Although I usually work pretty quickly, my current musical project, Traces, has had the longest gestation time of any album I have made to date. I think it’s around 8 months at the moment, and in that time, the album has evolved at least three times. Each time for the better. With it’s final progression, even though it’s a long way from the original idea I started out with, I do think I’ve made my best album to date.
Having previously produced three space/science fiction themed albums, I did feel it was time to break away from the space thing for a while. Originally I wanted to make a more abstract album, completely open to interpretation. Which as a listener is fine, but when you’ve got to produce it? I felt a bit stuck without a loose concept to base the music on.
And this came from the title track – imagining the invisible traces we leave behind with the things we do and places we go. The music started off as quite downbeat and reflective. This led me to think about memories and dreams, a subject that has long fascinated me. The notion of having another life in our dream world; subconscious alternative realities.
I really love the dream-like atmospheres and parallel lives in Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s acclaimed work, and I also recently read various works by Christopher Priest which deal with this kind of subject so brilliantly (The Dream Archipelago) and vividly – disturbingly so at times (The Glamour), but engrossing reading all the same. One particular book I tracked down was Graham Joyce’s debut, Dreamside, which takes the concept of lucid group dreaming to the extreme. I’ve found that books more than films influence my music these days, and these have been some of the best books I’ve ever read. I’d like to think the music will do the work of these authors justice, even if they're not directly related to them.
So while Traces is coming soon, though I don’t want to give too much away just yet – but here’s the title track and a vintage style video: