Mister Salmon is a performative identity adopted by UK mixed-media artist Andrew Stones. The name is from Stones’s 1986 multi-channel video/sound work Salmon Song, which takes the mythic, fateful life-cycle of the salmon as its main metaphor.
The identity embodies two contradictory ideas: nature made me and will destroy me (I am like a salmon); I am free to define myself (I am not a salmon). Mister Salmon exists to explore the paradoxes of a human-animal life, in songs and music about yearning and overreach, misapprehension and consequence.
The songs of Mister Salmon adapt the grammar of folk, with lyrics pared down to their essential elements. However, as a folk singer, Mister Salmon is without a “volk”, and the music is driven by a delight in the unexpected and the discomfiting, as much as the familiar or the reassuring.
In this music, folk forms, avant-pop and electronica are filtered through a sensibility also accustomed to audio art, musique concrète, and soundtrack composition. Conventional instruments (guitar, mandolin, organ) are augmented by artist-built devices (bowed and mechanically-lashed strings, sampled reeds and pipes, unconventional percussion) and elements from an archive of demos and field recordings accumulated over decades.
Behind the work is a commitment to give form to anything that might be both expressive and insightful. Even, or especially, if it is strange.
Mister Salmon Cries Out (Digital EP, 2020) comprises three tracks - Curlew, Men and Mice, and Nature Trail. Curlew and Nature Trail are ballads for the anthropocene, about projecting ideas onto the natural world, even as human overreach is urgently reappraised.
The tracks on Mister Salmon Cries Out are from a larger suite of recordings imagining the perspectives of different creatures, such as a fly, a wolf and its prey, the members of a nature cult, a nature-documentary addict, and others.
Mister Salmon ...in Yorkshirama (Album, 2010) frames recollections of northern Britain in the 1970s and 80s, but remains ambivalent about the idea of belonging to a particular place. The album is a synthesis of soundtrack and song, structured like the ten fragmentary scenes of a biographical movie.
SPOTIFY ARTIST'S PAGE (requires Spotify App)
APPLE MUSIC ARTIST'S PAGE (links to web Preview)
YOU TUBE CHANNEL
APPLE MUSIC PREVIEW: Mister Salmon Cries Out
APPLE MUSIC PREVIEW: Mister Salmon ...in Yorkshirama
AMAZON.co.uk (MP3s, UK currency)
AMAZON.com (MP3s, US currency)
SALMON SONGS - catalogue of releases:
Mister Salmon - songs and music
Andrew Stones - audio art and music
TWITTER (hardly ever)
FACEBOOK (not very often)