One of the UK’s most intriguing labels, A Year In The Country releases albums with both regularity and mystery. Conceptually the label appears to exist in an intersection between music, folklore and science fiction. With amazingly produced products that go beyond the music itself. However this isn’t style over substance, or an after attempt to attach more meaning to a piece of music, as the themes are intrinsically linked between both audio and visual elements.
The Quietened Dream Palace their latest offering and teh last of 2020 for the label. It focuses on the an exploration of closed down cinemas, including those which have been abandoned, become derelict, reopened as something new or demolished and there is little or no trace of any more.
In their words:
“In part it explores the way that peoples’ experiences and memories of such cinemas, the stories told in them and the buildings themselves have now become merely the ghostly spectres of history and memory. Alongside this the album reflects on the opulent historic design lineage of cinemas and the way that closed, abandoned etc cinemas and recollections of them can become faded snapshots of previous eras’ and places’ design and character.
It is also an interconnected exploration of how closed down cinemas once summoned the stories of their phantom dream worlds via the conjuring/seancing of celluloid film and its flickering light projections, and how this medium and related analogue projection equipment is largely no longer used, with both them and the accompanying skills of analogue projectionists, along with an associated way of life, increasingly becoming lost to time.
The music and accompanying text draws from and intertwines personal and wider cultural and historic memories as it wanders amongst “quietened dream palaces” and the times when they still cast their spell over audiences.”
Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Keith Seatman, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, The Howling (Robin The Fog of Howlround and Ken Hollings), Folclore Impressionista, Listening Center, The Séance, Widow’s Weeds, Handspan, The Heartwood Institute, A Year In The Country and Vic Mars.