"A painting is not a picture of an
experience, but IS the experience"
The last few years have been a challenging time for many of us in all sorts of ways. For me, experiencing the death of a parent followed within a few short months by the start of a deadly global pandemic meant that I wasn't in the right headspace to compose much music.
During that time though I got quite into experimenting with analogue synthesisers and guitar pedals (particularly loop pedals). Just losing myself in the sound. I suppose it was a type of medication in a way. These experiments resulted in some meandering abstract recordings which I had intended to come back to at some point and turn into something more concrete and structured. Listening again in the Spring of 2022 however, I realised that they were basically already finished.
I tend to agonise over every note of most music I produce, and I like to think it's clear to the listener that a lot of thought goes into the process. The recordings that make up this album on the other hand were largely improvised as I felt my way through them relying on pure instinct. I think the result is much more emotionally truthful music than anything I've ever written in the past.
Artists like Rothko used to paint huge monolithic slabs of colour in an attempt to represent the opaque complexity of human emotion. Perhaps the glacial drones and sprawling textures of this album capture....I don't know.....something?
I think there's an ambiguity to this music. There's sadness and loss in there, certainly, but I'd like to think there's hope as well. Maybe some joy. Sometimes it's all those things at once. People are messy.
This album is designed to be listened to in one sitting, and I'd very much recommend listening through the best headphones you have available to you. I've no idea if anyone will enjoy it, but I hope it'll make you feel something.
released May 6, 2022
All music written, produced and performed by James Draper.
Track 1 samples the voices of Peet Walsh and Jamie Lidell.