PEOPLE represents many things: a non-hierarchical music collective, a festival of collaboration at Berlin’s Funkhaus, and a digital platform encouraging creative exchange for artists and music fans. Since launching, it has piqued the interest of artists around the world, including Dublin-based trio Slow Moving Clouds. They made their new album Starfall, described as, ‘a collection that oozes a musical curiosity’ by Irish Times, available to PEOPLE subscribers last week, coinciding with its physical and digital release.
The nine song collection is one which blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic sound – the majority of its instrumentation being acoustic but its production and musical structures giving it the presence of nuanced electronic music. Take Under the City, with bowing patterns that give the string parts the same undulating character of a synth line processed with sidechain compression, and the vocal reverb, that gives Kevin Murphy’s voice an ethereal, almost synthetic quality.
The band participated in the 2018 PEOPLE residency and festival weekend in Berlin, deepening their commitment to the movement. Fiddler Danny Diamond described their experience there as ‘inspirational,’ calling the festival and wider PEOPLE concept, ‘an antidote to cynicism & weariness, and a glimpse of a future model for making and sharing music.’
The festival brings together numerous artists from around the world, one week prior to the weekend’s performances, enabling them to collaborate on new, old or spontaneous music for each show. Audience members arrive not knowing who will take the stage, or what material they are about to be presented with. They put their faith in concept and the musicians participating, valuing the experience and the environment which nurtures such experimentation.
‘We were taken by the idealism and communality of it,’ Diamond elaborates, “a daring way to build both ‘real life’ and digital communities, serving the audience and the music creators, rather than exploiting both which is all-too-often the case.” Although footage of their collaborations has yet to surface, Danny tells us that Slow Moving Clouds worked with DJ/producer Boys Noize, Irish hip-hop trio Rusangano Family, US singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis and Australian singer-songwriter Gordi among others.
Having released their album and launched it with a live performance in Dublin last night, the band are raring to go for their forthcoming tour dates. The Irish Examiner highlighted new album closer Swansong / Starfall as a standout part of their recent set, ‘one of several pieces developed from the group’s soundtracking of the widely-acclaimed Loch na hEala dance show, a contemporary take on Swan Lake.’ We can’t wait to welcome the technologically-minded yet folk-informed outfit to Manchester and thankfully, have less than a month to wait.