Towards the end of 2010 Wil Bolton released his debut under his own name 'Time Lapse', and earlier this year saw him join the Rural Colours ranks with a long form piece 'Melt' composed from toy keyboards, synthesizers, analogue delay and unexpected sounds occurring in the recording process. As with other releases from the label, the EP was an exceptionally beautiful piece, translating the imagery of Winter passing and Spring taking it's place wonderfully. 'Chimes for a Wall Drawing' has similar components to Bolton's previous releases, however the approach taken to create the one hour long work is significantly different, and results in an altogether more immersive soundscape; possessing a maturer and more experimental identity.
'Chimes...' is inspired by the Tate Gallery Liverpool's 2009 display of American conceptual and minimalist artist Sol LeWitt's work 'Wall Drawing #1136'. Specifically, Bolton's approach was to map the drawing's seven colours (imagine Bridget Riley-esque vertical lines of rainbow colours intersected by a waving form similar to the River Thames in the same colour palette) to that of the corresponding colours on the chimes. Processing these, handbells, guitars and field recordings (from within and around the gallery) with layers of electronics, and all recorded live in the gallery space.
Beginning with field recordings; birds, noise and the sound of the gallery space itself, Bolton establishes a strong sense place from the off which immediately locates us within the piece. Long formed waves patiently exhale, weaving a sinuously textured back drop punctuated by the chiming notes at irregular intervals. Throughout the lifetime of the piece we're given a number of different view points and consequently emotions; sometimes delivered by warming processed drones and plucked guitar, sometimes by lack of these, focusing on noise and negative space.
That 'Chimes...' is a successful piece is without question. As an artefact that expands the existence of a visual object - LeWitt's drawing - the piece both prolongs its lifetime and offers new meaning and interpretations. Not only does it do this, but is able to stand alone as its own object of beauty, open for yet more meaning and interpretation by the listener who have not seen the source inspiration.
Released 25th June on 50 limited CDs (now sold out) and digitally by Cathedral Transmissions