to our subconscious responses to the places and the deeds of their inhabitants. these other recordings remain, for the time being at least, buried under piles of old photos and dusty 78s in the traw attic, but our praise is undiminished.

we hope you enjoy the music, and while listening, we also hope you'll spare a thought for the young men of nelson. they're a good bunch of boys.

track listing

1| part 1/rhan 1 (14.54) (mp3)
2| part 2/rhan 2 (7.06) (mp3)
3| part 3/rhan 3 (5.37)
4| part 4/rhan 4 (5.51)
5| part 5/rhan 5 (1.23)
6| part 6/rhan 6 (4.10) (mp3)

purchasing options

Available now.

£8 (includes postage and packing worldwide)