"Every artist has a thousand bad drawings in them and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out"
- Chuck Jones.
This album was created as an attempt to defeat writer’s block.
I sent out a request for people to imagine some instrumental music which didn’t exist, and then email me a description of said music in whatever manner they chose. I read each description separately, and from the moment of reading, gave myself 24 hours to compose and record something which resembled the written descriptions as closely as I could.
This album is the end result of that process. Warts and all, it became an exercise in learning not to overthink small details, beginning to trust my own instincts and to be able to accept and even embrace imperfection. The songs here are not polished; they’re not meticulously planned, but they are hopefully honest.
Take that for however you want to take it. Whatever feelings that gives you. Whatever music that creates. Do it up."
Track Name: March of the Pigeons
"My idea was for you to go and watch some pigeons and then write a song about pigeons"
Track Name: Burnination Activation
"A chiptune- inspired dragon battle song. Something... BLOOPY"
Track Name: Ode to a Dying House
"I want a sad piano song that sounds like a haunted Victorian house, melancholy and reverberant"
Track Name: My heart's been broken a hundred times (but I am still in love with the world)
"Will you make a song that sounds like the end of summer fading into autumn? Sad but a little bit hopeful. Lush, but not too lush. Probably some reverb. Probably guitar heavy but with a clear sense of melody, and obv I welcome any other pleasing sounding instruments, though not too much piano. Like a sad beach boys meets a young Stephen Malkmus and Harvest era Neil young?"
Track Name: Tempered Expectations
"The feeling when, you are waiting for something… and you know it’s going to take a while, but you are starting to lose faith.
When you think of it, you have so much hope, your heart swells, it’s like falling in love for the first time when you imagine it happening! You think of all the endless possibilities, of how perfect and happy your life will be when you get it.
But you try not to allow yourself to think too much about it because you know, even if you do get it, if you build it up too much you will be disappointed.
But you just can’t help it… on long drives, or train or bus trips, when you’re trying to get to sleep and need something to occupy your mind, there it is, the promise of better things, and you let it take over.
But you’ve been waiting so so long. Do you have any patience left?
The song should start delicately, quietly, contemplative, like a typical acoustic ballad or piano piece (up 2 u!), but as it progresses, it shifts slightly and builds in intensity until it becomes a swooping (almost orchestral but not cheesy)
panoramic expression of joy and wonder! And then silence as reality sinks back in"
Track Name: Bus Meat
"I want you to write me a track entitled "Bus Meat". I want you to write it as if you were scoring a music video, which I shall now roughly describe. There is one other condition: there must be harpischords. Good luck!
The sun rises above primeval moorland; we are somewhere windswept and rugged, a place where meadows are dotted with hardy wildflowers and snow rimes the lee of stones.
We see flashes of tyres rolling on broken ground; sun glinting from wing mirrors, red-painted metal, and exhaust pipes panting fumes into the cold dawn.
Wide overhead shot: a London bus, driving wild across the tundra. There are no passengers, there is no driver. It is a wild animal.
As the view widens, we see the bus is pursued by a small group of human figures, on foot, maybe 50m behind it.
We cut to the humans; they are as rough and weatherbeaten as the land, with wild hair and scarred faces. They are dressed in torn upholstery and roof-lining, sewn with beaten metal plates and strips of tyre.
The humans run hard; they are gaining on the bus. Their leader runs out ahead and hurls a spear; it lodges in the rear tyre of the bus, which blows.
With the bus exhausted and running on only three wheels, the humans begin to catch up and surround it in a loose group. It is in trouble now.
One young warrior runs in with a blade to go for the bus's intact rear tyre - but he has misjudged the animal's strength. It swerves and smashes into him, sending him rolling across the grass.
The leader of the hunters rummages in his pack, and withdraws an airhorn, which he sounds. After a moment, it is answered by horns from the distance.
Engines rev, just round the curve of a hill - a pair of Vauxhall Astras emerge, wild and hungry, also driverless. They match pace with the humans, who pat them as they pass and send them on to take down the bus.
The cars sideswipe the bus, dashing away before it can retaliate. They slam into its side, nudging it into sharp rocks, and it honks its horn in dismay.
With the bus wounded, one of the Astras circles and hammers head on into its side, crumpling the bodywork.
The bus is stalled; the cars reverse and ram it over and over again, while the humans leap onto it with blades.
Cut to the interior of a cave, at night. We see Bus Meat roasting in a fire. Chewing and nodding his head in satisfaction, the leader of the hunters pulls the roasting hunk from the fire and tosses it to one of the Astras, revving contentedly in the firelight.
Slow zoom out, as the humans settle into their sleeping bags for the night around the fire. Past the Astras, the stripped remains of the Bus lie in the darkness. A pack of mopeds squabble over the last pickings."
Track Name: The Article
"Nine minutes of alienation. The first three sound like the soundtrack to a deeply disturbing video game; the rest explodes in Devo frenzy before collapsing into a rainbow of retro warmth"
Track Name: Love in the time of Cholera
"At one window the splendor of dawn was just beginning to illuminate the stifling, crowded room that served as both bedroom and laboratory, but there was enough light for him to recognize at once the authority of death"
Excerpt from "Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez