The concept: in words and pictures: Contents


Your way of working is very personal to you. How did you go about creating the tracks for the album?
Has “new” well not so new these days, but ever developing technologies changed the way you work?
The credits on the album’s sleeve notes mention a few studios - can you tell us what was done where and why?
But still Emil wasn’t happy with the record. He wanted more songs?
You did some recording at Cullercoats Methodist Church – how was that for an experience?
You did some outside recording as well?
Mixing and Mastering. A letter to Peter Beckmann, before he began his work.
The final mix 1 & 2 and the birth of vinyl.


The concept: in words and pictures.


We are with Henry Olsen, probably best known for his bass playing role in Primal Scream. After many years of composing for film and making music outside of Primal Scream he has created his fist album. We are here to find out why and how it was made, the Album is called Dock Street, why? What’s the significance?

Dock Street is in Sunderland. It used to be the site of Dock Street Methodist Church. It is where my mother and father first met and where they were married, a few years later. A few years after that, in 1963, it is where I was baptized into the Methodist Church and the Christian faith.

The cover of the album booklet shows this church and a high-rise tower block under construction. The photograph was taken in 1963.

Dock Street is where it all started for me and ‘Dock Street’ is the beginning. It’s also the story of my ending, as I imagine it will be.

Your way of working is very personal to you. How did you go about creating the tracks for the album?

In my process, a finished piece of music begins with the recording of a completely free-form improvisation, either on a keyboard or on a guitar. When improvising, I make sure that I am distracted from the improvisation by looking out of the window, watching the TV or even listening to another piece of music in headphones. Sometimes I will chat to someone or read a news email from a relative. The important part of this is that my conscious mind has little or no idea of the music that I am producing.

On playback, I will begin to identify parts of the performance that I like and if there are enough of these ‘preferred’ fragments, I will begin to arrange them into some sort of order. Eventually, this editing process will produce something of form, and I will begin to add and subtract as I follow the form of the emerging piece. I imagine that, if I were a sculptor, then this is the way that I would work with the clay.

As the musical piece begins to appear, my synesthesia suggests a tableau.

I am synesthetic, which means, in my case, that I see pictures when I hear music.

In the case of ‘Dock Street’, if the suggested tableau was of the sea, the North-East of England or my family of origin or current family, then I would press on with the composition and orchestration.

If the music produced little or no reaction, I would discard the work and begin a new improvisation. Usually, for every improvisation that I record, I am lucky if one in thirty of them are fruitful.

(I suppose it is worthwhile saying that making music was the most important activity in my childhood. Amateur concerts were always being staged in the area of the North-East in which I lived, and I was often taken to these concerts. Gilbert and Sullivan operettas were very popular and the ‘bands’ that provided the music were often made up of ‘semi-pro’ local musicians who might be second-hand car salesmen by day and musicians by night, playing in end-of-pier pubs and clubs at the weekend or at dancehalls on a wet Wednesday night in Jarrow or Seaton Sluice.)

Has “new” well not so new these days, but ever developing technologies changed the way you work?

With the development of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and in particular, Logic Audio, my recording process has changed dramatically. When using magnetic audio tape, it was usual for composers and recording artists to make demonstration recordings, or demos, to preview a master recording. Now, with computers and DAWs offering unlimited tracks and flexibility, the demo process is largely unnecessary. Every track on ‘Dock Street’ started out as a mumbling fudge of incoherent noise, riddled with mistakes, fluffs, and rubbish. However, these basic tracks contained a freshness and immediacy and spontaneity that could never be recreated on a ‘master’ recording. Despite the huge amount of editing-time that this method takes up, I choose to work with my first-takes in preference to anything else.

I use a PrismSound Titan for my computer musical interface, together with a UAD X16 Apollo interface with UAD-2 Satellite booster. My acoustic sounds are recorded using Neumann KM86i microphones and a Thermionic Culture Rooster 2 pre-amp. I record Bass and Guitar sounds using my Demeter VTB-201 pre-amp or through a 1976 Fender Princeton Reverb amplifier.

Instruments used on ‘Dock Street’ include a 1980 Gibson ES 175D guitar, a 2010 Lancaster guitar, a 2018 Fylde Leonardo, a 1982 Klein Electric guitar, a 1992 Fender Jazz Bass, a 1990 Jerry Jones Bass VI, a 2018 Danelectro XII-string electric guitar, a 2012 Allan Beardsell 8-string acoustic guitar and a Martin 1998 Martin 00015M acoustic guitar.

