Cameron Day – The Castle and the Garden
This crumbling castle was, once upon a time, built upon athletic pillars of stone, but now pieces of itself are falling into the surrounding moat. The Castle and the Garden is decaying, but it’s in good company: all things will come to an end, and all things will fall by the wayside. While this thought can bring sadness to the fore, beauty still lives in the subtle deterioration and the slow-motion process of ageing, the period between utmost health and final ruin.
The castle represents ‘the domineering institutions of the past’ and the decaying of mainstay pillars, and the juxtaposition between this and the garden – a lush place indicative of re-emerging health and reclamation, is both bittersweet and sharp. As one thing decays, a reincarnation emerges. The blurred divide between a truth and a lie is narrowing, and this correlates with a general decline in Church attendance. Empty shopping malls and boarded-up windows are a feature on every high street, and Cameron Day’s music deals in decay with a shocking immediacy. It’s as black as the ace of spades.
Physically, structures will fall into disrepair without proper maintenance, but decay can occur on many levels: spiritual, mental, cultural. Power corrupts, but it also leads to downfalls, as seen with a dictator who refuses to stand down even when the bombs are dropping and the end is nigh. As if it were at some nightmarish New Year’s Eve party, Cameron Day’s music sings the distorted, drunken line of ‘out with the old and in with the new’. Ghastly grey areas and forever loops have come to replace the old, familiar verse of popular song: the first shoots in an indecisive, post-truth era. The collapse of a once-mighty kingdom can be ugly theatre, but the music’s decline is a thing of ashen beauty.
A drooping rose, or the artistic movement of ‘urbex’, which photographs and explores abandoned, decaying urban structures, oozes with a fading beauty. Cameron Day’s music jitters and stumbles, but these melodies are very much alive, still trying to pull through the pain. Beautiful (and sometimes familiar) song-bursts splutter and trip as they fail, like a well-worn record. The tape is distorting, crinkling and tying itself up in impenetrable knots. Choral music is not immune to this, either: a piece will loop and gently reverse, reverberating a rosy death in music that should be full of life.
Cameron Day’s tape loops are alienated things, taking on vacant expressions when removed from their original context (the looping trumpets on ‘Born On Christmas Day’ are tinted with rust). The icy sheen of winter, and the chilly draught of loose morality, lives inside the music, but there are two sides to every coin, and this garden ‘represents a possible peaceful future beyond the current institutions of power’. Resilient shoots reclaim a Victorian dereliction. The strings are weak and distorted, lying on their hazy deathbed of hiss. The Castle and the Garden is music for the immediate dislocation – for changing times.
Made by hand,
Thirteen variations of beautiful antique (early 1900’s) engraved / embossed books from the Little Leather Library collection, 2 x mini CDs (finger-printed), 2 x circular coloured covers, 13 x A6 prints on luxury Tintoretto Gesso card, scented. All of the above rests inside stitched / sealed Japanese brown waxed bags. Download code
Made with love…
Music: Cameron Day
Mastering: James Plotkin
Design: Daniel Crossley
Dedicated to my love, Riena; to my brother, Liam; to my parents, Kristi and Bill; to Timi, my partner on the journey through Chicago’s ruins; to Andrew, to whom I will always be indebted; and most of all to Brad Dehart and his eternal guidance.