MAP015 /// Sarah Hughes – I love this city and its outlying lands

𝓼𝓸𝓵𝓭 𝓸𝓾𝓽

released by mappa as MAP015 in 2020

Limited Edition Cassette.


Panelák. Fenced square garden at the entrance. Tree limbs, dried skin of snake, snails with cracked shells. Once upon a time there were plants. Soaked orange peel in front of the door. Buzzing of door bells. Elevator drone. You count the floors while you follow the picture instructions. Capacity and weight of three-dimensional space. You are entering the apartment. Horseshoe above the door. A wooden mask next to a whistling kettle. Seashells in plastic box. Phantom signal. Sheep fur on the couch. You straighten out all the folds. Mute TV. Documentary program- wolves, octopus, worms and a shark. Clock metronome. One minute, two minutes, twenty-seven minutes. 60% polyester pyjamas. Brain-shaped smog behind the window. Smoke, dust or just fog. You put wax in one ear, cotton in the other. I love this city and its outlying lands. My romantic landscape. 

Sarah Hughes’ multidisciplinary arts practice, comprising composition, performance, curating and installation, revolves around the relationship between social and environmental systems of cooperation. The work draws from various contexts including ecology, feminist politics, alternative economies, land use, and protest in order to explore speculative systems of organisation and collaboration as the ground for social change.  

Hughes’s work has been exhibited and performed internationally, including at South London Gallery, Punt WG Amsterdam, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Supplement, and Modern Art Oxford. Her compositions have been performed by various ensembles and at various festivals including London Contemporary Music Festival, Music We’d Like To Hear, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Realisations of her compositions have been published by Another Timbre, Suppedaneum, Melange Editions, and Consumer Waste, and broadcast on the BBC. 


Composed and performed by Sarah Hughes 
For zither, piano, Hammond organ, sine tones, white noise, electric harpsichord and objects. 
Written in response to the work of Fernand Léger First performed at an exhibition of his work at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes 

Recorded by Patrick Farmer at SARU studios, 2017, Oxford 
The recording was supported Sound and Music and Oxford Brookes University 

Artwork by Andrea Šafaříková 
Risograph print by  HIBERNANT.NET

Released by mappa as MAP015 in 2020




The title of Sarah Hughes’s new tape, I love this city and its outlying lands, suggests an album of field recordings, and the music contained in its single 27-minute track suggests so as well. Actually, Hughes made the whole thing in a studio, using zither, keyboards, electric harpsichord, and other tools, creating sounds that evoke the outdoors even if they didn’t actually take place there. Yet Hughes’s piece also feels thoroughly musical, with repeated tones, implied rhythms, and minimalist structures bubbling through. Listening to I love this city and its outlying lands feels like both sitting in a quiet field and watching that field roll by from a passing windowMarc Masters (The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp: January 2020)

Active depuis plus d’une décennie dans une démarche musicale d’un minimalisme radical, Sarah Hughes joue dans des groupes d’improvisation et a également fondé le Set Ensemble, un sextet dévoué aux musiques contemporaines. I love this city and its outlying lands est une cassette publiée par le petit label slovaque Mappa qui documente une performance de l’artiste anglaise en hommage au travail de Fernand Léger. Dans cette composition de presque une demi-heure, réalisée avec une cithare, un piano, un orgue Hammond, des sons électroniques sinusoïdaux, des bruits blancs, un clavecin électrique et divers objets, la compositrice semble figer le temps dans un mouvement paradoxal qui donne tout d’abord la sensation d’un corps lévitant pour aller ensuite vers celle d’un corps tangible et vibrant, presque organique… (l’écoutoir)

La poetica di Sarah Hughes rientra appieno nel “canto magnetico” della sound art propriamente detta: può sembrare la musica più semplice del mondo, ma il mantenimento di un tale controllo sulle varie fonti acustiche, aggiungendo solo ed esclusivamente l’essenziale, è un prova di maturità e umiltà artistica che solo un ascoltatore davvero sensibile può riconoscere e apprezzare… (Esoteros)