How time flies
The picture of myself and Alex Dunedin was taken a year ago today working in the studio with Gary Boast on some ideas.
One of my greatest pleasures of working in We Are Kin is creating these moments with Alex. We get in the studio at Gary’s house, setup a microphone and we just hit record. Every single time we do this it brings us something that leaves a little mark on us.
This particular piece is after an evening of ideas which were quite dark in nature. Gary turned to us and said ‘Now don’t get me wrong, I really like what we have made tonight. But can we do something a bit happier to balance it all out?’ (I paraphrase but it was 12 months ago…)
The outcome is what you are listening to now. The story of Pandora is deeply routed in the character that Alex channeled for us, whom we call Isaac. The long discussions about what this music was about and how we wanted to represent the musical ideas led to this direct visualisation of a character, it has on occasion been quite disturbing to witness Alex taking on the role… Especially as we have known him for many years now and the darker aspect of the character which is far more obvious in the album, is not something you would associate with this mans personality!
The actual recording itself is a complete improvisation. We start with a basic idea of a context, and we work with each other from beginning to end to try and complement what each other is creating. The odd thing is that as a musician I’m not particularly good at ‘jamming’, I’ve been out of practice for many years as we generally operate in a record first refine later approach. Although the approach that we generally have taken has given us a lot of joy that would not have been possible, especially when We Are Kin was just myself and Gary! It does make a wonderful change to be able to explore an idea with no particular constraints or greater purpose than just to try and achieve something meaningful, but isn’t that what art is meant to be all about?
Alex runs a beautiful project called ‘Ragged University‘ which is all about the love of learning. They run free events in Scotland and Manchester, hosting talks from passionate people about a subject that they love. I once did a talk on chords sat behind a keyboard, I was pretty terrified about the whole idea but I have never had such a pleasant experience sharing what makes me tick about music. Go check it out, there is something for everyone.