Gorilla Perfumes

“Set in Stone” coming soon…

Set in Stone

I’d been in aboriginal Australia studying rock art for two weeks in December 2011 and when I returned it suddenly occurred to me that a whole world of near forgotten cultural heritage was sitting under my nose. Having been born and raised in Dorset it was fantastic to discover such a wealth of largely forgotten heritage pre dating anything I was taught at school. To me discovering this world for myself was exhilarating and I quickly began creating fragrances inspired by it. I became aware of the wealth of aromatic inspiration around, gorse flowers on a winters morning, rosemary smudge sticks burning at Stone Henge, freshly unearthed roots, vibrant tree lichens, berries, leaves, hedgerows, the list grows. Each provided enough inspiration for a perfume and then I had six fragrances all on this theme. From here the music was created and to enjoy fully you need to listen to the piece whilst smelling each individual fragrance to transport you to Neolithic Britain. SIMON CONSTANTINE

The Event

This piece of music was originally commissioned for a live performance piece in a field in Dorset. For me this was way beyond my wildest dreams of where this project would lead. We consulted with archeologists, a locally quarry and our own team to see if it would be possible to create our very own stone circle. By the 5th of July 2012, seven 1,500kg stones had somehow been erected in the middle of a field. I couldn’t believe it. Each stone seemed to sit directly by something tying it to the fragrances, a gorse bush behind one, brambles another, for the ominously named Hellstone, an equally foreboding dead oak tree loomed in the background. It was perfect.

Until that day people arriving for our internal company Festival, Lushfest, had been subject to the worst weather conditions for years. It had already rained a months worth of rain in a day that week and so the thought of an outdoor , live music experience seemed ambitious at best. But someone’s gods were smiling on us and the sun beating down creating the most serene setting. That evening was probably one of the most surreal moments of my life. Waiting for the event to begin, a procession of people trailed out from the bank of tents in the distance. All of a sudden it began to feel like a true happening, there was no other way to describe it. By the time we began there must have been 300-400 people all sat inside the circle. The stones were each scented with their fragrance and then as John began to play people were able to experience a melding of senses. It was a truly unique and beautiful experience.

Composed by Simon Richmond, electronica artist, producer and founder of Palm Skin Productions, and John Metcalfe, violist and arranger. Simon and John have collaborated on many previous projects, from John’s own recordings on Big Chill records, to the live orchestral/electronica performances of The Bays.
The music was devised as an accompanying soundscape to the fragrances, the stone circles and their settings – from coastal outcrops to Old English heathland, from outdoor rituals of burning herbs to Saxon burial structures. The presence of the stone circles from their origins through to the present day was a powerful influence on the music, which combines a sense of English tradition and orchestral richness with more contemporary sounds and ambient textures. While the six tracks each reflect the character of the particular fragrance and stone that inspired them, taken as a whole the individual pieces of music and the interludes that link them are also designed to run together as one continuous extended suite. SIMON RICHMOND