nullarbor - sleeve notes
Nullarbor (LP) - 2008
01) Southern Cross - Kalgoorlie (10:22)
02) Kalgoorlie - Eucla (03:29)
03) Eucla (08:24)
04) Broken Hill (10:01)
05) Dubbo & Beyond (11:42)
06) Blue Mountains (18:10)
All tracks conceived, written, performed and recorded by Michael Shanahan.
If you would like a studio quality recording of the album
on CD complete with proper sleeve notes, then take a
visit to the shop where it is now available. The album is also available from CD Baby.
The story picks up where the last album (Bibbulmun) paused. It commences in Southern Cross in Western Australia, traverses the legendary Nullarbor plain and ends almost 4,000km later in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, pretty much the entire width of Australia.
The landscape along the way covers every possible variation, from desert to lush woodland and even 'shark infested waters', if you believe the locals who warned against swimming at Ceduna in South Australia.
Along the way, I made a series of field recordings which eventually transformed their way into these pieces. Each work is named after a particular point or stretch of the journey.
Some background to key points on the journey can be found by visiting:
Nullarbor Plain - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullarbor
Broken Hill - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_Hill
Blue Mountains – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Mountains
001 - Southern Cross - Kalgoorlie
It's based on field recordings made while traveling from Southern Cross to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It covers the area just before reaching the edge of the desert.
002 - Kalgoorlie - Eucla
It's based on field recordings made while traveling from Kalgoorlie to Eucla on the Nullarbor . It contains, among other things .... field recordings of water coming out of the pipe at the end of the 330 mile 'Goldfields Pipeline' (the start of which is the point at which I finished the Bibbulmun hike that marks the end of my previous album. It also includes recordings made at the 'Super Pit' goldmine as well as various points along the Nullarbor plain.
003 - Eucla
The opening field recording is a loop of emus passing through a metal fence in the desert while a camera motor activates ...... just one of those things. It also features recordings of some of the huge road trains that cross Australia.
004 - Broken Hill
Field recordings for this track were all made during a single evening while in Broken Hill, NSW, Australia. The crowd/advertisements/conversations were recorded in the local cinema while waiting for 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2' to start.
005 - Dubbo & Beyond
Having left the 'west' and desert behind and while driving towards Sydney but still 400km north west. A huge part of the track was inspired by an 'off the wall' MW radio transmission I was listening to while driving. Anyway, I built the track around this and various road sounds along the way. It peaks in a recording I made while waiting at a railway crossing for a huge cargo train to pass.
006 - Blue Mountains
Most of the field recordings used here were made at a single point on a trail leading to the 'Three Sisters' in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. I set up a microphone at a break in a steep climb up along a busy walk to the Three Sisters lookout. The sounds are of hikers either descending or climbing back up to the point I was located. The other recording is of an early morning electric kettle boiling in the log cabin I was staying in while spending a few days in the Blue Mountains.
The field recordings were all completed on a Sony minidisc with Sony microphones.
Once back in the studio an initial set of recordings were made using various software programs to edit the field sounds. These were later developed into full scale recordings for live performance. The results of the live work filtered back into the studio where I used:
Keyboards: Yamaha & m-audio
Programming Software: Various including FL Studio 7 and Wave Lab 5
Thank You Kindly
During the course of the drive across Australia I encountered some great folks who helped inspire this work. Most of these could be found at various roadside cafe's, roadhouses, motels and petrol stations along the Nullarbor. A big hello to the folks at the Balladonia Roadhouse, those beers were wonderful! Also, thanks to the folks from the Broken Hill cinema - now that's how to run an old style cinema and make folks feel welcome!
Back home, thanks to the folks who've supported me over the last 12 months, listening to the music and attending the concerts.
A major thank you goes out to Colin Bennun who took the results of 12 month's work and mastered it into a polished album.
As usual, many thanks to Christine (who is my perfect friend and traveling companion and put together the artwork for this CD), Peter (who drove some of the 90 mile straight in the mitsubishi 380) & Jennifer (accommodation expert).
Here Ya Go
Also as usual, this is music for walking, not for sitting. Enjoy!