This album is a meditation on Mental Health. A minimalist rage at the shackles imposed on the artist by his ill health. This impassioned, desperate, silent rage is a comparison to a swan on the water – Andy was suffering when he made this, yet to all appearances he was fine – much like the aforementioned swan; all graceful above the water, a mess beneath.
Rockland was made famous through the verse of Ginsberg’s “Howl”. Ginsberg’s Howl is attributed to be the most widely read poem of the twentieth century – the book, Howl, is love letter from one man to another, the author and his friend, who is suffering the Golgotha of incarceration in a Psychiatric Ward. A lament & a love letter that is both spirited and passionate, The book, Howl, should be in everyone’s bookcase.
But, what does it have to do with this release?
Andy has been suffering from a perception disorder since the age of twenty. His sleep is sporadic as it is a problematic illness. He often bangs on about Rockwell and being interned in the local version of such – he has come close to it repeatedly, yet not relapsed enough to break his four year streak in Harrogate’s Rockwell. All that bothers him now is his sleep pattern – which gave rise to this album.
This is a binaural recording taken over the space of 3.5 hours whilst he was suffering from health-induced insomnia between the hours of 2am and 5:30am on any night of the week. There are many overdubbed tracks to the thirty minute recording. In this half hour piece, there are raw recordings, overdubbed on top of that is a condensed, sped up versions of the 3.5 hour recording crammed in to the half an hour track and over that there is the raw file stretched over the thirty minute track. It is a composition based on Field Recordings that came up as a music concrete album.
The overall effect it gives is a haunting melancholia. It seems to be fittingly sparse yet awash with a distant hope. Sometimes terrifying, some of the time an observation. This is an accurate witness.
“… I am with you in Rockland, where you are madder than I am.”