David Julyan 'Hireth' LP
Composer David Julyan has until now existed just beyond the image — soundtracking celluloid stories on film and television. Best known for his work with cinema auteur Christopher Nolan, his atmospheric and achingly beautiful scores have time again perfectly melded subtle orchestra with electronics — conjuring music in the post-classical genre.
More recently, away from the deadlines and drama of others, it was time to reflect and reconnect with his own musical voice. The result of this introspection is the album Hireth.
In film, the music is defined before you even find a note or melody. As David puts it: “I realised that film music is written back to front. When scoring a scene I know the length of the cue to the exact second; I know the emotions and journey of the piece. All this before I've played a single note.” With Hireth the approach is different: allowing the music to lead and evolve into a journey across this album landscape to somewhere new or unknown.
A swirl of drones, pulses and piano greets us with ‘Wires’ — setting the tone and framework for what is to follow. ‘Labyrinth of the Night’ continues with a palette of synthesisers before blending into the string quartet which features throughout the album — an unexpected but welcome transformation.When beginning the project, David decided to start with two recently-bought vintage analogue synthesisers: Roland SH-2000 and Roland VP-330. Like Brian Eno’s idea of working with limitations, the rule he gave himself was to only write using these two keyboards. Of course, as it was his own rule, he was free to stretch and bend it, and the project evolved into what you now hear: those synthesisers, plus a few others, along with piano and a string quartet.
‘Hireth’ is a Cornish word that has no direct translation, yet could describe a feeling of homesickness, of nostalgia, of longing. Or, perhaps, a beautiful melancholy — which perfectly describes David’s music. With this title track you hear the piano being woven into the fragile strings, resulting in his trademark tapestry of emotive melancholia.
As the album continues, we ponder questions of science, physics and quantum mechanics in ‘An Uncertainty’; while ‘Forever Beyond Our Reach’ references the limits of our knowledge about the nature of the universe — the title coming from a line in the short film which accompanies the piece by writer and director Barbara Stapansky.
Catalogue number: DJ01LP
Label: Four Eight One Recordings