Lowered is a solo and collaborative project founded in 2013 by Chris Gowers, who has been releasing drone-based recordings in various forms for over 20 years.
The project was born from an attempt to create music based on minimalist principles that focuses on the intricacies of tone, space and silence. To this end, compositions are formed using only acoustic instrumentation and sound sources.
Recording, editing and mastering take place without digital effects, instead relying on experiments with microphone placement and naturally reverberant spaces.
Recordings are slow and contemplative, and explore the subjectivity of experience and the nature of environment. In an attempt to achieve egoless music, Gowers de-emphasises the human influence of his work by employing reductive playing processes that centre on the timbral, resonant qualities of the instruments as well as the space in which they are recorded. This is not improvised music however, and while aleatoric processes form the basis of many works, compositions are carefully developed to occupy a counterpoint between distance and control.
The debut LP Lost Seas sketched atmospheric, minimal pieces based principally around piano and cello. Two works from an on-going Arche EP series of recordings followed on Trome, which saw a further distillation of Lowered's ascetic sonic palette by presenting 30 minute drone studies of single instruments. The first instalment, Arche (For Gongs), was created from recordings of a 32" tam-tam with the percussive sounds absent, thereby stripping away any performance element of the piece to form a dense arrangement of decaying tones. The final section included a short passage of singing bowls to signify the next edition. Arche (For Singing Bowls) followed, with a more linear composition of several Tibetan bowls concluding with an arrangement of cello and violin.