“19 August 2019” From Cat Tyson Hughes’Daily Improvisations Project Evokes a Sense of Melancholy and Mystery

Cat Tyson Hughes, photo courtesy the artist

Cat Tyson Hughes has been engaged in an Instagram-based project called Daily Improvisations (cleverly adapting the title from the concept of “daily affirmations”). It involves improvisational music created with field recordings, vocal loops and electronic sounds that are informed by the serendipity of daily encounters and composing those bits of inspiration in the form of a type of sound collage. Beginning on July 29, Cat has presented pieces significantly different from one another but unified by her sound palette proving that you can create broadly and with great diversity within the relative limitations of your tools as they inspire creative uses of what might normally be familiar elements. Each piece invites us into a unique iteration of everyday experience with tone, texture and informal yet organic rhythm. Each is short and economical in conjuring the essence of a moment or of the day. In particular, the piece titled “19 August 2019” employs a repeating synth figure and ghostly vocals for a song reminiscent of The Knife circa Silent Shout with its evocation of melancholic alienation. It also brings to mind the mysterious quality of the first half of Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works Vol. II the way it uses beatless repetition to establish a sense of psychological intimacy. Cat Tyson Hughes will release a full length album called Gentle Encounters with Things on October 31 so maybe these daily creative sketches and explorations will inform the fully developed work or give us a taste of a different side of the artist’s songwriting. But what has come forth so far is a fascinating string of sonic snapshots delivered with an admirable level of discipline and engaged imagination. Listen to “19 August 2019” below and follow Cat Tyson Hughes at the links provided. On her Soundcloud account you can give the other completed items in the series a listen. Not a huge commitment and rewarding to trace her developments across time.