You may know the story behind this one. In 2014 I posted video diaries about the making of this record, then an acoustic guitar led record. Steeped in Nick Drake’s influence, it was my most ambitious acoustic guitar work to date.
It wasn’t working, of course. As the videos progressed, they became a document not of the record, but my access barriers. My hands were letting me down, and the sessions became incredibly difficult. Soon enough, my condition won, and the project was put on hold. At this point, I met Imogen Heap and the mi.mu team, and the gloves adventure began.
It was after an incredible year, topped by an incredible UK tour, that I gave this record some thought again. I love these songs, I wanted them finished. I was in a different place musically by necessity; the gloves make electronic music by default. This was however the place that I battled my access barriers from; I wanted to try and bring these songs into the world I found myself in now.
Earlier this year I started sifting through what I had. I was pleasantly surprised; the guitar work was better than I remembered. It wasn’t enough though, there were still lots of gaps, both conceptually and literally.
What I immediately found exciting was juxtaposing these new, electronic sounds with the simplicity of the original acoustic guitar songs. I focused on capturing the original essence of the songs, the feel, the spark, with electronic sounds. Using the gloves in this context was a really exciting challenge; I was determined to keep that unmistakable style of songwriting that acoustic guitar picking work brings, but reimagined in this new way.
The collision of ideas was immediately inspiring. Just as the technology had bridged my access gaps, it was dong so for the songs. I loved the stark contrast. The electronica colliding with the acoustic; technology colliding with a gentle, human frailty in this case. It audibly represented that complex relationship that I have with the technology that helps me; the frailty of my original reframed in digital technology. The sound itself was an allegory for life lived with and through accessible technology.
Working hard, it became clear that this was no quick project. I was immediately frustrated by this; the songs have been with me long enough. The idea of disappearing into the studio for several months before emerging with a long player had no appeal. Of course, there’s no reason that means it has to be the old way…
So here it is. Work in progress, an organic, growing work. New songs will appear here as they are completed. They may be revised, the order will no doubt change, but I want you to hear this. I want you to be part of the process, which is why I want to open this process out. I also love the idea of this being a subscriber exclusive, that was obviously the way to go. I want you, the subscriber, to get closer to what I’m doing.
I’m looking forward to this, it’s our little thing… 😉
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