Theory of Ruins
Hello Old Friend! Can you believe it’s been six months since I started recording 'Feels like coming home' and made that leap into being a full-time musician? In a way, it's not exactly the job I expected it to be. I thought it was mostly going to be about music, but I’m learning that the people you meet along the way and the friendships you make are the most important things.
When we share our experiences with each other, our heartaches and our triumphs; when we tell stories and dream about the future, these are the things that bring us closer together, and these are the things that are influencing my writing. The songs that bubble up as a result can really make a connection. These days, wherever you look, music is available for free – as a product it’s got very little value. But the way music can make us feel is priceless.
The central theme running though this album is the “Theory of Ruins”; the concept that when designing a building, an architect shouldn’t just consider the way it looks during its life, but beyond. As it ages, it should leave beautiful ruins that will last for thousands of years.
I believe that this theory should also be applied to our lives. What we experience now is not all there is. Our possessions and money will be meaningless when we’re gone – no-one's going to look back in years to come and marvel at how big our TV was! What will remain is how we’ve touched other people. We need to build our lives considering what we will leave behind. This is the thread that runs through the album.
As usual, I’ll be playing the majority of the instruments on the album, along with the drumming exploits of Niklas Blixt. I’ll also be joined by Micky McNulty on Bodhran, and there’s going to be a special performance by the electric guitar prodigy Dana Bradshow. You’ll notice a slightly different musical perspective on the songs. It's still rooted in blues and folk, but it’s a little rockier and also a bit more ambient.
I’ve been creating a warts-and-all video log detailing all the steps in the creation process, covering the song-writing, the recording, and the production of the songs. I'll be continuing this to give you regular updates on what I’m up to. No holds barred – along with the good recordings and interesting production techniques, you’ll also get to see the mistakes and experience the many frustrations that go on in the background!
The perfect, polished recordings you hear from your favourite artists are built from imperfect performances, trial and error and plenty of messing up. These things are often hidden away to give an impression of a flawless super-musician. Music shouldn’t just be perfect and polished – I want to show you, especially if you are an aspiring musician, that imperfections are a normal part of the process and we shouldn’t put the final products we hear on a pedestal and consider them unreachable.
I’m going to carry on this log detailing the rest of the recording, production, mixing and mastering, designing the artwork, and even the distribution side of things. So far the video log has been open to the public, but going forward this diary is only going to be accessible to people who have pre-ordered the album. Everything in the videos is completely open for discussion – I’d love your feedback and opinions so that we can collaborate together to make this the best possible piece of art that we can.
The money raised by the pre-orders won’t be going towards expensive studio time, executive producers, a record label, or a big radio marketing strategy. It won’t be buying other people’s songs to pass off as my own. I won't be hiring expensive session musicians to play everything for me. A good chunk will obviously be going towards the manufacturing of the CDs, the artwork, and the postage and packing, but the majority will be used to support me as I furiously work on the music, paying the mortgage and keeping my cats fed!
As with the previous album, a percentage of all the money raised will go to Ashmount Special School.
This album will be available in July, which is a duration of just 6 months, a very short amount of time, and it is only made possible by your backing and encouragement. Your support allows me to serve you, rather than The Man.
There’s some really fun rewards that are only going to be available before the album is released. So scroll down, pick one and show your support. Be part of something that will last.