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 Post subject: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TWO.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:30 pm 
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As promised, here are the listening notes for Disc Two of 'The Dreamshire Chronicles' double album...a track by track breakdown of this disc to give you a flavour of its moods. (Disc One listening notes are also available here on the forum.) I hope you'll find these notes helpful in getting to grips with the album...enjoy! :D

Bill Nelson: Listening notes for 'The Dreamshire Chronicles.'
DISC TWO:


1: 'The Reality Of Imagination.'

A five minute and thirty three second instrumental with various voice samples. The voices speak of 'The tomorrow people' and 'The reality of imagination.' The first two minutes of this piece feature guitar, synths and electric piano floating freely through a cathedral-like space...a low, compressed bass drum pulse enters, suggesting the tune's time signature. It is joined by cymbals and high percussion. The main guitar line is then fed through a modulating Leslie cabinet effect, which makes it sound like a hybrid of guitar and Hammond organ. The pulse gradually fades away leaving the guitar suspended in space as the track ends with more voice samples. The concept is of imagination being the key component in the worlds we create around ourselves.

2: 'Smoke Drifts Silent In Autumn Air.'

Grand piano intro then tremolo guitars open this atmospheric and fragile vocal piece. Here are a few lyric examples: “Smoke drifts silent in Autumn air...over rooftops, chimney tops, here, there and everywhere...Colour coded, copper, bronze and gold...wonders to behold, wonders to behold....so pure, so clear, so far, so near...”

Massed strings and underwater guitar enter as the vocal gains strength and rises to sing of “ghosts and shadows.” Brass and woodwinds are added to the orchestra as the song's key changes, leading to a piano and flanged rhythm guitar section as the lyrics sing “Kiss me now and light the fire...” The electric rhythm guitar changes to an acoustic guitar and the lyrics tell of “walking in the sunshine...searching for a skyline...” French horns enter with a lovely theme, then strings and chugging electric guitar dropping away to acoustic guitar and piano and a re-iteration of the first verse's lyrics. Ends on chunky guitar chords, string figure and electric piano. All in all, an ecstatic evocation of a glorious Dreamshire autumn.


3: 'Bubbledreamer.'

This one's a mid-tempo guitar instrumental in major key mode, underpinned by drums, dancing filigrees of silvery strings and filtered keyboards. A light, jazzy feel with delicate blues overtones as the guitar explores the spaces created by the various instrumental textures. Three minutes and forty one seconds of pleasantly bubbling, gentle euphoria.

4: 'My Little Book Of Secret Knowledge.'

Opens with found voice samples talking about ritual Cabbalistic magic. Leads into a piano led riff with lyrics which tell of “My little book of secret knowledge, the mirror in my hand...that old immortal blooming rose in the suburbs of the damned...” Spooky theremin-like sounds, cymbalon, piano and guitar followed by lyrics singing of “Beautiful phantoms...” A series of unusual and texturally contrasting instrumental changes begins, (including a heavy guitar riff,) as the song winds to a voice sample conclusion. Seems as if one of those grand gilded ruined mansions of Dreamshire is inhabited by an ancient Magus and his library of forbidden knowledge.

5: 'Robots On Parade.'

This is a fun, whimsical instrumental, suggestive of clockwork and electric toy robots marching around a strange Dreamshire toyshop at night. A sampled voice interjects the word “electricity” as guitars and synths create a contemporary version of the English beat group instrumentals of the early 1960s. Think Joe Meek resurrected in the 21st Century and given digital technology to play around with.

6: 'Dark And Complicated.'

Opens with the sounds of a mysterious electro-chemical laboratory, followed by spooky piano and guitar. Here are the opening lyrics to this constantly mutating song:
“It's dark and complicated, deep and still...the chair in the corner sings of its own free will....” Piano, guitar, woodwind and string combinations rise and fall. More lyrics:
“Ghostly apparitions, unbidden visions, strange traffic goes through this room...” A neo-classical instrumental section follows to be joined by rippling electric guitar as the opening lyric re-appears. Another song dealing with the elusive phantoms who populate Dreamshire.

