This tinnitus therapy track was a fabulous way to start the new “Supernature” series. I live in a small but fairly densely populated seaside town. I bought an old wedding dress shop nearly twenty years ago and turned it into a house and recording studio. To start the recording process of this tune I positioned microphones everywhere, as I wanted to pick up sounds that occurred either inside or directly outside of my house. The window was open, there was a roaring fire in the house, the mobile phone was on vibrate, the washing machine was on, my partner had to take a call and house phone message intermittently. The police car drove by several times and life slowly passed by, occasionally you will hear me reading the newspaper or picking up firewood and walking across the room to place in the log burner, with my trusty walking boots on my feet.
I enjoy the sounds of my house and I am fascinated when the two worlds come together (my house sounds and the sounds of my town emanating from my open window). A strange kind of duality and healthy symbiosis.
This was a piece that started life as a harp recital I was working on. The idea of looking at water again drew me towards setting this music in an undersea world. I felt I had to place this in the grand and symphonic world of Atlantis. I was keen to add a choral sound and augment this with a solo trumpet/cornet. I added orchestral percussion to complete the exotic myriad of musical sounds.
My environmental sounds were created in Cuba, in the Caribbean sea. I was able to go underwater amongst coral and brightly coloured fish. There is a point in the music where I drop the sound of a pelican landing and taking off from the ocean. It was fate that I was able to get such a prestigious recording of this incredible creature.
The super wolf moon eclipse was a sight to behold and I wanted to use the earth and moon’s cosmic energies to create this music. Millions of people saw the full moon slide into the Earth’s shadow on the 20-21st January 2019.
I had just come back from my fourth trip from the Caribbean, having recorded lots of source material to bring back to the studio for the T-minus project.
I discovered and recorded many more sounds from the rainforest to add to my collection. The area was so dry underfoot which meant I could get the most intense broken wood and twig sounds.
As the Leaves and foliage were also very brittle, I could capture various types of gentle cracking and snapping sounds. It created a really great ambience in the jungle leading to a wonderful reverb and echoey sound.
Whilst in the forest I picked up various sizes of dead branches and made an enormous wind chime.
I spent hours rocking the jungle instrument to get the background sound that you hear on this track.
I see this track and “Majestic” as symbolising the brother and sister of the series. I was inspired by the imagery that starts an incredible film called ‘The English Patient’. The propeller aeroplane is flying over the desert and creates superb shadows. The sand dunes that they’re flying over, look like giant vanilla ice creams and the wind gently breathes over the late afternoon sky temporarily destroying the shape of the dunes and forming new ones. I can feel the warmth and dryness of the mid-day sun in this track. My main aim was to try and capture this imagery to create an almost surreal psychedelic cowboy film soundtrack.
My hometown has so many diverse aspects to it.
I have the sea, the busy and bustling town, the cars, buses and assorted traffic noises. Mixed with that is a hovercraft and a ferry terminal, plus a train station. Just by simply walking through all these thrilling environments you experience a vast array of therapeutic musical tones.
The second and most challenging recording location used in this piece was the London Underground. I travelled the tubes for a whole day, recording everything that was humanly possible. A man spinning his wheel as he’s taking his bike down the stairs, footsteps created from gentleman’s brogues with the archetypal umbrella staff knocking the vintage tiled floors. Females running to catch the train in plimsoles, through to children laughing, babies crying and young lovers racing and excitedly hopping on and off of trains, I imagine them running late to the first theatre date or meal out.
I sat recording trains as they would rush into the station at breakneck speed. The doors opening, shutting and then speeding off into the dark tunnel.
When I took the sounds back to my studio and manipulated and coerced them into a meaningful semblance, I was flabbergasted at how tranquil the London tube is. When you take a step back and hear it in another reality, far away from the hustle and bustle, the mood is very settling and meditative.
The natural and the unnatural are juxtaposed to create a union of sound that categorises and sums up this entire series: Supernature