The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads #19: Rookery Ensemble + The Future That Never Comes

On the Joyzine Advent Calendar we’re giving away free downloads of tracks by artists that we love (including plenty of exclusives and a fair few festive favourites) every day until Christmas Eve on what, as far as we’re aware (and we’re always happy to be corrected), is the longest running such calendar on the web.

As always, the tracks are completely free to download and there’s no need to sign up to any mailing lists to access the songs (though if you’d like to you can join ours here), but if you’re enjoying the tunes we’d love you to make a donation to the wonderful charity Child Poverty Action Group, who work on behalf of the more than one in four children currently growing up in poverty in the UK by providing support to families navigating the social security system, taking legal action to challenge unjust decisions and campaigning for change. You can make a donation on this link.

Today we’ve another pair of free downloads for your delectation. The first, from experimental avant-pop collective Rookery Ensemble comes via a recommendation from my esteemed co-editor Paul F Cook. The second, from THE FUTURE THAT NEVER COMES, appeared in our inbox with nothing but a brief manifesto (included below) by way of explanation. You can discover them both below.

Rookery Ensemble (photo by John Barrett)

Rookery Ensemble were founded by George E Harris (Words, Electronics) and Alison O’Melia (Piano, Clarinet, percussion and Accordion) with David Rothon (Omnichord and Melodica). Alison sadly passed away in 2020 and the ensemble have since performed a tribute night for her with all proceeds donated to St Christopher’s Hospice, who provided care for her. Their forthcoming album Islets of Langerhans will also raise funds for the hospice. We asked George to tell us more about their year.

What have you been up to in 2022?

Throughout the start of 2022 it was about completing the Islets of Langerhans album with self-producing artwork with images from Alison’s art therapy sessions with St Christopher’s. It was also about post-production of the album. Tracking down a pressing plant that could do the job. Eventually finding Deepgrooves – our friend Jono Podmore (Kumo/Metamono) wrote an article on vinyl production and the recent surge in its coming back with the eco friendly ways of production that were coming including Deepgooves.

2022 was also the time Rookery Ensemble came back to playing live in a venue. This took some time through rehearsing with a new member K on keyboards / percussion with George, Erik Moore and Mark Hill but eventually came out in front of audiences in May with a burst of gigs at Crystal Palace Food Market, Neil March’s Contemporary Music Prom 1 at AMP Studios, Ukraine Benefit Concert with David Rothon in the line up plus our Alison Tribute Gig in July which included Annabella Maneljuk in the Ensemble performing alongside other acts such as Metamono / Johnson and Alba (Piano Magic) / Allie K Stewart / Drunk Keith / Armorel as well as Francesca La Nave with Tim Wright which also raised money for St Christopher’s.

George also started to do a solo version of Rookery Ensemble with his table of electronic gadgets and devices. As other members could not do any more gigs for a while the energy was still there and running by something Alison once said: that Rookery could be a lot of things included in it from a duo to large ensemble to just one as in George. (Just like the Fall) So with this in mind a solo version was developed and eventually went out live in October at Vanishing Point/ AMP Studios with further online impromptu sessions.

Alison O’Melia at the original recording session in our then living room in 2019 – photo provided by George E Harris

What do you have planned for next year?

To release and promote the album, perform as whatever line up is available at the time from solo to large ensemble. Plus start piecing a book of words together.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

Choral Interlude in D started as a part of a longer improvisation but was a tag-line to something else Alison had in mind at time. To this day I am still unsure as to what that may have been. But I always felt this bit was a kind of an interlude. Within the track we kept Alison’s voice talking through then the burst of Piano sound from Alison which we added other instruments to including David Rothon on Pedal Steel, Mitzy Valentine on Flute with Sung Voices from George, from the original session Bass by Erik Moore and electronics radio from Mark Hill. It has a feel to it that could encompass a seasonal interaction. Seems appropriate to share at this time.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

I’m not that sure to be honest but I think like great folk song it has to have that sense of dark and light in fine balance with a slight sprinkle of sparkle.

Download ‘Choral Interlude In D

Alison O’Melia – Piano / Voice  (original session)
George E Harris – Sung Voices
Mark Hill – Radio Effects / Electronics (original session)
Erik Moore – Bass Guitar (original session)
Mitzy Valentine – Sung Voices / Flute
David Rothon – Pedal Steel

Produced at The Sydenham Opera House / Crystal Palace by Erik Moore 
Mastered by Pete Maher

Find out more about Rookery Ensemble on their official website

The Future That Never Comes band logo

This song is called THE COST OF LIVING.

Our End of Year Statement 2022:

As we stand on the precipice of another winter of discontent
The owners of the UK INC continue their assault on public services and its citizens
Stripping the assets of our collective wealth transferred to private transnational entities
Food banks, warm banks, school children with food and clothes paid for by teachers
Our nurses forced to strike, a nurses never ever wants to strike, they have been pushed to the brink  
A Parasite class that feeds on the love, compassion, empathy of humanity is ravenous
Global Trauma MK ULTRA Psy Ops
Divide and Conquer Algorithmic Distraction
The hypnotic spell of malevolent rulers
Knowledge is power
Eden exists
A Paris Commune for the ages, awaits our discovery
Our minds are now the battleground of the past, present and future
Fortify your heart and soul with solidarity and kindness
Unify the digitised reality matrix of humanity
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Download ‘The Cost of Living

If you enjoy the tracks, we’d love you to consider making a donation to Child Poverty Action Group

Check back every day until Christmas Eve for more free music – if you’ve missed a day, you’ll find all of this year’s tracks so far on the links below. Merry Christmas everyone!

Day One: Piney Gir – Do Good For Goodness Sake
Day Two: Lost Map Records present Firestations – Swim Under The Winter
Day Three: LOUD WOMEN present Killdren – Expect a Crimewave
Day Four: Scratchy Records present The Rocks, Jonny Cola & The A-Grades, Bromide + Coach Hop
Day Five: Deux Furieuses – Bring Down The Government Home Demo
Day Six: Extradition Order – Bold
Day Seven: Blang Records present Thomas Truax + Faux Fibbers
Day Eight: Alcopop! Records present Dream Nails + Helen Love
Day Nine: MiKey & The SkEletons – On and On
Day Ten: Ben Fox Smith – Human Rights
Day Eleven: Nini Bong + The Fades
Day Twelve: The May + Xqui
Day Thirteen: Hey You Guys! – Onward Christian Soldiers (live)
Day Fourteen: Chemtrails – Gee Whizz Billy Base
Day Fifteen: Hot Sauce Pony – Just Like Christmas
Day Sixteen: Reckless Yes Records present Breakup Haircut, Nervous Twitch, Feral Five, Electric Pets + The Incomprehensible Static
Day Seventeen: Ree-Vo – Protein (Rob Smith Mix)
Day Eighteen: Brace Yourself Records present Italia 90 + Grandmas House

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