Following a recent feature in The Wire magazine and her contributions of tracks to key label compilations as far back as 2014, Folklore Tapes presents the first full-length album from Mary Stark, Industrial Folklore Tapes Vol.III - Film as Fabric.
Entirely constructed from live recordings of a performance entitled ‘Film as Fabric’, Mary's Folklore Tapes album sets out to examine the relationships between textile practice and filmmaking. Fully enriched by exploration of Lancashire’s industrial heritage and Mary’s family history, which includes workers in cotton mills and expert needlewomen.
As Folklore Tapes puts it best: "The performance repeatedly involves sound in physical formats through optical sound, work song and recordings of weaving machinery on vinyl records, the amplified mechanisms of the film projector and sewing machine, and Mary’s voice. The performance highlights the now obsolete industrial practice of linear film editing and shows photochemical film as a sculptural reflective fabric, measured and worn on the body, cut with scissors and stitched on the sewing machine. Through the filmmaking technology of optical sound, fabric and stitch patterns are transformed into noise, referring to a lesser-known sonic world associated with textile production. The live recordings are from performances at Full of Noises Festival 2015, and in 2016 at Islington Mill, Manchester Histories Festival and Radio Revolten International Festival of Radio Art."
Film as Fabric is a deeply arresting album that opens new doors within the hauntology lineage and industrial afflictions of fellow Manchester musicians Magpahi, Demdike Stare and Black Lodge. In doing so Mary Stark has dug up strange new secrets and sounds buried deep within the cottonopolis.