I also played a Daneman upright piano and various melodicas, hunting horns, trumpets and clarinets.

The credits on the album’s sleeve notes mention a few studios - can you tell us what was done where and why?

Cullercoats Studio

Cullercoats Studio is not in Cullercoats and is not a “fulltime” studio. It is a room in a small terraced house in North-West London. Therefore, it is a ‘Home Studio’. However, it is a very good home recording studio.

It contains some very fine audio equipment and some superb musical instruments. It is where ‘Dock Street’ began its life and where the final master of the album was prepared.

The ‘studio’ is filled with books and memorabilia. Three wardrobes are filled with clothes of many colours (which nobody wears) and the walls are hidden behind many framed photographs and paintings.

Triple-glazed windows do their best to keep out the din of constant road works and home-improvement schemes and the dining table on which my father ate his solitary rechaudfe meals now supports two Apple computers and three monitor screens. Until recently, there was no bed in this bedroom. However, after a small double bed was temporarily installed in it, I noticed that the change in the acoustic characteristics were very beneficial to the recording of my acoustic guitars, and so the bed is now a permanent fixture. I like sitting on the bed and recording; it’s comfortable and relaxing. It also makes me feel young again, but that’s another story.

I have made a lot of music in this room and ‘though I have made records in some of the finest, most famous recording studios in the world, I like this one best.

Given the huge advances made in digital music making, I no longer need to house huge racks of amplifiers. I do not need to find space for Hammond organs, Drum kits, Grand pianos, Marshall stacks or vast mixing consoles. This will upset music purists, but I am not a music purist.

Sam Phillips Studios, Memphis.

In March 2016 I was in Memphis, Tennessee with my family, visiting my friends Jeff and Susan Powell, who will appear later in this story. One Sunday afternoon, Jeff and I went into Sam Phillips Recording Studios on Union Avenue and met with Richard Ford, who was to play Pedal Steel guitar for me. “What are you after?”, asked Richard, when he had tuned up. “D”, I replied. Then added “Church”. We chatted as he played and now and again, I would make gestures with my arms and my body so as to conduct and direct the music. After 30 minutes, we were done.

Back in my room in London, I again chose my favourite parts of his improvisation and, noticing that I was ‘seeing’ the pier and beach that I had roamed, as a child, began to assemble the piece of music that you hear on Side 2 of the record. Adding a small snippet of Richard’s playing, which was recorded to simply check his tuning, to the beginning of the piece, I realized that I was ‘seeing’ the dark stranger in the ward entrance waking up in what might Paradise.

And so, it was that Richard’s playing became ‘heavenly’ and I finally understood that the record that I was making was a tale of darkness and light, the ‘shadow’ and the ‘bright’.

In October 2015, I had recorded solo 8-string guitar in the same room, at Sam’s. Dad had been dead for seven months and when the red recording light went on, I played with such ferocity that my hands were so cut and bruised at the end of the 45-minute session that it was hard for me to use them for days afterwards. The guitar seemed to take on a life of its own and to this day I don’t know if I was playing it or it was playing me, when I listen to the final recording, early into Side 1. This Allan Beardsell 8-string ‘Eden’ guitar was custom-made for me and is a magnificent instrument.

It’s also worth mentioning that Memphis is the most special place. Things happen there that don’t happen anywhere else.

Seahouses.

South of the village of Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast lies the fishing village of Seahouses. Between the centre of this village and Bamburgh Castle, there is a small stretch of beach which has become an important spiritual destination, for me. Sitting on a large granite rock, there, I can see the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands.

Just behind this spot is a little cabin, just off the shore, which is available to rent as a holiday home, during the summer months. One night, in this cabin, a violent storm was raging overhead, so powerful that I was fearful that the cabin would be too fragile to withstand the battering that it was taking from the mighty power of the gale. Snow was driving off the sea; the temperature had dropped to -10 degrees C.

I remembered that Tim Weller, my good friend and favourite drummer had sent me a drum track, the day before, intended for another song on the record. Listening to the drums, in Logic Audio, I applied a sound effect to them from the Logic ‘Chromaverb’ plug-in which made Tim’s drums sound almost identical to the sound of the storm raging overhead.

