The debut release from Taw, Truce Terms is an uncanny mix of discrete cacophonies and Fisher Price musique concrete, using nothing but the contents of a child’s toy box for instruments.
Taw (pronunciation – rhymes with plough Welsh for the imperative form of 'quiet', as in 'shush!), is the duo of Simon Proffitt (The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor, Exotic Spresm) and Owen Martell. The five tracks, recorded by the pair over a single evening in 2017, playfully float from super slow toy xylophone fragments into rattled percussion and whistle melodies.
“My son was 18 months old at the time, and we'd accumulated quite a few toys that make various sounds - as one does with toddlers,” says Proffitt.
“It occurred to me that it'd be a fun experiment to see whether we could improvise interesting and credible music using only these toys, so I collected together all the toys in the house that made any sort of sound. We put everything in a big pile on the living room floor, set the portable recorder going, played for an hour or so and then pressed stop.”
The five pieces skim around solid forms and instead seem to tap into the fundamentals of our relationship with sound generating tools. Creating something that at points sounds like it could be field recordings from an isolated rainforest community.
“Thinking about it afterwards, and especially when listening back to the recording, it became clear that the whole thing is about play, but serious play. As adults, I think we all too often confuse play with silliness, but they can be very different things.”
A1: pronounced 'jex' - the truce term I used at primary school (although to be effective it had to be said while tapping your chest. It only provided short-lived immunity, so for a longer truce you had to say 'jecs-all-my-life' instead of just jecs)
A2: pronounced 'dye' - Welsh for 'two'.
A4: hehb thim (voiced th) uhn yown - 'and nothing right'
B1: KUH-mod - 'reconciliation'
Please note that the track order on tape and digital is slightly different
Released July 31, 2020
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. Jecs - 01:37
2. Dau - 08:46
3. Offground - 06:07
4. Cymod - 23:11
5. Heb ddim yn iawn - 08:01