A Journey Down The Well, the band known for creating extraordinary classical music pieces, releases a new EP, “How Little Can Be The Orchestra” on Fluttery Records.
A Journey Down The Well releases a new four song EP revealing their impulsive, unusual, minimalist approach to classical music. This is their first entirely instrumental release, as well as the first release of A Journey Down The Well as a duo.
A Journey Down The Well was founded in 2006 by musicians from Turkey (Taner) and Sweden (Anna and Martin). In 2010, after releasing two albums (The Funeral Album - 2007 and Sorry Monsters, I Have To Grow – 2009) the Swedish wing left the band citing the difficulty in traveling between the two countries. Taner Torun (the only founding member remaining in the band as well as the owner of Fluttery Records) has moved the project to his hometown and partnered with Ipek Zeynep Kadioglu (cellist, Mimar Sinan Conservatory & Manchester University School of Music and Drama graduate).
The new compositions contains rich string pieces (“How”), beautiful piano-violin-cello arrangements (“Little”), ambient structures created through delay manipulations (“Can Be”) and processed cellos made to sound like a ship's foghorn ( “The Orchestra”).
Taner Torun says “The EP is called How Little Can Be The Orchestra and there are several reasons for this. First of all, we recorded it as just two people and it reflects the minimalist nature of our music. Also, there is still sadness but also a gleam of hope. All four songs are about how little things have importance and make people happy with their existence like birds, kittens, children and toy instruments.”
How Little Can Be Orchestra also contains various field recordings alongside the music. Cars pass by on the street and a little girl yells at them from the window (02), fans celebrate their victory (03), newborn kittens sing along with other animals and it becomes a choir (04). Taner Torun says “They are not spices to make the compositions colorful. They are the core elements of the compositions just like piano, violin and cello.”
The EP has received good reviews from other modern classical, post-rock and ambient musicians:
Gonçalo Pereira / Diamond Gloss, How Constellations Shine
"Just a few words about this recording. How Little Can Be The Orchestra is just a wonderful piece of music. Simple pleasures are the best pleasures, and this music is a simple pleasure. It´s hard to write about good music. It´s hard to write about such a good music like this. How beautiful can be a orchestra? So, just put your ears over this four songs and here is your answer. Excellent work, simply made. "
Pavel Smirnov / Mooncake
"Sweet music for sitting in a chair and drinking wine during cold winter evenings."
Aviv Cohn / The Widest Smiling Faces
"How Little Can Be The Orchestra, the new EP from A Journey Down the Well combines provocative melodies and textures with a natural and minimal sound palette. The first track, "How" brimming with lovely tones and compelling harmonies, is a particular standout. Later pieces contrast captured field recordings with melodic compositions, a wonderful example being "Little" which begins by relaying sounds of a port or perhaps a commercial dock (or something similar). As the track progresses, string swells create the imagery of deep ocean waves, presenting a fascinating juxtaposition of captured sounds with composed imagery. "How Little Can Be the Orchestra" is full of imaginative little ideas like this, and is a fantastic EP for anyone who enjoys creativity and imagery in their music."
Ludovico Lamarra / En Plein Air
“A Journey Down The Well produce a small and precious EP, abandoning electronic experiments of the first work, with the will to embrace the essence of the music, in four stylish and minimal tracks.”
Methieu Massilotte / Kimika
The new EP "How Little Can Be The Orchestra" released by A Journey Down The Well from Fluttery Records is a perfect continuum of four musical movements. Quiet, subtle and intense, the perfect composition of strings accompanied by punctuated sounds reminds images portrayed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor as well as some delicate atmospheres of Brian Eno. A balance of hope and serenity.
Jun Minowa / Yawning, Gargle
“As if every single note carries a meaning, as if trying to read between the silence, I swim deep in the sea of their music. "How Little Can Be The Orchestra" is a great EP with fantastic composition and emotional sound. Ever since I knew Fluttery Records, I could have found some real music that touch my heart and they are surely one of them. Now it's time for you to discover A Journey Down The Well.”