Outside the cabin, there was an old flagpole and though rusty, its wires were still intact. When the wind blew through these wires, they produced a very high, shrill metallic ‘scream’, at a pitch of D natural Using a virtual software instrument called the M-Tron Pro, made by GForce Software, I was able to mimic the sound of the vibrating flagpole wires by using a sonic combination of sampled boys choirs and high violin strings.

Finally, I plugged in my newly-acquired Danelectro XII-string electric guitar and played the ostinato figure that can be heard on the opening of the last track of the record. Again, this figure was freely improvised, and it was so enjoyable to play that I repeated it until the drum track ran out. Finally, I ran out into the storm and onto the shore and from there, recorded the storm with my iPhone, before fearing for my safety and retreating to the relative safety of my darling cabin.

Jeff and Susan, my friends from Memphis, added the gospel vocals to this track a few weeks later. Fittingly, theirs was the last overdub of the album on the track which was the last to be recorded for the record. Again, none of this was planned - random events were used by me to tell a story which is still evolving, even though the record is now finished.

Bleikøya, Oslofjord.

Bleikøya is a small, inhabited island which sits in the mouth of Oslofjord and is a 15-minute ferry ride from the mainland. I visited the island in early September 2015, staying in a typical Nordic wooden cabin, and as I could only carry the smallest amount of equipment with me (my laptop, recording interface and one microphone), I decided to spend my week there composing and recording voices and vocal pieces. I liked the idea of being solitary and isolated and believed that this would yield some interesting improvisations, but when I had settled in and unpacked, I became lonely and depressed very quickly.

The cabin was cold and slightly damp and had no running water or heating. There wasn’t a bathroom, the only toilet being in a small wooden shed up the hill behind the little place and the walk/climb up to it was treacherous, in the wind and the rain.

The next morning, I discovered that most of my fresh provisions had been partially eaten by rats that probably dwelt underneath the cabin’s makeshift floor. I have a particular aversion to these creatures which is so strongly felt that it might border on a phobia.

I was disgusted and wanted to get straight back to the mainland and check into the nearest hotel, it was Saturday morning and there were no ferries until Monday morning.

That night, in one of the cupboards, I found a huge box of nightlights - little round candles that burned slowly, for a few hours. Hoping that the candles would deter the rats from entering the cabin, I took about forty of them and arranged them on the small wooden floor and lit them all. This carpet of candlelight was a pleasant sight and cheered me a little. My synesthesia was activated and I began to hear a simple, short vocal piece similar in texture and sound to a recording of a work by Tallis or Allegri, but with the addition of some of the bass voices that can be heard on Ukrainian vocal music. I recorded many overdubs and when the piece was finished, I noticed that I had recorded over thirty tracks of my voice, in six-part harmony.

More small pieces followed, and on the next night, too. As dawn broke, on the Monday morning, I had burned every one of the candles and used up nearly all of the memory on my laptop’s internal hard drive, such was the amount of vocals music that I had recorded.

A good number of these vocal pieces made it onto the final record, in either leading or supporting roles.

I wonder that if I had recorded in a professional recording studio in leafy suburb of London instead of a rat-infested ‘shed’ in the middle of a cold, and weather-beaten island, itself in the middle of a huge, dark and partly frozen expanse of water in Scandinavia, whether or not I would have been able to compose and record the music that I did, on Bleikøya, those two dark nights of the soul.

Malabar Studios, Oslo.

This is the only ‘professional’ studio that I visited, when making ‘Dock Street’. Until very recently, it was the musical home of Emil Nikolaisen.

I met Emil through Nick Terry, and English sound engineer and co-founder of the UK studio equipment manufacturer, Thermionic Culture. Nick was living in Oslo and invited me to Oslo to make one of my ‘environmental’ recordings. He introduced me to Emil and we took to each other straight away.


Above: Cullercoats Studio


Above: Malabar Studios, Oslo


Above: Malabar Studios, Oslo



Above: Bleikøya, Oslofjord



Above: Bleikøya, Oslofjord



The inspiration for "Lady of the Tyne"

But still Emil wasn’t happy with the record. He wanted more songs?

