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 Post subject: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Here are my listening notes for the forthcoming 'Albion Dream Vortex' album. Hope they enhance your listening experience. :)


BILL NELSON: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX.' THE LISTENING NOTES.

'Albion Dream Vortex' is an instrumental album blending guitars and keyboards in a variety of styles. It contains subtle references to instrumental music I've made throughout my career, embracing ambient, electronic, vintage and modern, wrapped up in a dream-like vortex of sound.
The word 'Albion,' for me, signifies the post-World War 2 era I grew up in. It also reminds me of a company called 'Albion Motors' who built art-deco styled buses in the 1930s and '40s. But 'Albion' is actually the oldest known name for the island of England and inevitably conjures up swirling spirits from the mysterious past.

The subject of dreams, their nature and purpose, has fascinated me since childhood. Dreams have also been a recurring motif in my creative life, and will continue to be so until, somewhere in the future, I will become little more than a flickering, ghostly dream of myself...atoms of memory, spluttering and sparkling like tiny fireworks in a long ago November sky.

We inhabit two worlds, one of which we assign to reality and the other to dreams. Our lives are spent half awake and half asleep, adrift in realms of reason and unreason. The boundary between these realms, for the artist, is often deliberately blurred, nebulous, ambiguous. Yet our creative imagination holds the ticket that allows us to travel between these two states and permits mysterious goods to be imported and exported. This luminous traffic, this flickering mystery, is the foundation of 'Albion Dream Vortex.'

Track 1: 'Thought Bubble Number 1.'

An opening, an introduction. Shiny, chrome-plated guitars breaking through a grey veil, pushed by percussion...A brief taste of something always just out of reach.

Track 2: 'Behold These Present Days.'

Percussion looping back in time to 'After The Satellite Sings.' Voice samples trapped like insects in amber...a simple, brief burst of synthetic energy. Ice skating on the frozen river of time. The present day lost to the past.

Track 3: 'Like A Boat In The Blue.'

Aching guitar, the melancholy sound of six philosophical strings underpinning a found-voice sample. Tubular Bells and ocean sound. Sailor Bill laments beneath an ancient lighthouse.

Track 4: 'Sparky And The Spearmint Moon.'

Sparky may be perceived as the character featured in 'Sparky's Magic Piano,' and 'Sparky's Magic Echo,' children's records which often played on the BBC's Saturday morning 'Children's Favourites' radio programme in the 1950s and of which I was, as an infant, quite fond...but the music here has no literal reference to that piece, (other than echoes applied to the guitar sound.). Instead, it presents a mock easy listening experience, Liberace and Mantovani smothered beneath a pink blanket of electric guitar candy floss. Short and, in some ways, violently sweet.

Track 5: 'Tomorrow Will Not Be Too Late.'

More found voices, introduced by a burst of distressed electronica. A music box from Planet X tumbles helplessly over itself as the track's inexorable mad chant reminds us that 'Tomorrow Will Not Be Too Late.' It will, of course, always be far too late, yet the voice sample presents us with a sort of kitsch and surreal optimism. Ghostly voices at the track's conclusion try to console us but ultimately only serve to underline the disembodied and temporary nature of our brief lives. It's a cheerful tune about a melancholy subject.

Track 6: 'Start Beaming And Get On The Gleam.'

An obvious variation on the title of an old early 1980s track of mine. ('Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam.') Actually this piece has no real musical connection with that track but instead heads into more ambient jazz territory...I just liked the play of words on that old title. It opens with a rather melancholy piano section before percussion enters and a chromium guitar excursion kicks in, underpinned by marimba and a bubbling sub-bass pattern. E-bow sections and orchestral counterpoint bring further textures to the piece. Piano mixes in with marimba, Wurlitzer and guitars...the longest track, (so far,) on the album at this point.

Track 7: 'We Who Are Awake Will Not Be Asleep.'

This could be seen as a wilder, more intense development of the mood of 'Like A Boat In The Blue,' but it eventually develops into a sort of filtered, distorted, guitar jig to which brief brass riffs are added before the track's fragmented conclusion. It's ecstatic but intoxicated, maybe possessed by some perverse spirit of electrical pagan revelry.

Track 8: 'Thought Bubble Number 2.'

Remember those old comic books where a character's inner dialogue would be represented by a graphic 'thought bubble'? Well, these thought bubble tracks are a sort of musical equivalent of my own inner dialogue. This one illuminates the darker, foggier corners of my mind's dusty attic. Uncertain, tremulous, slightly spooky. Guitars and radios mess with each other under a moonlit sky.

Track number 9: 'Electrical Adepts Of The Celestial Bed.'

Sex, inevitably, enters stage left...erotica embodied in the opening chords of this slinky, trippy neo-jazz fantasy. Title inspired by words found in a book about William Blake's bedroom life. The ghost of Miles Davis gets horny and shiny whilst Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos bring the bitches brew to the party...extended improvisation, ethereal interludes, cosmic star-fields and fuzz bass suggest heaven and earth. A weird old wah-wah guitar enters as if Haight-Ashbury was still, after all these years, the centre of the hipster universe...Dissolve to tides of static, moog pitch wheel aberrations...Miles returns as a synthetic ectoplasmic spirit...now is the time to drop the body and transform to radio waves.

Track Number 10: 'The Mastery Of The Thing.'

