A Ladder is Not the Only Kind of Time

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A Ladder is Not the Only Kind of Time is an album by the composer Benjamin Tassie. Recorded in Sheffield's historic Rivelin Valley, the album features three new water-powered instruments: a harpsichord, hurdy-gurdy, and hydraulis (or water organ). Powered by the river, the instruments produce sound mechanically. Water-wheels turn to ‘play’ the harpsichord and hurdy-gurdy, while the water organ is sounded as water displaces air within the instrument (a system based on an Ancient Greek design).

Combining mechanically-produced historical-music, film, field-recoding, and live performance, A Ladder is Not the Only Kind of Time explores ideas of heritage, place, and our changing relationship with the landscape.

Each track was recorded at the site of a former water mill in the valley. This sound walk returns the music to the locations it was recorded in.

A Ladder is Not the Only Kind of Time is released on the Birmingham Record Company label.



The Echoes

Hind Wheel

Hind Wheel is the first recorded wheel in the valley. It was built sometime before the 1580s and was…

Plonk Wheel

Also known as Bobby Wheel and Sawbridge Mill, Plonk Wheel was in operation from 1737 until the 1850s…

Swallow Wheel

Used for cutlery and razor grinding, Swallow Wheel was in use from the 1690s to the early 1900s. Th…

Wolf Wheel

Also known as Rocher Wheel and Rocker Wheel, Wolf Wheel was operational from the 1720s to the 1930s …

Frank Wheel

Frank Wheel (1730s-1900s) was used to grind cutler and as a paper mill. This track features both t…

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