I had always thought of ‘Dock Street’ as my funeral music. At my Dad’s funeral, there was no eulogy, as per my Dad’s wishes. Instead, we listened to two pieces of harpsichord music by Dominico Scarlatti and Fernando Str. This gave me the idea to record a whole album, that could be played at my funeral and that would replace prayers, hymns eulogies and tributes etc. The record’s running order roughly follows a traditional English funeral service and it occurred to me that there might be room for an anthem, to close Side 1. In my boyhood church services, my mother often sang an anthem before the children filed out of the church into Sunday School and the sermon began. Therefore, Emil and I agreed to include a song I had written years before, for my Mum, called ‘Lady of The Tyne’. The backing track was duly recorded at Cullercoats and Malabar and Emil’s sister, Elvira Nikolaisen, sang the lead vocal at Malabar a few weeks later. Again, Emil was right to push for this inclusion and Elvira’s vocal delivery is a masterpiece.

You did some recording at Cullercoats Methodist Church – how was that for an experience?

This was my boyhood church. It was a vibrant place and formed the centerpiece of my family’s spiritual and social life, in the late 1960’s. I returned to the church to record, just before Christmas 2015, to record an improvisation on my Beardsell 8-string acoustic guitar. Walking into the worship area of the church was a startling experience, as I had not set foot in the place for forty-two years. The Minister of the church was decorating the Christmas tree and congregants were scuttling around, preparing, amongst many other events that week, for a choral concert. “Welcome to the church!”, said the Minister, dressed in jeans, trainers and a dog collar”. You carry on and we’ll work around you.”

I set up my recording equipment and sat down to play. I had hoped that I would be left on my own, but everyone kept om with what they were doing. A lady in Harris Tweed said “Can you play some carols for us? My favourite is The Coventry Carol”. I sat for some moments, bewildered. Then I approached the minister. “Er, I’m making a record and John said I would be on my own”. “Which verse?”, said the minister. “No, not that John”, I said, “John the chief steward” (of the church). “Oh, well as you can see, we’re terribly busy”, said the minister, with that pastoral smile that only men of the cloth can do properly.

Oh dear, I thought, maybe I should just go ahead and record everything, but I had a sound in my head and wanted to stay true to it. Just then John The Steward walked in “Right, ha’way outta the rowad, everyone, ‘cos Harry’s maykun an album an’ ‘ee needs total kwiat for ‘is ahrt, ‘though but.” He turned to me - “Half an hour, kidda, wuv got company the neet. Alreet? Champion!”.

This is the way it goes when recording on location. I’ve made records in Disneyland, The Jewish Museum in Berlin, The NASA Space Centre in Cape Canaveral and in a shopping centre in Reykjavik and it’s always the same, in any language - “Half an hour …”. So, after everyone had left, shuffling and grumbling, I started to record. Looking at the stained-glass window that I had gazed at, as a boy, I began to play, imagining myself in the lifeboat depicted in the window. I was part of the rescue team, and we were on our way to rescue some sailors in difficulty.

The window became luminous and beautiful, as the Christmas tree lights sparkled, in reflection. How many hours had a started at this window whilst my mother and father listened intently to the sermon? In my boyhood imagination, I was the captain of the lifeboat, and I would be the saviour of the men in peril on the sea. Back in the harbour, I would be given a hero’s welcome and Mum and Dad would be proud of me.

Suddenly, John the Steward was looking at me quizzically. His presence startled me and I stopped playing, abruptly. “Are yuz alreet?”, said John. I noticed that he smelled heavily of Embassy cigarettes. I also noticed that tears were streaming down my cheeks. I thought that I had only just started recording, but in fact I had been playing for 28 minutes. I packed up quickly, pausing only to thank the minister and congregants for their help. They looked at me as though I was mad. No-one said anything. Apart from the lady in the Harris Tweed who turned to her friend and said,

“Well, if that’s the Coventry Carol, I’ll show my arse to the Queen.”

This improvisation, at the church was the most powerful I had ever recorded, and listening back to it, in my little B+B in Tynemouth, later that day, I was thrilled with the music I’d made. However, when it came to cutting the album together, I just couldn’t find a place for it, in the final master. In the end, I used about 30 seconds of it in the first stages of ‘Nekyia’ piece, but that is all.




Cullercoats Pier



Cullercoats Pier



Swift Road



Swift Road


You did some outside recording as well?

The south pier of Cullercoats Bay

As a boy, every Sunday I would walk along this pier and watch the ships waiting to enter the ports of Newcastle and Sunderland. One cold Winter’s Sunday, in 2018, I sat at the end of this pier with my Edirol R44 field recorder and my Fylde Leonardo and recorded ‘My Bonny Lad’ - first the chordal backing and then the melody, which almost are in sync. with each other, on the record … But rather than line up and edit the takes so that they sounded in time, I kept them exactly as they are. The tide was high and the recording was perilous, but in one take of each part, I had the track and got back to the shore, pronto.

