Alison Cotton - QuaranTunes Series No.024

12″ Lathe Edition of 26. Numbered. Risograph looseleaf cover and back art printed at LOOKYHERE.


Recorded on the evening of Friday Sept. 5, 2020 (Saturday morning where she was) at a secret location in London, this session captures Alison Cotton’s sound in gleaming late night clarity. All of the pieces, apart from “I Buried the Candlesticks,” are from one of Alison’s extant releases, but her approach to the material maintained a holistic feel shimmering with a ghostly precision. 

Playing beautifully drone-canted viola, with the occasional glimmer of hanging wind chimes, Alison’s voice sounded incredible. Her work often has an out-of-time quality that makes its century of origin tough to nail down, but this performance was even more removed from the flow external realities. Some of this may have been due to the HEAVY nature of the cooped-upness so many of us were feeling as the first summer of the Plague was ending, but I would ascribe more of it to the utter uniqueness of her musical vision.

Ms. Cotton’s music is rooted in ancient and modern themes and techniques that are all happening in the moment. She captures the pulse of eternity completely. Looking backwards and forwards simultaneously, her songs sometimes seem as though they must have always existed, even when we’re hearing them for the first time. 

Long dolorous tones and words drawn from false memories of a far off future, brought together inside a cloud of heartfelt and magical resonance. It was a night of music as deep and dark and “other” as any I can recall. Now you can remember it as well.

–Byron Coley, 2022

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