Standing On A Hummingbird
Anticipate Recordings, 2007
Standing on a Hummingbird is Mark Templeton’s first solo full-length album, and is a fitting beginning for the Anticipate label. Templeton takes various acoustic instruments, most notably guitar, accordion and banjo, and manages to retain their inherent qualities and familiarity, while obscuring their character through digital manipulation and layers of textured static and field recordings. The result is an achingly beautiful set of musings, running through tonal ambience and warm, sweeping electro-acoustics, moments which are abstract and yet hold very concrete emotional motifs, as suggested by the title; a tension between natural fragility, it’s material fleetingness and the potentialities in its forward gaze, that space in between an understanding and acceptance of reality coupled with a yearning for certain impossibilities.
Compositions unravel in linear fashion, straying from flittering granularized shards into clean acoustic progressions with ease, burying and exposing melodies, fraying and outlining edges along the way. Templeton begins each song with delicately strummed chord progressions and improvisations, and then takes them apart, constantly editing and processing until that glimmer shines through, that instant that resonates with him and hints at the song to come, the hope of what the piece can turn into. The final result arrives when the music coincides with the temporal goal, that point when the sound and the hope of what that sound could be, fall into place together.
Templeton himself says it best, “A piece will often be rewritten numerous times until it begins to take shape. It's often an unintentional note that I overlooked or the whir of a mini-disc or background noise that comes to the forefront. All the desirable sound is there. It's just a matter of arranging it in the right order.”