Can I Hear The Sound Of A Falling Branch

A 8 track leftfield/idm album (44m 35s) — released June 3rd 2022 on The Tapeworm

Alex the Fairy is an artist based in Berlin producing music with an emphasis on electronic and concrete methods. Alex the Fairy is also part of the 3Ddancer trio, a live act focusing on improvisation and expression using electronics.

Alex The Fairy writes: "I had sent The Tapeworm tracks before, but I was being difficult so was asked to send a new bunch, with a deadline. I sent the new bunch, a fairly odd collection expecting perhaps some of them to be combined with the older stuff but not seeing any coherence in them. I figured The Tapeworm would find at least something. To my surprise the suggestion that came back was exclusively the tracks I had sent the second time, and, re-listening through the tracks in this new order after returning from a Christmas dinner lying on the floor of my nephews bedroom gave them a completely new context. Despite them being quite varied in terms of age (one had been flung together a few days earlier on the train while another was approaching Schulreife) they seemed to meld together in such a way that I hardly recognised them…

Last year my grandmother died. My last grandparent. I had put off seeing her during corona, as I thought it best not to put her at risk and had almost left to visit her days before her death but had delayed my departure because of a medical appointment. My failure to her weighs heavy on my mind - fates grimacing grin: too little, too late. The approaching march of death, one generation closer was a confrontation I wasn't prepared for.

While clearing out her flat in the following weeks I had kept some of my grandfathers cassettes, live recordings of jazz greats, Pink Floyd, Sade and some classical among them, none originals, several presumably from the radio e.g. a church organ rendition of Bach. At the time I wasn't sure why I was hanging on to them, other than the urge to hoard, and that it felt wrong not at least to keep some. Half a year later, half way through mixing this cassette, suffering from my first bout of COVID, I had the insatiable urge to hook up the cassette player I had received from my grandfather after his death around nineteen years earlier and had been dragging along with me since. I stuck a cassette in only to immediately return to the safety of my covers. I began to work my way into what I had saved, hearing the fruits of my grandfathers labour decades before. It felt like quite an intimate interaction with someone I had long lost contact to/was long gone. Quite a wonderful thing, these time traveling cassettes.

I returned to the tracks to mix them shortly before my corona/cassette experience, with a new mixing console at hand. I had been looking for one for several years, but nothing had ever clicked, until I found this old broadcast desk 30 minutes from my place (it also coincided with a payment from a job the sum of which matched the price identically… fates return). Installing became a massive hassle and I doubted my decision continuously, but the further it was implemented the more it made sense. The first track I recorded with the mixer is on this cassette. Shortly before the mixing I was introduced to an Effektgerät by a friend, Rapha. Another good friend Art lent me their one, and I ended up using copious amounts of it throughout mixing, alongside my usual space creators. All the tracks on this release were mixed again on this mixer and are in a sense all a bit of a dub of the originals. I wouldn't have worked this way without the mixer, and the effect gave me a dimension I hadn't had before, so, from a technical perspective, the mixer and this effect define this release, giving it a coherence, at least for me. Emotionally of course the chaos and turbulence of the preceding year and my newfound appreciation for the medium give it a meaning I will struggle to formulate." – Alex The Fairy, Berlin, 9 May 2022

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