Friday, 22 June 2012


Yes it's official, I am making a start on the next album, titled "Windows". I will be blogging the full process right here (as before with BMS), along with thoughts, feelings, philiosphies and aspirations. For the full experience click on the button to follow this blog.

I had intended to wait until September before starting the album, but it has been more and more on my mind lately, and I have got to the stage where the pressure of ideas in my head is getting too much and I need to open the valve and let it out.

I have some aspirations for the album. it's the fourth album so the number 4 will of course feature obsessively. There will be four tracks, each will have 4 sections of 4 minutes, making a total of 64 minutes of music.

The reason it is called "Windows" is that each track will be a window into one of my worlds: my home life, my work life, my church life and my gaming life. I already think that the album cover will be a break from the normal countryside scenes and will feature a wall with 4 windows, each styled appropriately for the world it is looking into. Of course the guitar will feature too. This will be a shorter work than BMS was, and deliberately more personal. Musically I intend to pull back a little from the more progressive elements and  have more straight rock, but this may change as I get into it. Also there has been this progression in the past. 11 Bells was a fantasy, and the titles for sections were inspired by the music. Binary tree was conceptual and it was more the other way around, with the music being created to echo the concepts. This was taken even further with BMS where the whole structure and concepts were mapped out before work started. With Windows I intend to pull back a bit on that and let musical ideas just be themselves for their own sake more, but not entirely (sections will still have concepts, probably). Believe it or not, I am already partially formulating plans for Album no. 5 in which I will go completley back to the music being the starting point rather than the other way around.

Technically, for BMS I decided that I would put in 150% of the effort into perfecting it that I had done previously. I feel at the moment that I have pushed this as far as I want to, I am broadly happy with the quality (things can ALWAYS be better) but towards the end of the process I was getting somewhat sick of it, and so I don't intend to step up the production quality perceptibly. Of course thsi still means I am aiming high and constantly stretching my abilities as a musician and producer, but I will let about the same level of imperfections stay as I did with BMS. I'm also scared that if I push any harder on technical quality I will start to lose "feel".

Which brings me to the next thing to say - my aspiration for this album is to make it feel even more "real". This is always a challenge for a multi-instrumentalist project like this, getting music that breathes organically in the same way liave music can. I would like this album to be more rockin' more boogie-like and more emotional than ever before. This will probably mean I need to be ready to emotionally invest more in the process than ever before. I am after all aiming for a "personal" album.

Finally, with all that in mind, I am intending to be more brutally honest and open about the creation process. As far as I know there are occasional readers of this blog (maybe 1 or 2), there are about 100 FB followers ( and an FB post typically reaches about 25-30 people. There are 441 twitter followers thanks to the efforts of my temporary publicist last Feb - I don't know how many people read tweets. Oh, @PurpleBMS if you want to follow. I intend to make public (or as public as this gets with these parameters) as much of the process as possible, musical ideas and motifs, rough mixes and so on for comment. The full process comes here to this blog. Although, ultimately I am making this music for my own sake, for my own enjoyment, and am still very hesitant about any ideas of making money out of it, I WELCOME ALL CRITICISM AND COMMENTS.

So I was intending to actually do something on the album tonight, instead I have had some website changes (arrgh, I need to upload!), a small bright blaze of publicity and this blog. The first phase of the process this time is "pre-production" - getting ideas and settling them in order and place. This is fundamentally less ad-hoc than previous albums, but mostly is because I am bursting with musical ideas right now, so I want to spend some time mapping it out, maybe having plans for almost all of it before I start recording for real. I will need to do some test tracks, some bashing down of ideas and so on in this process,

So this is is, a crack from the starter's pistol and we're off, back down the track, heading for another finishing tape called "album release", probably sometime in 2013. I must enjoy this process, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it for a fourth time.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Discovery 17: Colosseum II Loving the nimble fingers. Guitarist: The Gary Moore. An older band but a new discovery for me.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Discovery 16: Carptree Synthy neo-prog from Sweden, a little reminiscent of Genesis. I like.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Discovery 15: Campo Di Marte Prog, but in Italian. There was quite a lot of it in the 70s but this bunch is one of my faves

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Discovery 14: Neal Morse @nealmorse

It's impossible to get the full idea of Neal from one track, his Concept album "Testimony" is an excellent exploration of his Christian Conversion - personal, honest and musically to die for. Who says prog has to be clinical and unfeeling?