Just as I turned around to look at the pier, a huge wave crashed over it. I feel sure that if I had still been sitting there, recording, I would have been washed out to sea.

It’s always a risky business, making records on location. At various times, people have tried to steal my equipment, whilst I was recording (Berlin), or beat me up (Iceland) or arrest me (Paris): I have nearly caught frostbite (Helsinki) or fallen whilst precariously perched ( Barcelona ) or been chased by irate security guards (Florida). In Delhi I had to wait for two hours in a car whose interior was like a furnace, and in which I was trying to record, for a cow to move from the road, in the middle of which it had decided to take an afternoon nap. In Norway, I hurt myself quite badly trying to carry all my equipment and guitar into the small entrance of a building in the centre of the city and only managed to right myself and recover with the help of the Norwegian Prime Minister who held the door open for me and offered to carry my guitar.

I always try to keep away from dangerous situations, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable, particularly when I’m working within a large crowd of people.

Any other unusual locations?

9 Swift Road, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

This house was my family-of-origin’s home for nearly forty years. Although an unremarkable dwelling sitting in the middle of a dreary 1970’s housing estate, it’s walls had contained us and had certainly protected me from danger a couple of times. When Dad died, the place had to be sold, but the day before the new owners moved in, I set up some recording equipment in the front room and took a couple of acoustic guitars, intending to play a solo over what was then the last track on the album.

An hour into this session, I suddenly remembered that the day that we moved into the house, I had found a small cupboard set into the wall of one of the bedrooms and to avoid the chaos all around me, took my acoustic guitar and sat in the cupboard for most of the day. Moving my set-up into that bedroom, I sat in the same cupboard and recorded the solo. Forty years later, I was playing acoustic guitar in the cupboard again.

With a few takes recorded, I packed up and made ready to leave the house for good.

It has been a habit of mine to record everything that I can, to capture a moment, whether historical or otherwise. As I walked around the little house, I was struck by the huge amount of family history which it contained. My grief was very powerfully experienced by me and I collapsed into the most painful spasm, completely choked by my sorrow.

Looking back on this, my final departure from this house was the beginning of my true grieving for the loss of my father, my mother and all of my adored people who were no longer alive.

It all came at once.

At this time, my mother had been dead for eighteen years. My best pal had died over twenty years ago. I had held my grief captive all these years and now it demanded to be set free.

I wailed on, in profound release. Making it to the bathroom just in time, I vomited into the toilet, sweat dribbling down my face, with my torrential tears. My body had obviously had enough of holding in this pain and was purging itself.

When the spasm began to ease, I sat quietly and drank a glass of cool water. It tasted great. I became aware that my left hand was holding something tightly and my grip on it was becoming painful. I looked to see what it was that I was holding; it was my iPhone - and it was still recording. The entire episode had been captured.

I returned to my studio in London and a few days later, I transferred this recording into Logic Audio, my computer music program. However, I did not listen to it.

On Side 2, there is a piece of musique concrete in which I was attempting to describe a Nekyia - a night sea journey, fraught with peril and terrifying danger. Remembering the recording of my breakdown, I listened back to it and decided that, such was the authenticity of the sound of grief, danger, extreme pain and ‘The Shadow’ that I must use it as a basis for this piece. This was difficult; my self-consciousness leapt into ego-protection, my super-ego shouting “You must be fucking joking !”.

“No,” I said, internally, “I’m going to use it. It’s real. It happened …”

“You’re insane !” said everyone.

“Maybe,” I thought, “but I’ve made friends with my madness and we don’t care what people think, any more”.

It is the sound of a man in total surrender. It is the sound of a man coming to terms with his every loss. It is also the sound of a man giving thanks to God for what he had and what he still has. Despite his loss, he is not alone. It’s what ‘Dock Street’ is about.

So, it stayed. It’s on the record.

Mixing and Mastering. A letter to Peter Beckmann, before he began his work.

Perhaps it’s best if I start with an apology!

(I am skilled as a musician and arranger, but engineering and mixing are mostly unknown worlds, to me.)

Thank you in anticipation for your kind assistance in helping me to make this record. I feel (and have been told) that I am in very good hands!

I’ve tried to make the album sound like those ad hoc ensembles that played in the pit at amateur productions of Gilbert & Sullivan etc., to which I was dragged, in the late 1960’s.

