Nick Pynn

Slip into the shadow of the castle. Pass the revellers in the West End. Don’t make eye contact. Enter through an unassuming door and skitter up the 73 steps to Inlingua, Edinburgh. Ignore the prints of skilless artists on the wall. Go into the small room with the window that peeps over the chimney pots of the New Town down to the sea. Candlelit and next to tales of Sherlock Holmes sits Nick Pynn, with tousled salt and pepper quiff, amongst his library of instruments. Sit. Listen.Aurally, Pynn sets out a blanket for you to rest on whilst he treats you to his sounds and introduces you warmly to his instruments. And he has a lot of instruments. And he’s made half of them. And there’s just him. And he plays them with expert dexterity. And then he loops them using his loop machine. And builds on them, adding more instruments. And next he plays against and with the motifs he’s already recorded. And then what you get as the song progresses are all these rich, interlinking threads that recall each other as he dances above it all with his mandocello, or his fiddle, or his water-filled wine glasses, or his glockenspiel, or his Appalachian mountain dulcimer, or his imperfect-yet-because-of-this-perfect baritone crackling over the top. All while thrillingly not bowing to acoustic convention.With a charming yet self-deprecating humour introducing each song, Pynn takes you through the personal importance and origins of each of his songs. He imparts obscure facts and surreal events which seem to infuse his life and then – well – this is his magic: the music illustrates them and takes you along with it. ‘Afterplanesman’, for example, captures the gentle levelling an afterplanesman must do to balance a submarine. The water-filled glasses slowly chime the ethereal strangeness of being underwater for months at a time, echoing Pynn’s offhand comment that he feels he has been an afterplanesman all his life. Similarly ‘Intro/Receiving’, written on memories of childhood lain at night watching the moon, somehow depicts that childlike sense of wonder and fascination with space. Featuring Morse code on the violin, it finishes wonderfully with the sound of a rocket, Pynn’s hand slowly moving closer to the ball of the theremin, as it takes off into the stars.You will be reluctant to cut the interwoven threads of his music upon leaving his gig, the same feeling you have on ending a long journey. Cyclical in nature and often in theme, Pynn’s music is evocative of the strange coincidences of travel. He’s the fine company you want in your carriage, the snatches of mandocello you caught in the cobbled alleys of Dubrovnik and like the memories you keep, his tunes get stuck in your head.

The Blurb

Multi award-winner delights us again with original compositions on stringed instruments and found items, with live looping, bass pedals and the voices of invisible guests. 'A magical find in the night' (Scotsman), 'Incredible. Highly, highly recommended' ***** (ThreeWeeks).