Zinta & The Zoots & ‘Cassiopeia A’ Perform ‘Snowstorm World’
This video of the song Snowstorm World is an extract from the performance Time Pieces, a collaborative concert between the band Zinta & The Zoots and Simon Marchant, on the theme of exploring the fascinating relationship between time and music. It was hosted, filmed and recorded live at Canterbury College, Canterbury, England on the 27th of October 2011. The concert was part of Simon Marchant’s Master’s Degree in Audio Technology for The London College of Music.
Another enigmatic musical contributor, who joined the band live on stage, but whose part was originated some 11,000 years earlier, was the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. Many thanks to Jan van Muijlwijk and his team for helping to facilitate this ingenious feat, by pointing the 25 metre radio telescope, housed at Dwingeloo in Holland, at Cas A in order to relay the live signal to the stage in Canterbury during the performance. These electromagnetic waves, on arrival at Earth, were morphed with Zinta’s live vocal using a Vocoder, creating a synthesis of two temporally distinct sound sources, fusing human and cosmic ‘voices’ across time and space.
Snowstorm World - The Song:
This piece was originally written by Zinta Egle and Simon Marchant in 2004. The song documents the story of a child drawn from slumber to gaze at the night sky, brimming with stars and swirling amongst dreams: at one moment suspended by alien captors in deep space…the next waking the teenage fossils of Pompeii with her rescue call.
Zinta & The Zoots made their debut performance at The Lounge On The Farm Festival, Canterbury, England in 2008. Following a few years of rigorous musical experimentation, and progressive line-up development, the band has emerged into its present, unique identity.
Zinta & The Zoots embody a refreshing disregard for genre limitations and expectations. Their focus is on creating melodic, characterful, stand-alone songs and the arrangement ethos is to express each piece in a pure, inventive and authentic way using whatever comes to hand or mind. Electric, acoustic, electronic...from radios to harmoniums to Max/MSP; anything that makes a noise may become part of the backdrop for Zinta’s striking vocals.
The music produced is subtle, spacious, crafted and beautiful - Zinta’s songs tell of human nature sometimes set in dreamlike environments such as the ocean’s depths, outer space or Edwardian gambling dens, but always located deep within her own psyche.
Performances are ambitious and may incorporate the heavenly influences as describe above or the rhythmic sawing-up of valve radiograms; World War 2 battlefield telephones used as microphones…or mobile phone text messages turned into sound…
OR…they may remain simple, acoustic and sparse with a small array of off-beat instruments. The changing identity is fuelled by the chemistry of the band members’ divergent, but oddly harmonious, idiosyncrasies!
Though the live stage may be peppered with eccentric backdrops, the potential theatricality is overwritten by the fact that the set – whilst appearing like a mad professor’s workshop with odd bits of new and vintage equipment and paraphernalia - is utilitarian, natural and functional rather than gimmicky.
The band are always on the lookout for interesting locations in which to perform and record - with the view to exploring the acoustic and architectural features as integral elements to the music produced; in a sense utilising the performance space itself as a huge instrument. Last year they took to the dripping cellars and tunnels of the underbelly of Creek Creative (a present day art gallery and formerly part of Britain’s oldest brewery in Faversham, England). Equipped with cameras and quadrophonic recording devices strapped onto Zinta’s shoulders and head (and transporting a Nord Synthesizer, a range of electronic gadgetry and a preacher’s harmonium protected with waterproof sheets) the mission was to capture an internal musician’s eye view and sonic experience of a live performance in this spooky, brick-lined Victorian cellar.
A few months ago Zinta & Simon ventured to visit the radio satellite dish at Dwingeloo to conduct some more musical experiments – this time treating Snowstorm World to a ‘moon bounce’ facilitated by Jan van Muijlwijk. Zinta sang an acapella version of the song phrase by phrase into a hand held radio transmitter and this was sent to the moon via the radio satellite and relayed back as an echo with a 2.5 second delay. The resulting recordings are currently being developed into a new remixed version of the song.
Similarly, there are plans afoot to recreate a version of the band’s Fisher’s Tale song amongst the atmospheric pipes, dials and mechanisms of The Cervia at Ramsgate Harbour, England. This old tug boat has been lovingly renovated from a semi sunken state by dedicated local specialists and members of the original crew and has recently been sonically brought back to life as part of an ambitious soundscape project by Filipe Gomes.
Zinta & The Zoots are currently recording their debut album which contains many threads from the activities mentioned above.
Zinta & The Zoots are: Zinta Egle, Miles Allchurch, Simon Marchant & Andy Briggs.