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 life-cycle of the salmon as its main metaphor.
Mister Salmon was created to resist the idea that a person’s relationship with their roots should conform to a popular, or fatalistic narrative (you are not a salmon). Believing that you come from family, country (or science) ensures nothing. You only have agency in what you subsequently do. Mister Salmon’s purpose is to address his 21st-century human condition without sentimentality.
The songs of Mister Salmon adapt the grammar of folk, with lyrics pared down to their essential elements (even if, as a folk singer, Mister Salmon is without a “volk”).
The music has its starting points in folk, pop, electronica and audio art, although it's driven by an artistic quest for the unexpected and the discomfiting, as much as the familiar or the reassuring.
Mister Salmon works with a collection of sound-making devices, demos and field recordings, accumulated over decades. Writing to guitar, mandolin and organ, he adds bowed and mechanically-lashed strings, reeds and pipes, and unconventional percussion… despite the running-out of time, the tracks take years to complete.
Behind the work is a commitment to give form to anything that might be both expressive and insightful. Even if, 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 human constructions onto the natural world, even as human over-reach is being 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 an accompaniment to a biographical movie, in ten scenes.
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 (not very often)