TOTW: Tim Hecker_ That World

Tim Hecker has always interested me as a composer. His experimental compositions and use of sounds manage to be distinctive and also give him a very strong aesthetic that makes his work recognisable, once you know what to look for.

On “That World,” the looping and detuneing audio mangling of woodwinds creates wide and haunting textures, typical of his work. At first, these drift in and out of the piece in the background of a plucked string instrument. But over time, these swell and develop into the center of the piece.

They are accompanied by a bass line, which provides a clear root note. This grounds the warbling pitch of the flutes, giving structure and changing the whole mood of the piece.

Tim Hecker rarely directs the listener towards strong emotions. Instead, the instrumental vagaries hint at feelings, subtlety working their way into the piece and your thought processes. Although, over time, the instrumentation in his music has changed, his treatment has stayed faithful, lending a consistency to his unique vision and way of stirring up that same subtlety of feelings for the listener, time and time again:


TOTW Playlist:

TOTW: Tim Hecker- In Mother Earth Phase

Tim Hecker has always had a strong focus on sound design in his works, with instrumentation characteristically heard in non traditional ways. On his album “Konoyo” he took this one step further by predominantly using instruments from the traditional Japanese form “Gagaku.”

Recording and processing these instruments in his usual way, Tim Hecker has added another level of abstraction for the western listener; you can hear the echoes of something organic, but with processing it has become a shadow of its former self. This hints at memories and emotions in the listener, without ever directly confronting them.

Although each track on “Knoyo” pulls different emotions I decided to pick “In Mother Earth Phase” as for me its the most positive track on the album. Instrumentation drifts in and out of the piece and sounds almost like an alternate orchestra tuning up. These sounds create a strong otherworldly mood, enveloping attentive listeners in a audio quilt of unique sound design and interesting instrumentation:


TOTW Playlist: