Finding a sense of serenity is a challenge most of us chase, every day. Whether it’s the coffee-breath grind of the underground, the grid-lock of the daily commute or the drudgery of the 9-5, looking beyond the concrete and grey monotony, to nature, is often the transcendent salvation we seek.
Dart is one such redemption. Inspired by the river from which this collection takes its name, these five continuous movements pay personal homage to the stretch of water that Jethro Cooke considers to be the connection between the sacred places of his youth and the present-day comfort of a retreat.
“I hope that listeners will find Dart peaceful but not without vitality and dynamism,” Jethro explains. “I set out to create a gentle, intimate piece of environmental music, essentially textural composition with an organic aesthetic. I worked with field recordings affected to a varying degree; the familiar sounds of running water and birdsong accompany melodic drones and gentle rhythmic lines crafted from riverside samples. There is no synthesis in Dart.”
A gentle, morphing soundtrack, Dart’s dream-like drones and weave and swathe to an ecological beat. Tracked by environmental field recordings, it’s easy to imagine the lush canopies of grass, dragonflies languidly patrolling their territory and wildlife instinctively running their biological routine.
“From the moorland at the heart of Devon to the South coast, the Dart carves a valley of abundant natural beauty where I have spent a great deal of my time over the last ten years,” Jethro reminisces. “These days the river is above all a comfort. I visit it to rest, to calm myself and clear my head. It has the almost unique effect of calming through movement rather than stillness – the constant rolling of water is like a mantra.”
It’s what helps underpin the subtle beauty of this set and Dart paints a vivid picture of the velvet green idylls we can all dream about; both the movement and the melody.