Jan Hammer / Draff Krimmy
“I hear the first sounds of the new A Journey Down The Well. A feeling of joy is flowing through me. That joy carries with it a feeling of sadness, no destructive sorrow but a self-sufficient melancholy. This feeling is good, freedom and fear, pleasure and pain. The music makes me enjoy the moment, authentic and pure. I re-discover the feeling I had when listening to the first A Silver Mt Zion albums. It is only the moment and my experience of it. I am right here now. The orchestra is little, but the mood it leaves behind is enormous. And it grows every time I listen to it.”
Cookie Scene / Yuriko Kikkawa
In classical music, generally, composers compose songs and musicians play music. A JOURNEY DOWN THE WELL composes and performs on all the songs themselves. This is the music so-called “Modern-Classical”. However, as the strings are frequently used in rock music, I feel the lines between each genre are becoming blurred.
This band was formed in 2006 by musicians from Turkey and Sweden. While In classical music each song tends to be given an individual title, on this EP the band have divided the title of the EP into four words to title the four songs. Classical music, mostly those from the German Middle Ages, had been created as one song or a series of songs with the titles under various themes even on etude. Nowadays, however, classical music has evolved in various ways and experimental music has been created and formed co-called Contemporary Music. Meanwhile, this band has created Modern Classical music without focusing only on experimentalism of Contemporary Music, and in a sense, I feel their music sounds innovative and fresh.
They create music based on the sounds of strings (violin and cello) mixed with the sound of piano and samples such as wind, and they are all blended beautifully to create a melancholy sound similar to that of Silver Mt. Zion. The accomplished melodies express diverse sentiments which are absolutely necessary for instrumental music, and at the same time their excellent musical performance as classical musicians makes its expression possible. It may be a high praise, but I think they represent what classical music in modern times is supposed to be.
Roughly speaking, in the music scenes post Sergei Rachmaninov (Russian pianist and composer), musicians haven’t created music based on themes such as the sceneries of old medieval towns or nature. Moreover, a lot of composers play instruments on their songs. What this band’s music brings to my mind is people today and, literally, a challenge what a minimal group can be an orchestra. With some experimental trials (like Pet sounds of The Beach Boys) and the attitude of “Anti Text for School”, their music has a sense of darkness that appeal to people’s emotion and it is something in common with what GY!BE and Rachel’s of 1/4 stick have. What this band has expressed is present. At the same time, while I think wordless music is effective in non-English speaking countries, I would have to say Modern Classical is quite a niche genre in the pop music industry.
However, if you are interested in classical music that doesn’t appear in a school book, this EP will be an ideal introduction. Only four songs, but the diverse elements are packed in. I really hope more people listen to this maverick piece delivered into the 21stcentury. Personally, I let my imagination run how it will be like if their music is the soundtrack of Yuri Norshtein’s films that describe deserted society and small happiness – such as “Seasons” (In this film Tchaikovsky’s song is featured) or others. Music these days from the areas with medieval atmosphere like Czech Republic is steadily modernizing. I’d like to encourage you to take this occasion to listen to Modern Classical music. I’m sure you will make new discoveries.
Absolute Zero Media / Clint Listing
Wow this takes me back to a time in the late 90's early 21st century when my world was dominated by Neoclassic, Dark Ambient, Dark Industrial and Post Rock elements of bands on labels like Cold Meat Industries, Dark Vinyl, Constellation, Fluttering Dragon, Matador , Kranky, Manifold and Holy records etc. This is a mix up of all that and more. Think of Sanctum, Ranja, Dead Can Dance, Elend, Rachels and Arcana all mixed up into something so simple yet wonderful to make you see the humanity and delicate emotions we all have to work and struggle to maintain each and every day of this existence. The strings and Piano are just breathe taking with the loops and soundscapes that work with it all in the background. It reminds me a lot of a band called Mandible Chatter if you have not heard of them its a much check them out too. Fluttery makes some of the best Post .... Music in the world right now do not miss out on this as well.