7: 'Blue Beams.' (No drums mix.)

A pure, clean sounding electric guitar duet, one instrument handling chords the other soloing freely over. No drums, no keyboards, no bass...just two guitars sweetly circling around each other. Music played for a Dreamshire night club ghost after the patrons have all gone home.

8: 'More Than Glory, More Than Gold.'

Brushed cymbals and a lone guitar open this romantic vocal piece. Sweet lyrics:
“Sunbeams dappled on ancient walls, Autumn rises as apples fall....sooner or later Winter calls and pours icing sugar over it all...When I stand naked, frail and old and every sound I've made has been bought and sold, I will love you more, truth be told, more than glory, more than gold....” Chiming, chromium guitars throughout with an orchestral middle section. A beautiful, melancholic love song.

9: 'The Lost Planet Of Sunday Afternoon.'

Arpeggio guitar underpins this miniature instrumental. Overdubbed harmony lead guitars build to the track's conclusion. One minute and thirty eight seconds of pure yearning.

10: 'Mass Equals Energy.'

A quirky little song in waltz-time. Surreal lyrics: “Spooky malfunction sparks arc of memory, upsets the applecart, mass equals energy...” Guitar reiterates the vocal line whilst a heat haze of soft synths hum in the background punctuated by raindrop piano. More lyrics: “Isn't this the strangest world in the universe?” More silvery guitar before a brief Giorgio Moroder style sequenced synth coda enters to end the song. It's the musings of a Dreamshire scientist, hunched over his microscope in a small art deco laboratory hidden in the heart of a misty forest.

11: 'The Light Gathering Garden Of Omar Kadiz.'

Minimalist percussion and synthetic choir open this instrumental which features a simple but hypnotic piano melody, reverse guitars and lots of space. Orchestral counterpoint enters here and there, as does retro Moog synth in places. TR808 style hi-hats and hand-claps give an old-school trip-hop feel but the orchestra, electric guitars and choral parts hint at a kind of neo-classical sensibility whilst the guitar adds add a touch of psychedelia. Imagine a mystical garden where flowers glow with an inner neon-like light and trees shimmer silver against a dark thunderstorm sky.

12: 'Windsong Of The Flying Boy.'

A vocal, slightly up-tempo with electric, filtered percussion. A song of the seasons. Some lyrics: “Rosy skies of Evening-land, apple blossom mercury...windsong of the flying boy, all seasons shall be sweet to thee...” More vocals, followed by a change of key then : "Speedboats from another world, mysterious comets, sounds that come and go, teenage electronics...” Which leads to a middle section featuring a wild, non-linear guitar solo before settling back into the melodic verse structure. More lyrics: “Thoughts set sail on silver ships, lost in clouds of mystery, windsong of the flying boy, all seasons shall be sweet to thee...” A melodic, clean guitar solo follows and a percussion break with hovering synths...a return to verse one....lap steel guitar and reverse guitar loop ends the song.

13: 'Henrietta Through The Looking Glass.'

A climbing guitar instrumental with orchestral punctuation and piano cascades. The Henrietta of the title is legendary Soho sub-culture character Henrietta Moraes who was a model for Francis Bacon in the 'fifties. In my imagination she is now one of Dreamshire's gentle ghosts. In this piece she dances, languid and naked, smiling beatifically whilst several elderly gentlemen, dressed in tweed, watch in admiration through her window.

14: 'Luna On The Beach.'

This song was originally recorded for the 'Joy Through Amplification' album but didn't make the final cut. It's a pop-rock thing with lots of wild wah-wah guitars.
Some lyrics: “Give me a signal, wonderous being, draw down the power, the fire and the spark...send me a postcard, fabulous creature, bring me a souvenir from the realm of the heart...” A nice, fat, chunky guitar riff underlines the chorus. The bridge has these lyrics: “Elusive thoughts luxuriate in limpid pools of thoughful gems...Venus swims amongst the fishes, far beyond the rings of Saturn...Rockets glimpsed in evening skies...” A wonderfully chaotic arrangement.

15: 'Neither Puck Nor Pan.'

