Gareth Koch & Martin Kennedy – Songs in The Afterlife (Foghorn Data)

Gareth Koch & Martin Kennedy – Audio in The Afterlife (Foghorn Information)

Gareth Koch & Martin Kennedy – Songs in The Afterlife (Foghorn Data)

25 February 2023

All through my 40-year adore for The Church, I’ve savored myriad releases from singer/songwriter Steve Kilbey. His prolific solo and side venture output over the final 4 decades is frankly mind-boggling, but worthy of time and exploration.

By means of Steve’s operate independently with two fellow Australian musicians, Gareth Koch and Martin Kennedy, I found ”Music In The Afterlife” just introduced on Foghorn Information in January 2023. Notably, while each individual experienced worked with Steve in the earlier, Gareth and Martin hadn’t labored alongside one another prior to this attractive new instrumental album regardless of both of those staying centered in Tasmania.

For the uninitiated, Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award successful performer, composer and songwriter. With considerable prowess as a classical and flamenco guitarist and a PhD in Audio underneath his belt, he’s created at times arcane releases that vary stylistically from medieval to post-modern psychedelia.

In addition to regularly functioning with Kilbey, Martin Kennedy produces atmospheric, from time to time ambient electronic songs as All India Radio. Search for out his albums for the audio as a lot as the psychedelic go over artwork. The titles by yourself (e.g., ”Afterworld”, ”Utopia”, and ”Lost Tunes From Infinity”) shed light-weight on Martin’s interest in intangible locations and how the theme for the new “Afterlife” album may well have been conceived.

With the new album, ”Music In The Afterlife” I was right away taken by a number of factors. The album seamlessly blends acoustic passages with bass and electronic beats and swirling keyboard accents. The vital in this article is that the ensuing track items are balanced, deftly walking the line between currently being too sonically entire or also stripped down. This songs is not rather ambient, but not so in your encounter as to avoid you from listening while doing work or examining. Importantly, for me at least, the music evokes anything constructive, but it does so without having sounding new age, plodding, or contrived. As well generally, I discover that instrumental new music imparts gloom or turmoil. If this is music in the afterlife, I’m all for it. Selfishly, I’m satisfied that I have a glimpse of this music even though I’m nevertheless on Earth.


I was enamored ample that I just lately arrived at out to Gareth to inquire him a couple issues about the new LP, how it arrived about, and far more.

David: In a excellent way, you are difficult to pin down as a classical and flamenco guitarist who’s into everything from “medieval songs to put up-present day psychedelia.” I’m curious how the new LP, arrived to fruition with Martin? Why this album and why now? Was the topic of the afterlife some thing you’d been contemplating musically for a whilst, or did this audio idea occur about more not long ago for you/Martin?

Gareth: “I had been savoring Martin’s ‘dreamscape-like’ tunes for some time ahead of I approached him with the strategy for a collaboration. My personal output of late has been far more in the esoteric realm and it felt like we might be a great in good shape.

I was also seeking for an excuse to document my new lyres which symbolically symbolize the instruments of the afterlife. The lyres function during most of the album, usually artfully manipulated by Martin in the remaining production. The lyres are the wafting through, supported by a deep resonance in the bass frequencies performed possibly on bass guitars or synthesizers.

David: Experienced you created/recorded with Martin in the past? I know you’re the two in Tasmania and presumably near to each individual other.

Gareth: “Martin and I really dwell a very little much aside. I spend time a modest locality in the north of Tasmania identified as the Tamar Valley as properly as Launceston and Devonport. Martin’s in Hobart so a lot of our concept sharing was completed at a distance. The approach was most likely a little bit like finishing each other’s sentences. Each of us have been wholly open up and accepting of the ‘musical interferences’ of the other! A single of the hallmarks of the challenge has been the finish absence of egos, if which is the right phrase. Our strongly held strategies were being expressed exclusively in the audio. I’m so impressed how perfectly this album appears, at least to me.”

David: I’m intrigued with instrumental LPs like this one and speculate about your writing approach from early-stage musical strategies to thoroughly completed music pieces? Are they created with improvisation with you and Martin playing jointly? Or are you sending bits and parts again and forth to each other? Do you have or did you build a “system” for creating this LP?

Gareth: “There was no technique, at minimum not from my close! I typically obtain a piece or music guides by itself as a result of the evolutionary approach. After a solitary instrumental portion is recorded this appears to be to open up lots of alternatives, like of class the need to have to occasionally admit that items aren’t doing the job out. From time to time it is needed to consign a thing to the flames. Not everything is a masterpiece.

Martin and I exchanged suggestions on a regular basis and I imagine this fired our imaginations in methods which does not always transpire with solo projects. In our case, each piece advanced otherwise. Often I would existing a fully fashioned plan which Martin would re-interpret. Conversely, we also shared snippets with just about every other which required a distinctive approach to ending the perform.”

David: For me, “Valley of Echoes”, the longest piece on the album, is the place the new LP definitely received into my DNA. Quickly I felt a “lift off” in my brain. Like, “Ah, I get this history. It would make sonic sense, and it has transported me somewhere else.”

Was there a position in the creating/recording of the album when you (and/or) Martin felt you’d achieved a very similar (or diverse) self-essential phase and felt you have been onto anything unique?

Gareth: “I felt we had been onto some thing distinctive the second Martin presented me with his re-imagining of the 1st tune. It was then that I felt we ought to make an album, alternatively than a pair of singles as beforehand agreed. I noticed an album as a a lot more respectable way of expressing the strategies and aesthetic of the compositions. They needed the scope that an album affords.”

David: The new file has amazing sonics. You thank Glen and Pamela Macready, “sonic consultants”, from Portland, Oregon’s Decompression Studios. You’ve worked with them (or at minimum Glen) in the earlier, way too. Just curious how you worked with the Macready’s for “Afterlife”?

Gareth: “Glen and Pamela have been very long time supporters of my get the job done. They have steadfastly considered in my output and supplied valuable information particularly in regard to mastering. I constantly deliver ‘roughs’ to Glen for remark and his insights have been a must have.”

David: Anything at all else you’d like to share as much as “Afterlife”? What’s following? I was laughing a little bit to myself with the believed of “what does just one do next following composing songs in the afterlife?”

Gareth: “Great query. Perhaps various ‘adventures’ transpire in the afterlife which demand a musical soundtrack. I’m eager to keep on that journey and see what transpires. What do you assume Martin?”