Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

 |   |  1 min read

Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Wondjina
Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

Recently it was my great privilege to be asked to write some liner notes for this album on the estimable Rattle label. It is a very special album as you may hear.

So rather than relitigate those ideas why don't I simply reproduce the notes here and you can make what you will of it?

This is what I wrote . . .

We live in a world post-everything. Many paintings are post-Modern; emerging nations are post-colonial; contemporary art music is described as post-classical to differentiate it from concert halls filled with Bach and Beethoven, and latterly we've had post-rock, where drums and electric guitars are employed to make music which isn't rock.

Artists of all persuasions today draw from cultures and styles across the global village, and explore the present and past with equal confidence and impunity.

Nunns' often other-worldly sounds float in a spacious canvas and are treated electronically to create sonic landscapes or weightless astral planes of seemingly infinite scope and resonance.

The titles of the seven separate but integrated movements in this cinematic work suggest a narrative arc which might have come from Arthur C. Clarke by way of Andrei Tarkovsky: outside influences (The Watchers) charting the course of humankind's rise (Original Seeding), the mysterious Dreamtime (Wondjina) and the emergence of sentient beings (Oannes) into the world of Lux et Veritas (light and truth) . . .

This is where traditional-meets-electronics in evocative references to bird calls and landscapes, yet which also invoke suggestions of spirit voices. These extended pieces can be eerie but also earthy, the album title alludes to their emotional reach from mythic past to imagined future, the line between taonga pūoro and electronics is invisible.

This music could seem problematically genre-less, but receptive audiences exist to appreciate its rare beauty and allusiveness.

In the early 90s Philip Glass observed, “There’s an audience out there that isn’t just interested in jazz or pop or dance or theatre or modern music, they’re interested in all kinds of music. I hear a lot of talk about ‘crossover artists,’ but what I’m seeing is crossover audiences.”

Today's crossover audiences accept music which ignores arbitrary boundaries. They want music like that of Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns which reaches across culture, genre, space and time.

They understand and are entranced by music like Ancient Astronaut Theory which is post-everything. But, in its unique way, pre-so much more . . .

Dave Lisik is interviewed at Elsewhere here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Kurt Vile: b'lieve I'm goin (deep) down (Matador)

Kurt Vile: b'lieve I'm goin (deep) down (Matador)

Vile's previous Wakin on a Pretty Daze captured an audience for its benign tripped-out vibe and although this isn't as strong he should consolidate his fanbase with these slightly ambling,... > Read more

Mark Knopfler: Privateering (Mercury)

Mark Knopfler: Privateering (Mercury)

Be interesting to know how many of the 30 million who bought Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms could name singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler's previous album (Get Lucky and not bad, since you ask).... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Margie Joseph; Original Album Series (Atlantic/Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Margie Joseph; Original Album Series (Atlantic/Rhino)

The point of the on-going weekly Bargain Buy suggestion is not just to direct readers to fine music going cheap, but to also encourage you to take a chance on an unknown or only vaguely familiar... > Read more

The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat (1969)

The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat (1969)

While it is entirely possible to live a happy and fulfilled life without hearing any music by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, there really is no need to be so deprived given the... > Read more