Mauno splices natural sound and instrumentation for Tuning
Though the members of Mauno (pronounced “mao-no”) have quite different musical roots, the four-piece band has forged its own distinct sound.
The group’s new album, Tuning, is uniquely inspired by soundscapes found in and around the band’s stomping grounds of Halifax. Most of the album’s tracks feature recorded sound from around the city, including bells, falling rain and crunching snow.
“Tuning” includes elements of entirely recorded sounds mixed together. Singer and guitarist Nick Everett says a lot of the audio was taken from “sound walks,” in which he navigates areas with headphones and a recorder in hand.
“I listened to the record once we finished recording and it sounded like it was recorded in a vacuum, and sort of abstracted from its context,” Everett explains. “So we had to re-introduce the sounds from its environmental context, like the atmospheric, environmental sounds in which it was written and thought up.”
The distinctly “spaced-out” Halifax sounds that Everett describes have heavily influenced the band.
Throughout Mauno’s sophomore album, shimmery ‘60s guitar blends seamlessly with both Everett and singer/bassist Eliza Niemi’s soft, floating vocals.
“We’re just a bunch of neurotic weirdos and introverts. So it’s kind of interesting that [Tuning] turned into a rock album,” Everett says. “Sometimes songs ask to go in a certain direction and you just have to follow them wherever they go.”
Due to Everett’s ears being so sensitive, he navigates the city by often using back alleys and side streets to avoid traffic-heavy roads and their harsh noises.
Everett adds that the cities they visited while touring through Europe in the last few weeks have very different “dialects” than Halifax. Utrecht in the Netherlands, for example, has hordes of bicycles riding on cobblestone streets, which contributed to a very ambient sound. He also says there were a lot of incredibly melodic qualities of the soundscape from city’s bells.
“I think that a lot of especially natural sounds, they feed into deep parts of our brain, like bird songs or the ocean,” he says.
He adds that he and his bandmates being introverts plays a big role in how they interact. When touring, about 90 percent of the time the group sit in silence, drifting into their own heads and imaginations, even though they’re sitting right beside each other.
“I don’t know how we ended up being a rock band, it just kind of happened,” Everett laughs.
If there are any words to describe Mauno, it’s the beauty in the mundane, which also happens to describe Halifax quite well.
Thu., Nov. 9 (9 pm)
Mauno w/ guests
The Rec Room South Edmonton Common