Blurred Hands became the album name because in many ways the concept of this record was always blurred. Initially, I thought of each track being a putting together of things that don’t belong, Zen Monks drinking alcopops, etc. Over time tho I felt that was a bit thin and let the track ideas broaden somewhat. Still, the pieces all have some sense of dichotomy.
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Musically I wanted a lot of these to be happily melodic and mostly they are. It is a happy record despite the undercurrent of “desolation” that apparently threads through my work.
The cover picture is literally my hands. It was one of those phone camera accidents which is normally thrown away, but this time I kept it as I felt it would find its place, and it did.
As a Composer and Sound Designer, or maybe that should be the other way around, I wanted a record that was very “touchable” from a sonic perspective but not in that collage or drone thing. It needed to be very melodic and musical – in a Benedict way of course. While I know melody is the most uncool thing eva these days, it is important to me. So we have sounds with notes to carry them, and hopefully you the listener, somewhere.
- Blind Clams in the Butlerian Silence -is an odd title but if you are versed in the Dune universe it should make a bit more sense. The Butlerian Jihad overthrew the evil machines which was good, but then like all of these things, became a crusade against all growth or success. Hence the “silence” in which many “clams” choose to be blindly happy. The stuttering vocal sound came from trying to work out how someone made a sound they showed in a synth group; mine was nothing like his but it was special and screamed to be used.
- Born Staring at the Sea – was from a lieberry book I read about monks setting out to sea, in promise of finding a place far from all the evils of humans. They landed on a forbidding rock which is the island off Ireland made famous as Luke Skywalker’s hideaway. The island is home to bird colonies with baby birds being born on the cliffs and pushed over when it is time to learn to fly.
- Elektro Monks on Pop – the first track written with no specific purpose but it felt like a bringing together of things that are fun but don’t commonly belong in most minds. It got nice feedback when I showed it.
- Holidaymakers at the Edge of Oblivion – carries a couple of references to my earlier work; “Edge” is the place out on the edge of populated space where we cannot hide who we really are, and a nod to my darkly tongue in cheek “Travel Destinations” album. I lurve the brass part.
- Moon Jellyfish on Saturn – is a complete fantasy in that we can’t have Earth critters living on other planets completely inhospitable to our lifeforms – see the reference above 😉 This was me playing sound and melody together.
- Time for Time – is deliberately circular, algorithmic perhaps. There are musical ideas that circle round and round yet appear to flow forward all the time.
- Saltpeter in Sugartown – is just a play on words and concepts. Saltpeter is part of gunpowder. Sugar similarly tends to make us go boom. Musically it is all about circling resolution, that thing New Age music does of always going “home” to the root note.
- Long Life in a Moonlight Night – an album without an insect reference wouldn’t be me would it. It is an odd one for sure, a fragment, as is our perspective of the life of a moth lived hard & fast in a night.
- Blurred Hands – I had the photo sitting in my inbox with this name so I knew what it was. It also had the work HOLD to tell me not to toss it out. This was the last track written and I knew it to be from the start. I needed something else to fill the time I felt the album needed to be complete. In some ways that could make this a bridge to nowhere. Still, I wanted to balance sounds and melody.
- Karn Napaj – is a vaguely veiled reference to a huge musical influence, Mick Karn of Japan, and his amazing approach to not only Bass playing but music in general as he approached things very “sideways”. This was always to be the album closer.
I had shown a few tracks already with just a screen capture of the session environment. While perhaps I should make something prettier for the album as a whole… the desire just isn’t there for this; not because I don’t care about the record, I am delighted with it, but because I don’t think I will get a return for the effort. So here are the preview videos:
2 thoughts on “Blurred Hands”
TBH “so experimental and somewhat amateur” is what I aspire to.🤣
I’d take that as a badge of honour if it were me.
Nice record, as usual.
I removed that bit but yes the deliberate attempt to hurt said more about his fears than my actual work. I don’t think that person even listened to anything, let alone tried to understand, just took the few bars of “make work” within the review and used it as excuse to be rude. Sad and inexcusable.