Making an instrumental record first came to mind in the summer of 2012 when cottaging in Muskoka. While taking in the surroundings, I made a handful of field recordings. All the usual stuff, rain pelting a canopy, the indigenous wildlife in the morning light, small
waves lapping the rocky shoreline. The one I was unable to capture was the slow swoosh of a large Heron's wings crossing the small lake, seemingly ready to pluck a fish out of the water mid flight. Spectacular.
When I returned home these ambient recordings became the backdrop for some emotive acoustic guitar explorations. In time, some of these ideas began to find structure as I selected sections where melodies stood out. Subtle melodies which were loose (very loose) interpretations of memorable performances by artists such as Miles Davis (influenced Zeta Mo and Cloud Fueling), Allman Brothers (influenced Ah Eh Ay Oh), Shriekback (influenced Running Up The Mountain), and more, of shows I attended years beforehand.
As I was identifying the origins of my melodies in that way, I gained purpose and direction to continue the course but, long since the years of those live performances, my tastes in music had broadened in many ways. Artists including Boards Of Canada, God Is An Astronaut, Mono, Carl Craig and Skrillex all bent my ears in fresh new ways.
And so began my use of technologies such as FM Synthesis, Casio 8 bit sampling, analog synths (Korg) in tandem with newer sounds found in the smartphone app world. Layers upon layers of soundscapes nestled my melodies hinting toward a more contemporized late night feel. This was when the reconstruction period began. In the end, none of the acoustic guitar or the ambient nature backgrounds would make it to the final mix; only the layered sounds and the melodies (redone) remained.
Across the two years it took to make this record I wrote over 25 pieces of music. My selections for the record were made easy by the fact that my selections were the ones I could safely say were finished. The law of diminishing return is a law that rears its ugly head all too often in my world. For me, there seems to be a point when a mix comes together. Further tweaking only ends in freaking.