Scott McLaughlin | Mira Benjamin | Zubin Kanga: we are environments for each other

Scott McLaughlin | Mira Benjamin | Zubin Kanga: we are environments for each other

Huddersfield Contemporary Records
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Release date: 26 April 2024

Developed over ten years of collaborative work between Scott McLaughlin, violinist Mira Benjamin and pianist Zubin Kanga, we are environments for each other takes the listener on a journey of shifting textural layers, evolving harmonic structures, and slow musical contemplation. Here violin and piano eschew conventional chamber music idioms to conjure fluctuating, sustained drones.

This record continues McLaughlin’s long standing work with the idea of ‘material indeterminacy’, using the way an instrument responds in the hands of a performer to guide musical forms. In these pieces, music exists not as sequences of predetermined sounds but as sets of possibilities; areas of exploration for the performers to carefully unfold. Each recording on this record is just one possible realisation of the work, tightly bounded within an agreed soundworld, but with the possibility to take a different  direction in the moment of any performance.

In the opening track, we are environments for each other [trio], the instruments are no longer texturally distinct, as the electric violin becomes part of a feedback system that resonates the strings of the piano, merging together in a manner that is at once a single entangled thing, and two competing inputs to a complex system. In the endless mobility of listening, the specially devised technique of ‘drone-bowing’ takes the re-tuned violin into a world of harmonics and noise, surrounded by ethereal electronic textures. Finally, in the unknown there is already a script for transcendence a recognisable piano sound acts as a bell-like refrain, although the piano’s strings are mostly excited by an EBow, rather than by striking the keyboard, eliciting sustained, slowly-shifting textures.

we are environments for each other is a record that showcases McLaughlin’s use of material indeterminacy to elicit compellingly original musical relationships, an exploration of sounds on the edge, of becoming nothing or more-than-one-thing.



Mira Benjamin: violin, electric violin
Zubin Kanga: piano, electromagnetic resonators
Scott McLaughlin: live electronics

All pieces composed by Scott McLaughlin

Tracks 1 and 3 recorded by Nick Powell at Goldsmiths Music Studios on 22 August 2022
Track 2 recorded by Scott McLaughlin at the Stanley Glasser Electronic Music Studios at
Goldsmiths on 15 December 2018. Recording assistance for track 2 by Pete Furniss.

we are environments for each other [trio] was developed and recorded with the support of Cyborg Soloists, funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and Royal Holloway,
University of London.

Produced by Scott McLaughlin
Mastered by Newton Armstrong

Catalogue number: HCR33
Release date: 26 April 2024