Sometimes, I’ve tried to make sounds that I heard at my own boyhood church, where whomsoever of the chapel members could play an instrument or sing a tune were often called upon to contribute to the Sunday morning services.

This all takes place in the North-East coast of England, in churches or church halls, where the smell of wet Harris Tweed and mint imperials (which were sucked to lubricate ill-fitting National Health dentures) lingered in the cold and damp air. A hissing artillery of tea-urns kept us warm and watered and the industrial electric bar-heaters on either side of the stage burned the dust and the flies.

The album roughly corresponds to the format of a church service.

The working titles of the tracks are in brackets, so that we both might have references, but there are no track titles for the finished album - just Sides 1. and 2. (of the vinyl edition.)

By the way, I’m not hoping to compete with other recordings, in the overall ‘loudness’ of the album, preferring to value as much musical dynamic range as is possible, given the nature of the material.

Despite the instrumentation, I don’t see it as a rock and roll or pop record. However, the production-style does reference ‘Pet Sounds’, ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ recordings made for T.V. by Tony Hatch, and various film soundtracks from the 60’s, including ‘The Billion-Dollar Brain’ and some Bond movies. Perhaps this is why I always like to hear the bass guitar prominently, particularly when it is playing contrapuntally with the vocal or melody.

Finally. It has been very difficult to judge what sounds authentically amateur and what is downright sloppy playing and mixing! However, given all the obstacles, I think I’ve managed quite well to bring the sound of ‘Iolanthe’ performed at the Thompson Memorial Hall, Sunderland, in 1967.

I refrained from using any eq, compression or any other processing on my Stereo Output / 2-Buss, hoping that this would make things more flexible for you.


The final mix 1 & 2 and the birth of vinyl.

Over the years my hearing has deteriorated. Therefore, I decided to ask Peter Dudley to mix ‘Dock Street’ with me in attendance. Peter was to be my ‘ears’ for the mixing.

Meeting at his ‘Music Box’ studio in Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the Docklands area of London, work proceeded apace but came to an abrupt halt when the Covid-19 epidemic became a pandemic and the U.K. was put into Lockdown. Peter was left to mix the album alone, an impossible task, given that, in this case, the mixing was as much a part of the compositional process as the initial writing and recording. We tried an online mixing session, but it was clear that, if I could not be with Peter to mix the record, then I would have to do it myself.

The final mix 2

Using Peter’s Logic Audio multitrack mix sessions as a guide, I began to mix as best I could. This proved to be an extraordinarily difficult process for me, and I was often in despair after the complexity and the huge struggle that this process would be revealed itself. during the mixing, I used plug-ins by Universal Audio, Softube, Audioease Altiverb Eventide, and Waves Audio.

However, soon I had my final mix masters and I sent them to Peter Beckmann, at Technology Works Mastering in SW so that he could prepare the production masters from which the album would be manufactured. Peter did a superb job and it was with considerable relief that, after Emil had given his approval, the album was deemed to be finally finished.

The birth of Vinyl?

However, I still wasn’t ready to begin the manufacturing process. Over lunch in London, one day in July 2020, Mike English and his son Sam raised the subject of releasing the album on vinyl. I agreed with them immediately, but there would be a problem; vinyl 12” discs can only contain a maximum of 20 minutes of music per side, and the album, in its present form, was nearly 49 minutes in duration. If the album was going to be a vinyl release, it would either have to be a double album, or I would have to edit out nearly ten minutes of material. I couldn’t afford to manufacture a double album; I would have to start chopping into the audio - a thankless task for me.

I began to cut out any ‘flab’ from the arrangements and minimized the fade-outs. Then I decided to drop an entire track from the running order, which almost broke my heart, but it was not adding anything to the narrative, despite its qualities. The ‘Nekyia’ track was cut to within an inch of its life and most of the sound effects that ran between the tracks were culled.

Feeling like I had butchered the record rather than having edited it down, I checked the running times of Side 1. and Side 2. and each side was just under 20 minutes running time.

It took me three weeks to adjust to the new version of the record. I was so upset by this editing process that, after all the heartache and sheer exhaustion that the making of the record had brought, I was often of the opinion that I should not release the album.

However, in late November 2020, the production masters were sent to Optimal, in Germany to be pressed to vinyl. The discs arrived on my doorstep on Wednesday 2nd June.



The album has landed!



The album has landed!

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