With Micro done I intended to immerse myself in some instrument design for a while. But life being what it is I was offered a project straight away that yielded a double album with each of us taking a side. Using the time honored tradition of the faster tracks being on side one Peter gets pole position.

Peter Lansford and I have known each other online for maybe about 10 years. We commonly commented on each other’s music in forums. A couple of times Peter even sampled some of my tracks and cut them up into new forms for posting on Soundcloud. It took me by surprise when about a week after closing my Forum activities he sent me a message asking if I wanted to collaborate on some tracks with him.

Peter’s and my styles are quite different. He is all modern & beaty and I am set in my ways of being mild & melodic. I wasn’t sure how it would work out. But feeling that new opportunities are always worth a look I said yes. Thankfully also Peter didn’t really want to write the same track with me so it wouldn’t become a brawl.

We decided that we would both work from a core idea and build our own track. I made a few ideas I named off as Progression 1, Progression 2 etc. I tried to lay a sense of a chord progression, melody and some variations. Peter’s Prog 1 came back and I rather liked it, there was even a little idea I liked and got him to send over the notes so I could add it to the core idea. I then made my track. Same idea, two completely different pieces of music.

Like me, Peter generally delivers a track a day once he has a core idea. So we were running fast from the get go.

In the end, I made eight of the ten Progressions and Peter made two. Interestingly I found working with his ideas pushed me even harder so those two tracks “The Exotic Holiday” & “Camelot” actually became the most melodically layered.

The closest we got to a brawl was over the cover. I made a concept that was a decent match for the image that had been in my in my head for a week or so. But Peter wasn’t down with it. Put me in a bit of a spin because I hit my target and that is normally the sign I got the cover right. Peter wanted a photo and presented one. It was all mirror-y but lost the sense of saying this was very much computer music. I put pride aside and made the cover again with the photo and quite quickly I liked it (it seems so 1974) and remembered that the very first vision I had of a cover was of something light blue with shimmery lines. Seemed too New Agey for me so got discarded but it was right after all. I just didn’t have the right info to decode the message.

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Notes on the tracks

Peter Lansford  Progression #  Benedict Roff-Marsh
Lost & Found – Hope of being found when one is lost is bittersweet 1
Staying Tuned – it takes effort but is worth it
Yearning – Sweet dreams are made of this – everybody is yearning for something 2
The Grand Gesture – one day someone does something really nice
AlphaOmega – The quest to understand as much as we can before it all disappears 3
Straw Into Gold – every silver lining comes with a Rumplestiltskin
Tumble – Everybody has a tinge of darkness to them but some more than others 4
Voyages on the Sea of Time – don’t be late for your important date
Peace of Mind – Vacations are nice but long term contentment is much better 5
The Exotic Holiday – that something everyone longs for
Sometimes – Sometimes we have to do a little soul-searching 6
Yesterdays – sometimes we visit them, but they are different every time
Release – Feeling the release from tension is essential to wellbeing 7
Camelot – the ideal of an impossible perfection
Subdued – Inner reflection leads to contemplation of the unknown 8
Dragonfly Pond – a reverie
Gambol – Living for the moment can be exhilarating 9
Trimuph of Will – sometimes you have to stay true because you are right
Underwater – There is much wonder under the surface of that which we cannot see 10
Fragrant Fields of Imagination – a memory of somewhere I have never been

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