Against The Odds / Chris Antonoff
Well, I was at the VICE office working when I received an email from the small yet peculiar and interesting label Fluttery Records. It turns out that one of their bands, A Journey Down The Well, is releasing a brand new EP called How Little Can Be The Orchestra. A Journey Down The Well is actually a duo consisting of Taner Torun and Ipek Zeynep Kadioglu. Hey, what do you know, we're neighbors. After all Sofia is not that far from Istanbul. Anyway the four-song How Little Can Be The Orchestra EP is an interesting piece of music and it sounds like nothing I've heard before. Upon first hearing I thought that it's going to be ordinary classical music yet I was wrong. Yes, it bears strong resemblance to classical music but apart from that it's way more ambient, experimental if you like. At times the music of Torun and Kadioglu sounds really melancholic, even gloomy with one violin that stands out and it feels like weeping and a more subtle piano that adorn the overall composition with even more sadness. A Journey Down The Well's classical take on modern music is an effort that deserves admiration for its beautiful, elegant and highly skilled performance.
Overal A Journey Down The Well's music is really beautiful and unique and deserves a far greater attention. The EP is definitely worth listening to and of course buying.
Migrate Music News / Matthew Dickson
A Journey Down The Well is a rare breed these days. When most everyone is running hard towards programmed music, this group resurrects the raw element of music in the most beautiful form. Their E.P. “How Little Can Be The Orchestra” is a great listen, and we really recommend you taking a listen. You won’t regret it.
Guilty Forest / Akasaka Takahiro
This is a good Modern Classical EP consisting of 4 songs that will embrace us with its tender sound.
Ambient electronic sound appears throughout the EP but it is as a whole composed of classical strings of melodies. The natural and soft sound brings us a sense of excitement and also offers us comfort. However, at the same time its sharpness mixed with the warmth makes this EP more attractive. The splendid atmosphere created by repeating strings of melodies is natural and strong. The shimmering sound reminds us of beautiful sceneries.
We can fully experience their good Modern Classical music on the first track “How” and the second track “Little”. The third track “Can Be” is an impressive ambient drone song with the stateliness of classical music in it. The fourth track “The Orchestra” is an ambient song which is creating a scenery of which as if we get lost in deep woods with repeating serene and turbulent melodies. The sampled animal calls create the atmosphere of the song in a good way, and the violin coming from the middle gives us an impression that talks diverse feelings. The particles of the shimmering sound which is like a scenery of quietly flowing water and falling drizzle really move us. The four-song EP is drawing a calm and stately story
This fantastic piece draws not only the gentleness and the softness but also the stateliness and the turbulence by adding ambient arrangement based on the lush colors of strings which represent diverse sceneries. This is a 4-song EP, but I’m totally enraptured by the classical and flowing wave of sound.
If you are interested, take a touch to this fantastic sound.
Caleidoscoop / Jan Willem Broek
The flourishing, interesting American label Fluttery continues releasing strong music from all over the world. After many and very diverse post-rock releases, now it releases a very extraordinary and multi-cultural album. It is by the band A Journey Down the Well, which is the band of label owner Taner Torun, who himself is Turkish. He started this project in 2006 together with two Swedes and released the beautiful CDs The Funeral Album (2007) and Sorry Monsters, I Have To Grow (2009). After this, the Swedish branch left the band.
The music cannot be easily classified, which Taner does not find interesting anyway, because it is more like a coincidental combination of styles. Added together, it could be roughly classified as post-rock, albeit of an experimental, minimalist, and most of all melancholic variety. However, continuously things are happening. That is also the case with the new mini How Little Can Be The Orchestra, on which the band consists of Taner and cello player Ipek Zeynep Kadioglu. The duo approaches the music in a minimal way, only indicates fragments of genres, and in that way creates its own genre. In fact, this minimalist approach reminds of Talk Talk.