A moody, minor-key instrumental featuring processed guitars and electric piano. It evokes and conjurs the more shadowy denizens of Dreamshire.

16: 'Welcome To Dreamshire.' [LuxeMix.]

This is a more 'shiny' or polished mix of the song on Disc One. It brings 'The Dreamshire Chronicles' album almost full circle.

17: 'This Everyday World.' (Instrumental Version.')

Whilst working on the vocal version of this piece, I realised that the 'backing track' could work in its own right with a couple of extra overdubs and a little tweaking. This is the result of that process and it ends the album in fine orchestral style as the listener bids farewell to Dreamshire...until the next time! :)
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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:53 pm 
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As if I wasn't already excited at the prospect of this release.......

Disc 2 in particular is sounding very interesting indeed 8)

Blue Beams
More Than Glory, More Than Gold
The Lost Planet of Sunday Afternoon
The Light Gathering Garden Of Omar Kadiz
Henrietta Through The Looking Glass


The notes for these songs and compositions are resonating well :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:57 pm 
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The wait will be painful. Great notes!

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
Imagine a mystical garden where flowers glow with an inner neon-like light and trees shimmer silver against a dark thunderstorm sky.


Seems a place I visit often in my mind. Looking forward to 'The Light Gathering Garden Of Omar Kadiz'. 8)

Am often yearning for 'The Lost Planet of Sunday Afternoon'. On Sunday afternoons, sometimes I'd watch 'Flash Gordon' on television, drawing pictures, my mother and father interjecting comments every so often about their youth. Swing sets squeaking in the distance, an owl hooting faintly, a bee or two buzzing outside. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Thank you so much, Bill, your notes for both discs (and previously, for JTA) are a kick to read, and bring the level of excited anticipation up to "eleven"! So VERY looking forward to listening to "Luna On The Beach" (as I so totally love JTA, every track!). You are inspirational, Bill, Bravo!

Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Looking forward to Bubbledreamer as well. I like the Bill Nelson bubble-themed tracks, like Bubbling Blue, from CLV's 'Automatic', 'Pretty Little Bubble Of Dreams', a track I've never heard, :shock: :roll: :oops:, and ... I know there are some more, aren't there? :) Love the 1950's-1970's bubbles in advertising, movie posters, etc. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:03 pm 
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To say my appetite has been well and truly whetted for this release is an understatement. I reall enjoyed reading the listening notes and was delighted to see a reference to the wonderful Joe Meek. Thank you Bill, for bringing back and resurrecting something that has been lost to the music buyer for years now. In this age of instant gratification and downloads (of which have their place). Nothing can rival the excitement and anticipation of an album by one of your musical favourites. I remember back in the late seventies after hearing a record on late night radio going to my local independant music store (whose owner I am still in touch with having found him on facebook) and he ordered the record from america for me. Took about 10 weeks to arrive, but the anticipation was all part of the delight. I feel sorry for the youngsters today who will never share that feeling. Yes. This feels like a true event. It is a big deal for me and I can honestly say hand on heart, I have not looked forward to a new album like I am with this for many, many years. I hope it is a great success for you.

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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:46 am 
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I'm in! I will be ordering this one on day one. Sounds as if it will absolutely fantastic. Very nice mix of instrumental and vocal tracks and styles. 2012 is shaping up to be a vintage year.

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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:10 pm 
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A thought struck me as I was listening through this album to prepare the listening notes: If there was to be such a thing as a Bill Nelson 'steampunk' album, 'The Dreamshire Chronicles' might well qualify. There's something antiquated, rustic yet futuristic about this one, a kind of neo-Victorian rock n' roll, steam-powered guitar amps and Tesla-coil keyboards coupled with a symphony orchestra staffed by women in long leather dresses and tall hats. Patinated copper pipe flutes and oboes, drums fashioned from old stoves and railway engine boilers, guitars that resemble a cross between crystal sets and concert harps. Everything lit by candlelight. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: THE DREAMSHIRE CHRONICLES : LISTENING NOTES FOR DISC TW
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:24 pm 
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When will some clips be put on the site? He says pleadingly......

Bob


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