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C.R. Gillespie's voyage through Vietnam captured on the elegantly ethereal 'Tracings In Honey'

The Canadian artist fuses field recordings with ambient masterstrokes on the immersive long-player

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 2 July 2021
C.R. Gillespie's voyage through Vietnam captured on the elegantly ethereal 'Tracings In Honey'

Canadian artist C.R. Gillespie's latest enchanting project arrived last week on the exquisite Toronto-based label, Séance Centre.

'Tracings In Honey' is a mystically charmed album of compositions centred around a series of field recordings he captured while travelling through Vietnam with his wife in 2019. Gillespie had prepared a collection of demo recordings at home in advance of his trip which would serve as a bed for the recordings he made throughout the expedition. Armed with a simple hand-held recording device, set about exploring the diverse landscapes of the vibrant southeast Asian nation, cataloguing his experiences in audio form with a view to completing the production upon his return to Canada. Recording all manner of sonic morsels – from barking street dogs to bustling markets, chattering wildlife to flowing water – he expertly manifested a uniquely personal audio diary of the expedition.

The resulting collection is nothing short of breathtaking, with the sound bites of the adventure elegantly woven throughout the beautifully coherent arrangement of blissfully immersive ambient textures. The album overflows with elegant highlights throughout. Journeying through the distant bird song and ethereal waves of opening track 'Bucephala' to the otherworldly delayed synths and vast atmospheric pads of title track 'Tracings In Honey', The life-affirming optimism of 'In Soft Water' through to the curiously unnerving 'Augiomont'. While each piece stands up confidently, the dazzling collection is best enjoyed as a whole as it delicately seduces the listener into joining Gillespie on his visceral journey. Seemingly equally rooted in the internal voyage as the tangible realm, the album is a gloriously vivid work of art. “Tracings in Honey is an album that tries to reconcile the idea of a place with lived experience, our personal ways of listening/seeing, and the marks and mirages of travel,” says Gillespie.

C.R. Gillespie 'Tracings In Honey' is out now both digitally and on limited edition vinyl. You can listen and buy it here