“Desert Glass” By Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen

"Desert Glass" by Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen is Northern Transmissions Song of the Day. The track is off their album Music for Open Spaces
Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen photo by Tom Relleen

“Desert Glass” is the latest single from Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen’s collaboration, recorded just before his premature death from cancer in 2020. The track is available now ahead of the release of Music for Open Spaces, available via Hands in the Dark on May 11th 2023.

An event at Café OTO celebrating Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen’s work together is confirmed for 29 May 2023. Marta will be performing a rendition of the album with her tape machines, and has invited some friends and collaborators for aN A/V event, including Andrew Bunsell (Staran Wake) and Agathe Max (Papivores), visual artists Ross Adams and Julian Hand as well as Valentina Magaletti and Hands in the Dark as guest DJs between performances.

Music for Open Spaces was inspired by various locations where award winning artist, producer and engineer Marta Salogni (Björk, Holly Herndon, Lucrecia Dalt) and much missed musician and artist Tom Relleen (Tomaga, Oscillation) were inspired to record: at the Joshua Tree desert, the Cornish coastline and their London home. Each piece on the 11-track album has been illustrated by collages created by Hands in the Dark founder, Morgan Cuinet alongside the “internal map” that holds the key to the album created by Tom Relleen, all included as inserts with the vinyl record.

Music for Open Spaces is more than a collection of experimental music inspired by moving landscapes such as the Joshua Tree desert, the Cornwall coastline or the inward Londoner abode: it is an adventure into a compelling intellectual landscape that involves the listener while opening unexpected perspectives at every step towards a new beginning.

Marta explains: «Tom and I started recording Music for Open Spaces during our travels to Joshua Tree, just at the edge of the desert. Other tracks were recorded while on a trip to Cornwall. We loaded the car with tape machines, a couple of synths and Tom’s bass. When we arrived we set up a small studio in the living room of a rented house, facing the ocean. The last pieces were made in our familiar places, in London.

All the tracks are mostly spontaneously improvised, influenced and inspired by the landscapes in which we were immersed at the time, those being both physical spaces and metaphysical ones, but always open. After Tom passed away, I finished this record on my own, carrying both of us in my heart. I have left these compositions unaltered, unmixed. Just as they were the last time we listened to them together. To me, these “open spaces” are where Tom is now, unconstrained by form.

Together with Morgan Cuinet’s collages, conceived as a visual mirroring of each track, the artwork consists of a blue map Tom made and that I have only recently discovered. This internal map, as he called it, is scratched with his fingernails to create pathways. I wanted to include it in the album, feeling it could be used to navigate these “open spaces”. Or just let yourself drift and wander, as you wish».

Listening to the tracks induces us to find our own way beyond the consuetudinary geometries through which we decipher our interaction with the ambient, offering us the chance of a true discipline of perception.

Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen
Music for Open Spaces

1. Desert Glass
2. pING poNGS
3. Snarls
4. Giant Desert Cats
5. Clocks
6. Internal Logic II
7. Furthest Fire
8. Trains
9. March
10. Fauna
11. FFXX

Pre-order Music For Open Spaces by Marta Salogni and Tom Relleen HERE


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.