variations on the letter H

by Olan Mill

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about

UTR - 167

Olan Mill - variations on the letter H

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Olan Mill is Alex Smalley and 'variations on the letter H' quite possibly marks the last release for this beautiful project. The album comprises nine instrumental pieces, Smalley draws into his world of piano, guitar and pipe organ. Field recordings occasionally emerge to ensure an even greater sense of space. 'variations on the letter H' is a soft hiss of layered tones that seem to recall the feeling one might have while napping at the base of magnificent waterfalls. A type of heavenly quality pervades the compositions that seamlessly drift in major keys from one movment to the next.

'variations on the letter H' associates itself musically with more natural, energy, life themes and was recorded over the last year or two in various locations. Olan Mill are not overly concerned with the idea of minimalism, nor is there an inkling of the pieces being charted out. In the end the outcome for the listener can be steady and continuous, like a current or stream that ebbs and flows through the natural world.

This album marks the end of an era for studio albums from Olan Mill is an uplifting homage to a past romantic body of work which stretches over 6 years. Unknown Tone is pleased to share this work and hope too see more music in the future, whatever form it may take. We hope you'll enjoy this final vestige from Olan Mill and may the beauty they've created throughout the years echo on.

Many thanks
xx

UTR 2018


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A note from the artist:

I don't feel I communicate so well via social media and I always assume people are not so interested, so i'm really touched that a few of you have reached out. Thanx....

To briefly clarify - 'Variations On The Letter H' does feel like it could be my final Olan Mill album. In many ways it's the album I always set out to make under this project name. In addition things have really changed for me over the last two years, most significantly I've moved country and had a child. With such dramatic shifts to my time and environment I find my creativity altering too. This album was the final thing I composed before my world expanded and so it does have a finality in many ways.

That said it feels a bit strange to directly say 'never again' and the weird truth is I play Le Guess Who? festival next month as Olan Mill. To coincide with this show I will also release a collection of guitar improvisations as Olan Mill. This will be released via Shimmering Moods who invited me to play the festival. Sooooo my next record will achually come out two weeks after this one!

I guess what 'Variations.....' is to me is a goodbye to a certain type of freedom, lifestyle and creativity. I am very proud of it, but there's a sadness too. I will always be making something. I achually have a new project with a piano player here in Weimar that's called Ilm and Pausal will never stop - then there's the new material i'll play at the festival...... The flow will continue in someway or another....

Thanx again for the interest. - Alex Smalley

credits

released October 30, 2018

Music + Production | Alex Smalley
Mastering // Artwork | Mark Kuykendall

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Unknown Tone Records Tulsa, Oklahoma

Midwest label exploring the surreal – avant-garde blended with film noir, as expansive and isolating as the Oklahoma prairie

Experimental Ambient

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