memoirs: to dust


twincities (Fletcher McDermott) has come a long way since Make a Joyful Noise.  The guitar and bass have been swapped for viola and cello, and the post-rock for ambience.  Even the celesta is gone.  On his new album, the artist appears to have found his voice, a slightly ironic statement due to the fact that the album is all about losing.  Sound, note, and impression fade into a smear of tone and timbre.  McDermott calls this the “sound of decay”, and while it may be a familiar sound to ambient aficionados, it’s especially well done here.

The organic instruments make all the difference.  Glockenspiel notes pop to the surface, then sink into the mire; a string line emerges, floating listlessly atop turgid waters.  A microcosm of this approach can be heard in “gentle melody”, whose title says everything one needs to know.  Instruments descend into static; memories fade into dust.  And yet, before this happens, they surge one final time, softened by the years, abraded at the edges: the love which once caused pain, now inspiring only wistfulness; the loss which led to depression, now conjuring only melancholy.  Time may not heal all wounds, but it still manages to sand their surfaces.  If every sharpness remained as sharp, the human heart could not bear the weight.

The cello and violin – or rather, the threads of cello and violin – lend the album an air of elegance.  The more established the initial sound, the greater the impact of its decay.  Here again we find reference to a date.  On Make a Joyful Noise, it was August 15th; here it is September 4th.  Something significant happened, we know not what.  Cars pass in the distance; the glockenspiel sounds the album’s clearest notes.  And then rattle, crackle, wind, distant strings bearing a hint of “Taps”.  Farewell, whoever you are, whatever you were, borne to some distant shore, intact there yet already fading here.

Memories fade, so we write them down; but one day the ink will fade, the pages will crumble, and even our memoirs will turn to dust: like these sounds, sabi, the beauty of decay.  (Richard Allen) – A Closer Listen

DSC_0957 DSC_0936 DSC_0980 DSC_0969
DSC_0966 DSC_0960 DSC_0950 DSC_0981 DSC_0986 DSC_0988 DSC_0998 DSC_1004 DSC_1006 DSC_0949 DSC_0947 DSC_0943 DSC_0940 DSC_1017 DSC_1013 DSC_1010 DSC_1008 DSC_1018 DSC_1020 DSC_0008 DSC_0007 DSC_0002




memoirs: to dust

“the sound of decay”

“The, “sound of decay” thing I’ve kind of had floating around as a tagline for the album of sorts. I don’t know that I like using the term “concept album”, but if my last full length focused on the celesta, this one definitely focused on decaying sound.” – Fletcher McDermott


gentle memories
gentle [memoir]
gentle melody
A stuck bird
january 14th
a flown bird
miniature places and luminous lines
kadaver dogs


released 27 February 2015music written and recorded february-may 2014
by fletcher mcdermottwith help from-
jesse asch, electric bass on track 7
matthew citarella, lap steel on track 6
tanya lam, viola on tracks 2-9
ysanne spevack, cello on tracks 2-5, 7 & 8recorded and mixed at home by fletcher mcdermott

mastered by taylor deupree at 12k

holga photography by caleb reed

layout and design by mark kuykendall

letterpress printing by rachel ann dennis