Three Cane Whale
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Three Cane Whale

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Band Folk Acoustic

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Enchanting. that is the only word in the world that I can use to describe this beautifully massive 20 track record by Three Cane Whale. The entire 20 tracks are vocal-less, but there is no sense of a missing element in this record. Horns talk almost more clearly than human voices on tracks like ‘Eggardon Hill’. I’m actually reminded of an old record I used to listen to when I was a kid called Peter and the Wolf by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. The record told a story that purely instrumental, yet that was also somehow easily distinguishable, even as a child. Three Cane Whale also achieve this feat, taking the listener on a journey through countrysides on ‘Dancing Ledge’, metropolitan cities of instrumental sound on Isserley and love stories seem hidden in the folds of ‘Look Up At The Sky (And Remind Yourself How Insignificant You Are)’.
This is the debut record from Three Cane Whale, who somehow create all these layers of sound with only three men total. With instruments with names like “bowed psaltery” and old off-the-wall favorites like the lyre and glockenspiel, its no wonder this album retains a certain quality of magic that few modern musicians can create. - The Sloucher


Three Cane Whale is the kind of album that, once the secret is revealed, the listener will want to share, to compel their friends to listen, to explore. This album can be full of mirth or solemn, it can be as fresh and open as a deep blanket of snow, or as full of texture, colour and chaos as a pile of autumn leaves the moment the wind hits. Three Cane Whale is a hidden gem, just waiting to be discovered. - Folk Radio


Three Cane Whale are three folksters from Bristol, and this is their self-titled debut album. Coming from various highly regarded bands – Organelles, Get The Blessing, and Spiro – the trio got together to form this experimental, instrumental folk project. Using a barn-load of interesting instruments, including the harmonium, glockenspiel, lyre, mandolin, music box and the psaltery (allegedly some kind of harp-like device), Three Cane Whale have created a collection of delicate, minimalist acoustic compositions. Many of the tracks are simplistic in their arrangements and short in length (six of the songs are under two minutes), while others come armed with an understated progressive edge, incorporating inventive time signatures and melodies. Fascinatingly, it was recorded live in one 11 hour meeting (because it was the only day all the members were available) in a church, and the result was that the intimate atmosphere of the setting was recorded to track. Many of the trumpet-laced songs sound like Beruit tunes, sans vocals of course – such as ‘Bird From A Cloud’, ‘Eggardon Hill’, and the breezy ‘Cassiopeia’ – while others, like highlight ‘Sluice’, contain the sweeping drama of some of the recent, electronic-less Apparat productions. Simply Beautiful.
- AAA Music


This Bristol trio’s debut album is best described as “folktronica”, which is a mixture of folk and electronica. They strip down traditional tunes then build them up into layered songs using repeating motifs played on mandolins, harmoniums, glocks, muted trumpets and guitars. A glorious adventure into new folk. - Cerys Matthews / The Telegraph


The second album from the experimental folk-minimalist trio is an all-location recording with 22 instrumentals played in places as various as a Dorset chapel, an allotment shed, a Welsh waterfall, under a flyover, and Regent's Park bandstand.
The delicate chimes of string instruments and glockenspiel sound like the innards of an old grandfather clock, with a Trumpton-esque trumpet parping over the top. Marvellous. - The Independent


Three Cane Whale are an inventive Bristol trio who are part of that unnamed acoustic movement in which experimental, minimalist or systems styles are matched against echoes of traditional themes. Their lineup consists of Pete Judge, from the West Country jazz-rockers Get the Blessing, on trumpet, harmonium and glockenspiel, along with Paul Bradley from another local band, Organelles, on guitar, and Alex Vann from that remarkable folk-systems outfit Spiro, playing mandolin and bowed psaltery. They don't have the complexity and intensity of Spiro, but create delicate mood pieces in which cool, muted trumpet work is matched against gently rhythmic changing themes. Recorded in a mere 11 hours in a Bristol church, this is an album of elegant and atmospheric pieces that include the drifting Look Up at the Sky (And Remind Yourself How Insignificant You Are), the lyrical Eggardon Hill, and the stately and charming Sluice. An impressively original debut. - The Guardian (Robin Denselow)


Discography

Three Cane Whale (Idyllic Records, 2010)

Holts And Hovers (Field Notes, 2013)

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Bio

Formed in Bristol, UK, in 2009, comprising members of Spiro (Real World Records), Get The Blessing (Naim Records, BBC Jazz Award winners), and the Fleur Darkin Dance Company, Three Cane Whale is a multi-instrumental acoustic trio, with influences from folk, minimalism, and chamber music. At times as intricate as a team of watchmakers and at others as spare as a mountain stream, the music encompasses both a cinematic sweep and an intimate delicacy, evoking a diversity of landscapes, journeys, and atmospheres.

Debut album recorded live in an eighteenth-century Bristol church, chosen by Cerys Matthews as one of her ‘Top Five Modern Folk Albums’, and played on BBC Radio 3, 4 and 6Music.

New album recorded in 20 different locations in Dorset, Wales, London, Somerset and Bristol, including churches and chapels, kitchens and hilltops.

Composed soundtrack to Channel 4 film “The History Of An Orange”, & for the Bristol Encounters 2012 cinema trailer.