Evergreen is the third full-length album from DEEP LEARNING, the solo project of UK-based Australian composer Richard Pike (of PVT/Pivot and Forgiveness), his first DEEP LEARNING release since Dataverse in 2018. Inspired by regular walks in Epping Forest with his five-year-old son, and constructed around skipping and CD glitch textures, the album explores themes of repetition, stasis, regeneration, and rebirth. With this raw digital material, pointillist plastic softsynths, guitar and voice, Pike reaches a new summit in his development as a sound artist.
Literally made by taking a screwdriver to self-recorded CD-Rs, the album explores multi-layered micro/macro polyrhythms, inspired by experimental pioneers of CD glitch Markus Popp, Yasunao Tone and Tim Hecker, as well as the emotive directions and dovetailed precision of the American Minimalists. Using the glitches as a base layer to guide the compositions, Pike builds hypnotic, fluid worlds of sound from their scattered clicks and hiccuping grooves, a meditation on the “holding patterns” of daily existence during the time the album was made. During this time, Pike fostered a daily practice of new musical explorations, and Evergreen became a statement of inner and outer worlds, of connection to family and the physics of music.
The cover features Pike’s photo of his son during one of their regular escapes Epping Forest in Essex, UK that mirrors the depth of layers on the recording: The trees cast a natural vignette around the mystic scene, drawing your eyes toward the ripples upon the water. The play on light reveals a tranquil yet dynamic energy. A sense of innocence symbolized by the boy held in a vast metaphysical awe.
Pike says “For me that photo links directly to the music, my experience of the time I was making Evergreen, spending so much time with my boy, every day, in a forest. It was full of wonder and magic and that's what I want to imbue in the music.”
Evergreen is also about resilience and the enduring state of creativity against odds. As Nick Cave quoted in 2020: “…this is lockdown’s near forbidden secret and terrible truth — that at the heart of grief, and midst mayhem, carnage and deep sadness, people do beautiful things.”
About the artist:
Richard Pike’s work exists between ambient, glitch, techno and hybrid orchestral. He has released on Warp Records with PVT, sound-designed with United Visual Artists and is an AACTA (Australia)-nominated score composer for Romper Stomper. Founder of Salmon Universe Records, Richard is also a Wavepaths team member (music for psychedelic therapy), and is in the band Forgiveness.
Equipment used: Luxman Compact Disc Player, Maxwell CD-Rs, Omnisphere, Native Instruments Massive, field recordings, Fender Jazzmaster, voice, Ableton Live.
All music and mixes by Richard Pike
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu
Photography by Richard Pike
Cover design by Joe Bastardo
Press Photography by Tim Topple
released August 19, 2022