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Here we see the celebrated Matthew Bourne taking up the challenge of Adam Martin and Mark Slater’s Nightports project. Starting with sounds generated by Bourne’s piano/prepared piano playing, the base materials are then manipulated into winding corridors of composition reminiscent of Nils Frahm, Max Richter and the recent collaborative record between Brian Eno and Tom Rogerson, Finding Shore.

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Nightports with Matthew Bourne by Nightports with Matthew Bourne
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8/10 Jamie 28 February 2018

Matthew Bourne, then. Which side of Matthew Bourne will we be getting here, the melodic Matthew or Experimental Matthew? Or both? This latter option would appear to be the case, for the Nightports project -- Nightports being the name of the challenge put to Bourne by Adam Martin and Mark Slater. This most Piano of keyboard men recorded the piano sounds in two locations; both at his home near Keighley, and at Besbrode Pianos in Holbeck, Leeds -- little more than a stone’s throw from my office chair, in fact.

Bourne had his pick of antique instruments at BP and opted for both shiny, polished baby grands and dusty old unrestored uprights. So it is that muted, warm notes collide with jagged, bright and slightly broken timbres -- all then processed, cut up and seamlessly spliced together by the Nightports lads (Leeds and Hull). Bourne certainly filled his boots during his visits to the piano shop / museum, and this explains the variety of flavours and methods he used to coax the sounds therefrom. The results are texturally interesting and often highly percussive, with bass notes and drumming sounds from the piano bodies slapping together amongst the prettier, floatier moments.

An illuminating record to file alongside recent works by Hauschka, Nils Frahm and Bourne of course.



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