In a minimal way, you can hear elements from classical music, strings and piano especially, supplemented with parts post-rock, avant-garde, musique concrète and ambient. The music is often adorned with street and traffic sounds, and sounds of animals and other recordings from nature and daily life. Perhaps the title also refers to the fact that you can hear music in many things, from a couple of birds to a complete orchestra. By all those samples, the music gets a very cinematic character, and stirs the imagination. At times when the cello kicks in together with experimental sounds, the melancholic whole reminds of the beautiful calmer parts of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, while when the experimental aspect gets stronger it is more like side project Set Fire To Flames. The minimalist classical parts, on the other hand, evoke associations with Arvo Pärt. All of that is often placed within a dark and mysterious David Lynch-like setting. But they never linger long, except in that pleasantly sad atmosphere. It is very beautiful what A Journey Down The Well lets us hear here. Only 20 minutes, but still grand and overwhelming.
In Forty / Matt
The clue is in the title for A Journey Down The Well’s latest EP, which is a suitably minimilistic take on the orchestral. Every part was recorded by the Turkish duo that nowadays make up the band, with the strings often taking the lead role on the four tracks, although they’re accompanied by atmospheric piano plonks and plenty of ambient noise: the rush of the city, children’s shouts, even newborn kittens. It’s an austere and sparse affair yet there’s no lack of emotional intensity, supporting the band’s ethos of less is more.
CW Place / C.W. Ross
A Journey Down The Well got their start in 2006 releasing two albums (‘The Funeral Album’ -2007 and ‘Sorry Monsters, I Have To Grow’- 2009) under its original line up. Taner Torun, one of the group’s founding members, joined forces with cellist Ipek Zeynep Kadioglu and recorded their first release, ‘How Little Can Be the Orchestra’ EP with the new duo lineup.
The concept of the release is to create a full orchestra style while using a minimalist approach to the music. It’s hard to believe that the only instrumentation used on the release is piano, cello and violin that are manipulated at times in ways that make them sound unrecognizable. You also find recorded sounds including, cars, children, people celebrating and animal noises used in the songs to achieve their full sound.
Out of the 4-tracks that make up the EP my favorite happens to also be the shortest with a running time of only 2:36, while the other 3- tracks range from, “How” (3:10), to “Little”(7:06) and “The Orchestra” (7:11) being the longest in length. Although the track, “Can Be,” may be the shortest in length it manages to give off a really exuberant energy. I also have to give a mention to the closing track, “The Orchestra,” that is overflowing with those previously mentioned recorded sounds. I also like the duos clever use of when the 4-song titles are put together they form the releases title.
Review Takeaway: With their new release A Journey Down the Well manages to answer the questioning title of their, ‘How Little Can Be the Orchestra’ EP as being two with the rich orchestral sound that the duo manages to achieve on it.
Cumhuriyet / Murat Beşer
A Journey Down the Well has come out with their new EP “How Little Can be the Orchestra” recently in which modern music meets electronics in a modern expression that they have cultivated. This 20 minutes EP is a following work after the band’s “The Funeral Album” and “Sorry Monsters, I have to Grow” . A Journey Down the Well has been formated by Taner Torun in 2006 with his swedish friends Anna and Martin which continued as a band until the release of their first album. Unfortunatelly they have broke up as a reason of physically being in different countries. Now the new band member is the cellist İpek Zeynep Kadioglu. Although there is a pessimistic possession on the songs, still there is a great pastel tones one can hear that imitates all the goodness of life itself. Apart from the sounds of classical music instruments there are musical scenery that created by automobile voices, fans slogans and kitten voices mixed with sonic touch. This EP is a gathering of classical music’s deepness and punk music’s destructiveness. This logbook of music has been created by short expressive sentences in a mysterious, minimal and instrumental style.
Taner and İpek; they are the sympathetic version of grotesque fiction characters Gargantua and Pantagruel. They are contrast and also compatible as like poping out of a Goya’s painting or Poe’s writings. Peculiar and surprising in their musical forms, combination of contrasts in dialectics. Their music is emotional and bleak formed by neo-classic and dark ambient which hooks up Rachmaninov and Brian Eno.
Silent screams and elegant denials. This EP can only be identified by winter season and a warm red wine...