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Ben Chatwin swaps dystopian fiction for post-rock on his latest album

Composer blending old instruments with modern production on a journey of sound

“It’s not about the notes, it’s about the sounds,” says Ben Chatwin, and this is as close to a mission statement as the composer and producer gets when describing his music.

As Talvihorros, Chatwin has already released a series of instrumental albums full of dark electronica and manipulated guitars, but last year, he decided to “free myself of any predetermined ideas of what I should be doing”, and put out his first album, The Sleeper Awakes, under his own name. It’s based around HG Wells’ dystopian novel of the same title, and it saw him move into melodic post-rock territory, similar to Mogwai and Piano Magic.

The ideas in the book fitted well with what Chatwin wanted to achieve sonically: a synthesis of ancient and modern. “It’s about a future that’s now in the past,” he explains. “I wanted to use a combination of very old instruments and very modern production.”

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