The Hardy Tree – The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

Author: Colin | Published: 30/10/10

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

Artist The Hardy Tree
Title The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath
Label Clay Pipe Music
Year 2010
Design Frances Castle
Music “… an orchestral jigsaw puzzle of sounds that hint at audio memories from lost kids ’70s TV programmes, ghost orchestras, cinema organs, folk song, static and crackle.”
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Notes The title ‘The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath’ echoed my own interest in the landscape below London’s concrete and brick. The hidden course of the Fleet river is perhaps the best known of Londoners’ fascination for the subterranean, but there are many more examples. I was immediately charmed by the first image I saw of Frances’ work.

Beneath the smoking clay pipe and frowning fox flow dark undercurrents: a zeppelin hangs in the night sky and a fatal accident is described in which a man shoots himself in the bowels. Lyrically many of the songs act as a wistful threnody for times past – ‘We Waltzed at the Astoria Theatre’ refers to the Charing Cross Road venue built in 1893 and demolished last year to facilitate Crossrail’s “… congestion relief, delivering a bigger ticket hall, additional escalators, step-free access, and interchange with Crossrail services”.

Frances writes:

The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath Is the first CD by my musical Project ‘The Hardy Tree’ and the first on my label ‘Clay Pipe Music’. I’ve been making music for a long time now, but always put it out on other peoples labels. This time I decided to do it myself. I am a freelance illustrator, so the idea of starting my own little label as an extension of that really appealed – an escape from the constraints
of commercial work, and to get back to doing things by hand again. The cover is printed with a Gocco (*), so because of fluctuation in print quality each one is slightly different.

Inside is a hand made booklet of my drawings, the CD is a sort musical story based on the (imagined and real) history the area of London where I live, and the illustrations and text in the book complement this. My plan for next year is to bring out music by other people, I’m looking forward to creating sleeves for music that I love, but wasn’t involved in making.

* Frances explains that a Gocco “is a kind of tiny screen-printing machine”. More info here.

Buy your copy from Clay Pipe Music.


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