Nest represents unfinished business for me, an album that might have come from my childhood, from a hidden quiet place. I rarely make such calm music. Nest folds inward like a nurturing cushion; yet it never sits motionless, it evolves towards a kernel of revelation with slow searching energy.
Nest began with recordings from the eastern Australian bush when I was on tour in February 2012. I often incorporate natural sounds into my music, but this music wanted to live entirely in outdoor soundscapes, surrounded by a subdued yet palpable sense of life. This texture resembles my earliest releases like Sunyata, Trances and Drones, where the natural world integrates completely with the music.
I approach these juxtapositions of music and nature recordings with caution, as they risk sounding trite. For me, the combination works best when the music retains an attentive, submissive quality. For an album like this, I remove so much material during creation that I struggle to leave any music at all. Each note serves primarily to outline its own absence, to create an illusion of silence.
Like much of my music, Nest also explores tuning systems, including just intonation. Over time I have become more relaxed about tuning, shifting where the instruments sound most natural. Nest navigates towards harmonic intervals when piano is absent, toward equal temperament when piano dominates, searching for a certain fragile balance.
Robert Rich – August 2012