3. Silence and Air
7. Here to There
9. New Water
11. As Sleeping Stones
12. I’ll Be Gone By Winter
Architect showcases a huge breadth in Christopher’s songwriting abilities. Lead singles ‘Say’ and ‘For’ are characterised by their gentleness and warmth, while ‘Garden’ (released as a single with the album) is bright, sunny, irrepressible. On the other side, ‘By’ and ‘Novices’ draw more overtly from Christopher’s interest in electronic music and modern composition. He references The Knife and Arvo Pärt as willingly as Burt Bacharach and The Carpenters. Add to that shades of Talk Talk, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, The Ink Spots and the classical and choral compositions of Maurice Ravel and Gabriel Fauré, and a picture of the record collection that informs Christopher’s music starts to become clear.
Glasgow’s C Duncan, born 1989, is the son of two classical musicians. Surrounded by music throughout his childhood, Christopher initially took up piano and viola. His teens led him to school bands – learning to play guitar, bass and drums – but did little to quell his fascination with the composition and performance of classical music. He eventually enrolled in Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) to study music composition, where his pieces were performed by various ensembles across the UK. To hear C Duncan’s music now is to grasp those two common threads between his interests in classical and modern music. The pieces that make up his forthcoming debut LP are formed from lush choral harmonies and acoustic instrumentation, textured like contemporary dreampop and all recorded at home in Glasgow on his bedroom studio setup, gradually built up one layer and one instrument at a time.
The results of this methodical and isolationist recording process give us charming lo-fi folk with the harmonic width of choral composition, the sweetness of barbershop and the rough eloquence that has so readily soundtracked Glasgow over the past decades. Christopher is also an accomplished painter, naming Grant Wood and Gerhard Richter as influences. His work has been exhibited throughout Scotland and he provides cover art for his own records, expressing the same musical ideas through painted image.