Monday, March 04, 2013
Áine O'Dwyer "Music for Church Cleaners" 
I think Áine O'Dwyer must be one of those multi-instrumentalists you hear about. I first became aware of her at the Hunters Moon festival in 2011, where she played a solo set on the harp and then later played the same instrument as part of United Bible Studies. That festival also featured a great profile of her in the programme, which read like it had been written by some deranged stalker fan. But this Music for Church Cleaners record features Ms O'Dwyer playing a church organ. The title of the record comes from the fact that she was playing a church organ not as part of a formal concert but during church downtime. So there would have been church cleaners in while she was playing away. There are certainly bits and pieces of noise from the kind of randomers who show up in churches when there are no services on. You know the type.
I bought this at the Hunters Moon festival in 2012 and have never listened to it. Yes, readers, that is right - I have never listened to the record I bought at the festival, because it is a cassette and I am too lazy to turn on the cassette players on my stereo. But I have listened to the free download that a code with the cassette entitled me to, but only on my iPod. I am so cassette-phobic that I have contemplated burning the tracks to a CD-R so that I could listen to them on my stereo, but that would be a bit mental.
What does the record sound like? Well, it is improvised organ pieces played in a church while people wander in and out. That's what it sounds like. Like all organ music, it reminds me a bit of the recording I have of Paul Ayres playing organ arrangements of happy hardcore tunes - for all the improvised nature of this, it all sounded like it could easily be a reworked version of a track by Scooby, DJ Baz or The Mister Men. That said, the tracks are generally on the slower side, so if they were arrangements of something you might hear a happy hardcore DJ play they would have to be from the bits were it all slows down and everyone has a Moment.
I think the best improvised music sounds like its creator was not actually making it up as they went along. This is like that.
A review of Paul Ayres playing organ arrangements of happy hardcore tunes
image source (and information on how you too can acquire a copy of this record).
Fort Evil Fruit (the cassette label who released the record)
An inuit panda production