Four Last Things

by Cloudland Blue Quartet

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Four Last Things - Music For String Quartet, Guitar, Stretched Spoken Word & Environments is the 15th soundscapes album from Cloudland Blue Quartet (Crispycat 1601 - 01 April 2016)

This album is designed as a three hour, four disc set, available to stream or download (the download contains a further sixteen discs of elements, alternatives and extras, the fifteen pieces of cover artwork and a collage of the fifteen covers).

The set comprises an amalgam of four separate projects, "SS SQ XIX" (Music for Stretched Spoken Word), "E3314" (Music for Environments), "Schneewittchen" (Music for Guitar Soundscapes) and "Four Last Things" (Music for String Quartet).

The original intention was to release each of the four source albums separately. Now each is available as one of the sixteen bonus discs in the download version of "Four Last Things".

The first project, "SS SQ XIX" (tracks 4, 9, 14 & 20), was recorded as part of an exercise instigated by writer Sid Smith to sonically illustrate twenty quartets of photographs which he dubbed "string quartets". Cloudland Blue Quartet was chosen to create the soundtrack for set XIX in January 2014.

The second project (tracks 1, 6, 7, 11, 12, 16 &17) features recordings of the environment around the Crispycat Studio on the morning and evening of 3 March 2014. Only the morning recording was used on the main album but the evening recording is available too as one of the bonus discs.

Third (tracks 3, 5, 10, 15, 19 & 21) is a set of guitar soundscapes which was to be released as the album "Schneewittchen". Each piece has a title which references the Brothers Grimm fairytale "Snow White". These were recorded in March 2015.

The last of the projects is a string quartet (tracks 2, 8, 13 & 18) created by Cloudland Blue Quartet using the Infinite String Quartet, an online programme containing fragments of music lasting from a few seconds to around a minute and available to create original works. The four movements were created in early August 2015.

In late August, the four projects were brought together to form the basis of what is presented here.

Editing and mixing took place until the end of 2015. By March 2016, after much listening and consideration of possible further work, it was decided the album was "finished" and should, at last, be released.

The download version comes with the following bonus material, which takes the total track count to 108.


Discs five to eight contain the original albums "SS SQ XIX" (tracks 22-30 - including the original spoken word texts describing Sid Smith's photographs, some text out-takes and the input of the much missed Meg the Black Cat), "E3314 am" (tracks 31 & 32), "Schneewittchen" (tracks 33-38) and "Four Last Things for String Quartet" (tracks 39-42).


Disc nine (tracks 43-45), from August 2015, is a shorter, single disc length mix of "Four Last Things", with the inclusion of drums.

Disc ten (tracks 46 & 47) comprises the finished version of the first movement of "Four Last Things" with additional drums. This was also created in late August 2015,

Disc eleven (tracks 48-50) contains "E3314 pm", the evening environment from 3 March 2014.

Discs twelve and thirteen (tracks 51-81) contain a fifth, unused project which, by way of Musique Concrète, documents the first 31 days of 2015.


Discs fourteen to sixteen contain three other projects recorded in 2015, "Early Morning Coffee Pot" (track 82), created for an exhibition in Manchester, "Blitzstein, Marc 1905" (track 83), created for an exhibition in New York and "55° 57' N: Edinburgh, Scotland - Corstorphine Hill" (track 84) recorded for "Solstice Sounds Project December 2015" curated in Arizona.

Disc seventeen (tracks 85-89) contains the first of two EPs released in the Autumn of 2015, "The Leonard Cohen EP" (with two added soundscapes).

Disc eighteen is "The Dakota Starman" EP (tracks 90 & 91), dedicated to Jamie Frain.

Disc nineteen, "Acoustic Eno Covers" presents acoustic demo recordings of sixteen Brian Eno songs (tracks 92-107), learned and recorded on a single day in October 2015.

Finally, disc twenty has the final piece of the project (track 108) a rough acoustic demo in mono, the only existing recording of the last Cloudland Blue Song to date, "Here Again", recorded 27 July 2014.