More found voices...a quiet, reverse collage of guitars underpinned by trippy percussion...”Higher and higher” the voice urges us...Guitars alternate between forward and reverse gears, chromium, liquid, tuned mercury. Strange.

Track Number 11: 'Albion Dream Vortex.'

The absolute heart and soul of the album, the hidden pearl at its centre. This is the track that birthed the entire album. It's one of those neo-classical adventures that I embark on from time to time, poignant and sometimes sad, yet uplifting, bright and optimistic. An embrace, an affirmation...strings, electric piano, acoustic piano, found sounds, music boxes, church bells, ethereal choirs, cellos, oboes, English horns, electronica...a ten minute sixteen second symphony from my heart to yours.

Track Number 12: 'Thought Bubble Number 3.'

Back to guitars. Filtered, delayed, set to sail on some far distant, slow cosmic surf. An ancient 1980s drum machine rattles and claps beneath as if the 21st Century never actually arrived.
Dissolves in a pool of shimmering electric piano. Brief...an interlude.

Track Number 13: 'Long Ago By Moonlit Sea.'

Eleven minutes and thirteen seconds of slowly evolving fantasy...a drift, a flow, a hovering, angelic cloud of lights. Persevere...it goes through change after change. Beauty rewards patience...this one swims deep.

Track Number 14: 'Let Us Melt And Make No Noise.'

A fitting conclusion...to both this album and our time as actors employed in the theatre of Planet Earth. A found voice urges us to 'Melt and make no noise...” Guitar sounds slide in and out. Buzzy, electro-static percussion enters and soon fades, an electronic ocean of sonic textures, re-tuned radios, distant echoes and close whispers. A kind of conclusion...but far from absolute.


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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:18 am 
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Wow :!: ....... Bill, your creat (e) ive imag(e) i native writing as usual match(es) ((reflects)) :?: your mus(e) ical genius :!:
woW

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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:32 am 
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Thank you Bill it is a truly great idea to have listening notes for your album releases...I have just really enjoyed reading your notes for Albion Dream Vortex...because of your eloquent prose I already love the title track and I havn't heard it yet!:-)
""The subject of dreams, their nature and purpose, has fascinated me since childhood. Dreams have also been a recurring motif in my creative life, and will continue to be so until, somewhere in the future, I will become little more than a flickering, ghostly dream of myself...atoms of memory, spluttering and sparkling like tiny fireworks in a long ago November sky.""...I loved this paragraph too about Dreams...so poetic.
Well heres to the release of "Albion Dream Vortex"...3 Cheers...Hip Hip........
8) :shock: :D :lol: :oops: :roll: :) ......hooray!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:15 am 
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Always appreciate when you post these Bill!!! Reading this reminds me and give me the gumption to get up at 5AM EST (in the USA) to order this!

...and more found voice!!!!!! I love it!!!!!! Love the longer pieces too....like on 'Signals...' and 'Gleaming'....

Soooooo stoked for this album!
Cheers
Mike

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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:10 am 
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Love your notes, Bill - although, I must say I tend to translate to my own thoughts and ideals especially when listening to instrumentals, (the power of music). Great stuff, though!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:26 am 
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Thanks - I always love reading these notes before AND after getting the new albums. Enhances the listening experience for me, thanks for taking the time to do it. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:41 am 
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I particularly enjoyed reading this set of listening notes, Bill. Your passion for Albion Dream Vortex is apparent in the way you have very carefully worded each descriptive passage. I have been excited about this release ever since way back, when you first expressed thoughts about how you believed this one, will be special. Your notes only serve to heighten the anticipation - the album's arrival on my player, can not come quick enough......your descriptions of 'Like A Boat In The Blue' and 'Long Ago By Moonlit Sea' have me very excited indeed! 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:39 am 
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Sounds ....interesting. I read a little bit of a book by a neurosurgeon , describing a switch in the brain that is usually either on or off , the switch for REM/dream sleep. Off while awake, on while dreaming. His theory is about the switch getting caught inbetween , and this hybrid , borderland state of awareness being a possible key , and doorway to spiritual (and other whatever) experience. This, strictly from a clinical perspective, and I'm reading along , thinking of some of
my own rather strange and wonderful dream experiences and visions. Also, of when I was locked into an overlap mode of dream and waking , when I was hallucinating for 4 days with the delerium tremens , back in 1988 when I did an Amy Winehouse-esque detox , only to survive :shock: 8) .

I've long known the power of music to nurture , catalyze, and induce
this kind of shifted awareness , and I like the clinical explanation too. It's all pieces of the puzzle fitting together more coherently . It's therefore all the more meaningful to have so much great music from someone who intuitively (and eloquently) undertsands and inhabits the
overlapping realms of waking and dream life . There's so much to be taken from dream worlds , and since the brain can so convincingly create it's own reality (and does so all the time, literally) , who's to say what's really real and what's really a 'dream' ? :?: :D

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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:28 am 
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But Dar, Do You Dream In Colour ? :)

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 Post subject: Re: 'ALBION DREAM VORTEX': THE LISTENING NOTES.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:53 am 
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James Ellis wrote:
But Dar, Do You Dream In Colour ? :)


Heck no ! :shock: . Soy Americano; y aqui , es 'color' (o 'Colorado' :P ) .

Bueno bye :wink:

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