John Lemke is a Glasgow based composer & sound designer, originally from Berlin. Working across a great variety of media he explores music and all things sonic through collaborations, live performance, film sound design and especially his work as a documentary film composer for the BBC and Channel 4.
Motivated by fusing elements of his more emotive film composition approach with rhythm and space, John creates a distinctive sound blend on his debut solo album, where percussive, prepared piano collides with abstracted guitar landscapes & disembodied vocal textures to form a danceable, electro-acoustic whole.
In between the depths and crevices of an attic treasure begins the uncompromising journey of People Do. Eager to devise a more dance oriented sound on his first full length release with Denovali, contrasting his ambient, often more orchestral film work, John first found inspiration in the idiosyncratic sound world of his grandmother's ancient piano. With a shimmering past as a silent film accompanying instrument during Berlin's roaring 1920's, its very fabric was full of anecdotes in need of release. But sampling every single surface, preparing its strings with kitchen utensils, let alone playing the instrument itself was only the starting point of the intricately woven narrative of People Do.
With a process drawing on techniques of musique concrète, sound design concepts such as 'worldising' and the use of homemade field recordings from all around Europe, the album is filled with depth and a real sense of journey. This is also reflected in the various locations the record was conceived and recorded in, ranging from Berlin to Bristol, Helsinki to rural Spain and Glasgow, with guest contributions from Kim Moore (viola) and Felipe Sumina (tenor saxophone), only for it to be mastered at Durton Studio by Nils Frahm.
John's dedication to ignoring genre boundaries makes for a record impossible yet needless to categorise, echoing its wide ranging influences, but ultimately existing entirely on its own terms.
For fans of The Notwist, Four Tet, Hauschka, Lali Puna, Boards Of Canada, Pole, Cluster, Tied and Tickled Trio, Aphex Twin