In all then, we present over twelve and a half hours of Cloudland Blue Quartet recordings for download.


released April 1, 2016

Music For String Quartet, Electric Guitar, Stretched Spoken Word and Environment

First Movement (44:36)
E3314 I / The Fourth Last Thing / The Magic Mirror / SS SQ XIX I / The Poisoned Apple / E3314 II

Second Movement (44:36)
E3314 III / The Third Last Thing / SS SQ XIX II / The Glass Coffin / E3314 IV

Third Movement (53:02)
E3314 V / The Second Last Thing / The Wedding Invitation / SS SQ XIX III / E3314 VI

Fourth Movement (44:34)
E3314 VII / The Last Last Thing / The Fairest of Them All / SS SQ XIX IV / The Hot Iron Shoes

Total Time : 3 hrs 6 mins 48 secs

The Four Last Things Are:-
I. Stretched Spoken word (SS SQ XIX) recorded, stretched and treated by David Reilly, 12 January 2014, with thanks to Sid Smith

II. Environment (E3314) recorded by David Reilly, 6:15 to 7:00 am, 3 March 2014

III. Electric Guitar (Schneewittchen) composed and recorded by David Reilly, 7 March 2015

IV. String Quartet (Four Last Things) arranged and constructed by David Reilly, 2 August 2015
Infinite String Quartet Fragments composed by and © Úlfur Eldjárn 2015
Performed by Una Sveinbjarnardóttir (violin), Pálína Árnadóttir (violin)
Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir (viola), Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson (cello)
Fragments recorded and mixed by Styrmir Hauksson at Guðríðarkirkja, Reykjavík Iceland. 2013-2015

Portrait by Kitty Gourlay, 13 November, 2015

Produced by David Reilly for Crispycat Recordings
Recorded at Crispycat Studio, Edinburgh, UK, January 2014 to December 2015 (except as noted)
(p) 2016 Crispycat Recordings © David Reilly 2014, 2015, 2016 (except as noted)
Executive Producer : Anne Reilly

Crispycat Recordings 1601

Bonus Material (Download Only)

Elements - Discs V-VIII
SS SQ XIX (12 January 2014) (43:20)
E3314 AM (3 March 2014) (44:37)
Schneewittchen (7 March 2015) (62:56)
The Four Last Things for String Quartet (2 August 2015) (42:29)

Alternatives - Discs IX-XIII
Four Last Things (Single Disc Mix) (28 August 2015) (59:37)
Four Last Things, 1st Movement (Drum Mix) (24 August 2015) (44:38)
E3314 PM (3 March 2014) (65:56)
Betonmusik 2015 Part I (1-18 January 2015) (55:58)
Betonmusik 2015 Part II (19-31 January 2015) (60:07)

Extras - Discs XIV-XX
Early Morning Coffee Pot (11 January 2015) (3:00)
Blitzstein, Marc 1905 (9 & 10 August 2015) (2:38)
55° 57' N: Edinburgh, Scotland - Corstorphine Hill (22 December 2015) (5:17)
The Leonard Cohen EP (22 & 26 September 2015) (26:19)
The Dakota Starman EP (3 October 2015) (9:33)
Acoustic Eno Covers (7 October 2015) (40:30)
Here Again (Acoustic Demo - Mono) (27 July 2014) (3:27)

Bonus Discs : 9 hrs 30 mins 19 secs
Total Time : 12 hrs 37 mins 07 secs


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Cloudland Blue Quartet Edinburgh, UK

Initially influenced by Fripp & Eno's "No Pussyfooting" and The Velvet Underground's debut, David Reilly, aka Cloudland Blue Quartet, started musicking in 1977, creating drones by using sellotape on the keys of his dad's Bontempi Organ. The subsequent junk shop purchase of an old electric guitar & fuzzbox, followed by the acquisition of a 2nd hand Beatles songbook, led him into songwriting... ... more

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