Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A synth soundtrack for the Australian environment: Aurora Australis - Bronzewing (2015)

I love conceptual synth albums from the seventies and eighties, particularly those which attempt to evoke or soundtrack the natural world. In recent years I have been inspired by Vangelis's L'Apocalypse des animaux and Soil Festivities, Joël Fajerman's botanical soundtrack L’Aventure des plantes and of course, Andrew Richardson's conceptual flute and synth oddity Expanse. These days my focus is increasingly on my homeland of Australia. Apart from that last record, where are the conceptual synth experiments from the seventies and eighties celebrating the unique Australian environment? 

There are a few examples. Rob Thomsett's legendary Yaraandoo comes close, but is light on the synths and more of a prog rock freak out. The didjeridu-lead impressionism of Gondwanaland is closer to the mark - creating native Australian soundscapes with didj, synths and field recordings. But beyond these few, there's not much out there in the way of Antipodean, synth-washed nature concept albums from the seventies and eighties.

So, I decided to make one myself! Aurora Australis is the debut album by Bronzewing, combining synthesizers, a little guitar and field recordings that I have recorded myself during my naturalist wanderings in Victoria and Queensland. There are also hints of oud, soprano saxophone and one composition written for and played by the Federation Bells - an automated carillon on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne. 

You can stream the album and download it at