Artist: Nat Grant
title:Live Recordings 2016
keywords: experimental, Melbourne
Thanks to hopping over the internet from site to site, clicking on links like Dorothy would click her heels of her red shoes; my ears had fallen on a release with live recordings by Nat Grant. According to popular belief and the description on her website and this Spotlight: Audible Women page she is a percussionist. For some reason I overlooked that she is also an sound artist which in togetherness always brings up a brand new combo of music and sound exploration.
I’ve heard percussionists setting their private feet into pure avant-garde, maybe as a break from playing drums in bands or with others, but Nat Grant seems to be exploring a very different kind of style. Or at least then in this release of ‘live recordings’ recorded by her. At first glance I was stumbling over the sound as somehow for unknown reason I expected a huge amount of drums, rhythms, percussion; something wild and energetic.. It might have been that I’ve watched a couple of her live videos from her own website in which she hits the drum kit like its deserving a classy beating. But once recovered from the fact that it wasn’t going to give what I thought it was; there was this sense of relief and niceness: I love it when the unexpected overrules the expected!
Nat Grant her live recordings on this release are as if they are close to the ground, it still sounds in many places a bit wet, somehow the dirt is fresh, the sound might be muffled. It’s a exploration of sound that feels very earthly to me, perhaps difficult to explain but it’s not as if we are a worn under the ground holding up a microphone, but more something that reminds me of sand, gravel, dust and being clean and fresh in a natural kind of way. It’s a bit like when you go down on your knees to study a mushroom or a little flower that just popped out; it’s delicate and yet robust as it can grow against all odds in the outside world of nature.
And yes, of course Nat Grant does brings her percussion skills into these live recordings, but it’s different; it functions more like a cracklings layer, the sound of growth of the earthly plants and fungus friends. It seems very on the ground, careful and strong at the same time; truly something a biologist would point out and tell his class of followers to study with the help of a magnifier and a good nose. It’s three specimen to go throw, perfect to sniff up with full attention or even as a sound layer for your homework and other activities. To me it brings the smell of the earth into the living room, morning dew still on top of the fallen leaves and little puddles of them on the top dirt. It’s a nice surprise, unexpected and yet so calm.