Music For Industry

“These tracks were created and performed during Kirks two week ‘Beatback’ residency at Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds in April 2018, During the residency, Kirk recorded sounds related to the industrial revolution at various West Yorkshire locations – the River Aire, Thwaites Water Mill, Bradford Industrial Museum, Armley Industrial Museum, The Keighley – Oxenhope Railway, and Middleton Railway. He then solely used these recordings to create 45 minutes of new compositions, which were first performed in a live set on the closing night of Beatback at Armley Mills. All the sounds you hear (even the drums, subs, and synth-like sounds) were made using recordings of steam trains, a working water wheel, wool mules & wool manufacturing machinery and even reimagined industrial folk songs performed by local residents of Armley. The set (and sounds used for each section) follows a conceptual structure mimicking the old process industrial wool manufacture and distribution. Starting with recordings of the River Aire, on to recordings of a water wheel, on to recordings of milling machines (which once were powered by water wheels) and so on … Additionally, in some sections, kirk has used the “natural” rhythms found in the recordings of the milling machinery and steam trains to actually trigger the drum and melodic sounds, rather than program these himself. The machinery did the work for him.

Massive thanks to Fran Graham, Lee Goater, Richard Claxton, Tom Hammond and the rest of the Beatback team for organising and running the project. To the folks at Armley Industrial Museum, Thwaites Water Mill, Bradford Industrial Museum, The Keighley – Oxenhope Railway, and Middleton Railway for allowing us to record at their venues. To the talented musicians Sara Allkins, Jessica Bowie and poet Donald Vicary who kindly performed reimagined folk pieces and poems for me, which were used in the compositions. And to Billy Thackray who helped with the recording process,  and also collaborated with me on the track ‘Local Motives’.

Cover Photo by Lee Goater

These visuals created by Richard Claxton using archive footage and were projected during my live set at the Beatback event. The audio heard in the video is a live recording of the set.