This is not an experimental piece to turn your nose up at. Joshua has cut through the pretentious reputation of the genre and brought an original and authentic angle to the collection. This is an immersive listening experience which wanders far beyond our expectations of the Irish folk maestro Joshua Burnside.
‘It’s Blowing a Gale Outside’ is a fly-on-the-wall experience of the Vault studios, Belfast. Combining forgotten cassettes found when Burnside moved in, with atmospheric and melancholic sounds, he explores time, place, and memory in a bizarre but wholly effective way.
All the cassettes were 15 to 20 years old and hold gorgeous insights into the college that existed before the studios. Within only five tracks you meet a whole host of characters whose personalities are captured within these interviews, recitals, and genuine conversations.
Throughout, I could not help but feel as though I was listening to the radio through the static of a snowstorm. Layers of reverb, beautiful melodies and eerie organs leave you desperate to engage in the snippets of conversations you hear lopped within the compositions.
It is also clear that human nature, and the truth within the coughing, giggling and stuttering of these recordings, engages with Joshua’s own musical style in an incredible way.
He explains, “I felt like some kind of ghostly time traveller, eaves dropping on conversations and performances that happened in the theatre, rehearsal room, and other rooms in the building, each tape like a little portal to a forgotten moment in time.”