David Antony Clark has three abiding passions - music, travel and nature. The New Zealand musician has interwoven these three elements into his acclaimed White Cloud releases, including the latest, The Man Who Painted Caves (11041).
With an innate fascination for the natural history and music of indigenous cultures, Clark has skilfully blended the indigenous with the modern for a sound that is best described as ’Neo-Primal.’ His new collection of field journal music is a beguiling interpretation of an age when history was recorded on the walls of caves. With its loping percussion rhythms and unhurried arrangement, it perfectly recalls life when time was marked by the Sun and modern technology was a wheel.
Each track evokes an ancestral time of shaman and tribes, not with mocking noises but with respect that honour their survival instincts and humanity in harsh climates and physical dangers. The album also captures Clark’s love for organic elements and uncluttered aesthetics. Traces of bird-calls, ancient instruments and environmental ambience provide a natural texture to the music.
In the last decade, Clark has roamed the world in a quest for musical and cultural experiences. He has travelled through Europe, the Far East and American continent earning a living teaching guitar or remedial English, picking fruit and tending bar. He even played in festival rock bands in Israel. For Clark, it’s been anything but a lonely planet.
His greatest inspiration is drawn from the unique natural beauty of the land. That is also why Clark is strongly committed to environmental concerns for the future of the planet, and he continues to travel often to record the sounds of the vanishing environments and cultures for future generations.
His ’Neo-Primal’ recordings for White Cloud include Terra Inhabitata (11007), which delved into indigenous cultures mixing environmental sounds with Maori flutes. Australia Beyond The Dreamtime (11013) is an earthy rhythmic collection capturing Australia’s Northern Territories. Before Africa (11022) conjures the vast savannahs at the beginning of time. Clark also has a collaboration with John Mark titled The Leaving Of Ireland (11035) that sublimely pays tribute to the enduring spirit of the Irish.
With The Man Who Painted Caves, David Antony Clark, the artist and historian, continues to chronicle life and history - much like the men who painted caves.