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4 Orphans

[eie dig001]


full album track list:

1. Form In Fasciation [10:51]

2. Pitches Of Suchness [10:10]

3. No Beard, No Balls, No Face [ 7:42]

4. Rat-Size With Conical Headdress [3:56]


released April 9, 2011


Back in 2001, Steve Stapleton & I outlined an idea for the first proper collaboration between us. The plan was for me to use his sources to create half of an album, while he would use my sources to create the other half. During my second visit to his home at Cooloorta in April 2001 he gave me piles of Nurse With Wound outtake material (mostly from the 'Awkward Pause' sessions) to take home with me; I'd also made several cassettes worth of Cooloorta location recordings that I intended to use as additional sources. As soon as I was back home again, I put together a couple CDRs worth of my own recordings and sent them off to Steve.

Over the next 6 months or so I put together 4 tracks -- about 35 minutes worth of material -- using the NWW sources, the Cooloorta field recordings and some newly-recorded additions. Since he doesn't have any recording equipment at home (it doesn't hold up very well to the damp weather and lightning strikes common to his part of the Irish countryside) Steve had to postpone working on his half until he could wrap up his pending commitments and then find an opportunity to schedule some more studio time.

The months slipped by and other projects came up that needed Steve's full attention: the 2002 retrospective of his artwork at the Horse Hospital, then obligations surrounding the 'She & Me' album, etc, etc. Our first completed collaboration turned out to be volume 3 of the 'Angry Eelectric Finger' series released in 2004 (not counting the 'Chance Meeting of a Defective Tape Machine and Migraine' CD, which was entirely accidental), and not long after that I was enlisted into live activity with Nurse in 2005, which kept us both fairly busy for the next 5 years... and these 4 orphaned children disappeared into the more poorly-lit crevices of memory.

It wasn't until I was settling into a new home in 2010 that the tracks came to my attention again. On listening to them after so much time had passed, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them (my memory of completed work typically consisting of little more than the aspects with which I was dissatisfied). To my dismay, the finished mixes were all I could find: the individual sources and the multitrack files had completely vanished -- and there were a lot of technical shortcomings I was keen to correct, given the limitations of my skills and equipment back in 2001 and the fact that some of the sources came from hissy analog cassettes.

Still, it seemed a shame to leave these pieces forever unheard by anyone else, and they immediately came to mind when I began considering what to include on this site. Fortunately, during 2009 & 2010 I developed a lot of useful tricks while cleaning up old NWW cassette-only sources (the multitrack sources to which had also vanished over the years) for parts of the 'Flawed Existence' collection and other yet-to-be released projects, and so I have been able to fix most of the problems and give the tracks a good scrubbing using only the available finished mixes.

I contacted Steve first to make sure he had no objections about making the tracks available in this way... and he had virtually no memory of them. It did serve to stir up the idea once again of a full-length Nurse With Wound/irr. app. (ext.) collaboration, however, and hopefully something of the kind will materialise before the faculty of memory fails us both for good.


Specific source details provided in the individual track credits.

Original track assembly & mastering at the Felton Empire Studio, Felton, CA in 2001; digital clean-up & remastering at Rock Creek Tributary, Hillsboro, OR in April 2011.

Drawing & graphic treatment by M. S. Waldron ('Distillation', 2000).



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irr. app. (ext.) Hillsboro, Oregon

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