"We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end"
- James Hutton, Theory of the Earth, 1795
Deep underground, life moves slowly. Once teeming life, the great swamps of the Carboniferous era were buried under the weight of 300 million years, eventually returning to the surface as coal. In this new form they would be consumed in fires and furnaces for three thousand years before blackening the lungs of Empire and driving the Industrial Revolution. It was then that James Hutton, the first geologist, began to consider the depths beneath our feet and the unimaginable abyss of time that they represent. This is the world of The Stargazer's Assistant. This is the forge of the Earth. This is deep time.
'The Other Side Of The Island' is the soundtrack to the sculptural works of David J Smith. In addition to his percussion duties with Guapo, Smith has spent the last two years bringing his visions to life; life that emerged slowly, painstakingly, out of wax, coal, copper and lead. In much the same way, the soundtrack itself slowly writhes organically before the listener: the groan of the motherlode, the shifting of tectonic plates, the song of the Earth's crust. In collaboration with longstanding musical cohort Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo,Miasma & The Carousel Of Dead Horses) and audio engineer Antti Uusumaki (Mothlite), Smith has created a strange work comprising of layered vocals, percussion, electronics and prepared strings.
The Stargazer's Assistant offer up the soundtrack of eternal, elemental labour.