Album Synopsis A Change from 7 Bridges, with more guitars.. lots more...
When I started work on Overture back in 2004, I intentionally set out to do something different from 7 Bridges 2 Cross. I wanted more anthemic orchestral themes and epic atmospheric tracks. Back then I struggled to get it done, so this album was an obvious choice to bring back up to date in 2018. I think I did a good job of bringing this album/EP to life, and it is my "Red" album to my "Blue" EP of 7 Bridges. These albums lay dormat for so long, I had no wave stems or anything for most of these EPs, so I had to start again mostly from scratch. Overture was no different. I had collected various sound samples that I had found on old hard drives, things that were integral to the tracks, little things, and luckily I still had them. Armed with a slew of better plugings, software and a decent working studio finally, and a good 10+ years of working with other artists on audio productions I decided that, in 2016, to begin to re-create this album from the ground up.
Each track was carefully loaded into my DAW, in this case I am a Cubase guy. Then it was tempo mapped, so I could follow what was going on, and made a start. Simple as that really. When you work on your own, remixing, and re-creating something you've already released in the past, makes things quick and easy, mostly. You're not dealing with four or five individual peoples opinions, and there is very little delay. I do suffer from "Option Paralysis" sometimes, but almost always I quickly make a decision about a part or level, and move on quickly. Otherwise you can spend days and days...
Here is a track by track breakdown of my own personal thoughts and feelings about each instrumental track....
Track 1 - Overture - The Grand Opening
From the single snare roll, the opening track launches immediately into a multiple guitar harmony lead line.
Overture and Far Far Away are meant to be played by an orchestra with electric guitar acting as the lead instrument. I try to imitate this with many layers of lead guitars all acting as violins. As many as 14 electric guitars were recorded for this. I stripped it back quite a bit on this remake, as on the original messy recording (it was never mixed even!) there are as many as 28 guitars at one point!
Slow, majestic, each chord taking it's time, building tension with the dominant sus chords. I wrote the whole song out while at a restaurant after a gig, on a napkin, starting with a chord progression. I remember being excited by the prospect of being able to record my own music after having just released 7 Bridges 2 Cross the previous year, but wanted to move away from one single sci-fi concept and embrace world and ethnic musical styles more. This track is a nod to the Classical music world and the wonderful orchestras and great composers.
Track 2 - Far Far Away - We will remember them.
Simply put, my tribute to the fallen war heroes of yesteryear and today. A marching tune with rolling snares, I wanted to emulate the sound of bagpipes and a marching band parading along the streets in memory of the fallen. As I write this, it's close to November 11th, the end of World War I. A fitting track and time to release this album.
Track 3 - Lucifier Crucifier - The desolation and destruction.
Evoking a powerful dissonant choir burst at the beginning and launching into an introductory lead guitar improvised section, Lucifier Crucifier builds into a heavy Phrygian hard rock track. Think Egyptian Pharaohs leading a mighty army into a great ancient battle.Eventually this leads to death and destruction, falling into the sea...
I wanted this track to be heavy, riff based, with a nod to heavy metal guitar music.
Track 4 - Solitude - Isolation and Peace.
From Lucifier Crucifer we rise up from the sea, splashing into the waves, and close to a desert island. That was my own brief to myself when working on this remake. I used seagulls and sea effects to get this, as well as orchestral instruments, french horns, and lush strings.
This is my own personal tribute to Pink Floyd.. their album, The Division Bell, and the tracks, 'Marooned' and 'Keep Talking' were in mind when re-writing this. I added the talk box solo right before releasing it, and it took many attempts to keep it as simple as possible without overplaying.
Solitude brings to a close a 4 track segue of tracks right from Overture.
Track 5 - This Place Is Gonna Blow - Funky Guitar Fun
Hey, It's an instrumental rock album right? So there has to be some widdly over the top guitar pyrotechnics on it somewhere. I didn't try too hard to keep it melodic, only in a few sections, but there are sections where I'm double tracking huge wide diminished interval guitar lines, and crazy whammy bar harmonic dives.. why not. This song is all about having fun, and letting off some "guitar-steam". With a funky funny twist. Groovy!
Track 6 - Kama Sutra - Indian Love - True Spirit.
Kama Sutra is the first title that popped into my head when I wrote this back in 2003. It has nothing to do with that dubious Indian lovemaking book of the same title, but more to do with my love of Indian Raga Music. We can only approximate those scales, by using Mixolydian scales, and Indian Pentatonic scales, and Phrygian scales. The opening sitar sound leads the song into a rock riff being played behind various ethnic loops, drums, from both India, and Chinese influences.
The middle section was meant to evoke an ancient Chinese Dragon Dance, dropping down in tempo and feel to allow the dragon to rise up in tempo and beat again, crashing out with rock drums and heavier guitar riff on the outro section.
Track 7 - Automatron - Fast Technological Cars and Robots...
A nod to Gary Numan and Jean Michele Jarre, and my love of synth music. Written whilst dreaming about fast cars, robots of the future, and the advancement of modern technology. I wanted to include some riffing reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine when re-arranging this track, but still keep the original feel. Can't wait to play this one live!
Track 8 - A Time To Celebrate - The Time Is Now, Not Tomorrow.
Running straight into this track from Automatron, is this closing track. A Time To Celebrate is about wanting to celebrate with loved ones while they are still around. It also was written in mind about doing the things you've always wanted to do, but always made excuses and never gotten round to them! Raise a glass, hug your loved ones, and celebrate now, and make your dreams happen today rather than tomorrow. As the track fades out, it makes a perfect transition to my later release, Alive, and the opening track from that Reality Ride.
Final Thoughts - Food For Thought..
Thanks for taking the time to read this, be sure to check out the album on YouTube and SoundCloud and if you buy a copy online either CD or MP3/WAVE then you are directly supporting myself and my original music. In today's times there has never been an easier time between artist and "fan" because of the internet and social media, so I put myself in the firing line somewhat by giving people a chance to hear my music before they buy it. I am pleased to say it hasn't hurt my sales one bit. People still want to buy my music on CD, or digitally purchase it on my website. Thank you!