Calderdale caves used by musician to record his vinyl debut

Spaceship is Mark Williamson, a musician and sound artist
Spaceship is Mark Williamson, a musician and sound artist

A musician has used the geological history of the Calder Valley as the inspiration for his latest album.

The new LP Outcrops is by Spaceship and was recorded in quasi-caves in the hills above Todmorden.

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It traces the geological history of the valley from the formation of the Millstone Grit to the last glaciation.

Spaceship is Mark Williamson, a musician and sound artist, who works with field recordings, portable synthesizers and found sounds.

Focussing on a series of sandstone outcrops above Todmorden, Outcrops is an exploration of the geological history of the upper Calder Valley and Cliviger Gorge.

Revitalising an enthusiasm for geology that saw Mark complete an undergraduate degree in Earth science in the 1990s, he said: “Each track was created to invoke a particular phase of that history, namely the interbedded sandstones and siltstones of the Millstone Grit, the formation of the Yorkshire coal measures and finally the glaciation of the valley during the last ice age.”

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The album was recorded in the Todmorden field, in a series of small caves where Mark created the pieces that make up the album while almost encased within the landscape he was describing.

These recordings were then treated to minimal editing and post production in Mark’s home studio at the base of the hills where the recordings were made.

Mark has previously released albums, digitally and on CD, and has contributed to compilations but this will be his vinyl debut.

His latest work as Spaceship follows last year’s The Last Days (The Dark Outside Recordings) which was about him leaving his Essex home of the last twelve years.

Outcrops will be released on May 24 by Wiaiwya records on vinyl and will also be available for download.

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