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CD from cover showing a map with various fictitious places on it
This project was completed and archived in October 2009.

the versions here will not be of the same quality as those included on CDs.

I have a small number of CDs of this project if anyone who knows me cares to ask for one.

1. Arctic wind - very experimental instrumental. The computer seemed to find it hard work creating this. The original idea was to construct a track solely from my voice. I used synthesised choirs as a stand-in while I wrote it. However when I had orchestrated it I realised it was too elabourate to reconstruct with vocals so I left the choirs.

2. The theme theme - includes sound recordings made at Chessington in 2007. This was intended as an affectionate recreation of the atmosphere of a theme park. I listened quite carefully to music playing at a theme park and tried to write this song the way theme park music would be written. The ending was intended to sound the way it does walking away from the theme park with the music and the crowds fading into the distance behind you.

3. Fine - The original recording session for this song was very difficult due to technical gremlins. It was therefore re-recorded. This song was very loosely based on an episode of the detective series featuring magician's assistant Jonathan Creek. I felt the plot was unrealistic so I decided to take a swipe at detective fiction.

4. A little chat - The original recording of this one was also severely hit by technical gremlins, so again it was later re-recorded. Later still the original effects were lost when a faulty plugin was stripped out so another version had to be made with different effects, and a manually pitch corrected vocal. Sadly this was based on a real incident, not quite what was said although a fair amount of it was, but what it felt like.

5. Saltcoats in my mind - written for Oona, lyrics based on her comments during a visit. Saltcoats was a Scottish seaside resort that used to be a sort of mini-Blackpool, but today is very quiet. Oona often waxed lyrical about her youthful memories of it. I suggested she could write me a lyric about it and she said somewhat sarcastically something like she'd get right on it. For ages after that I used to ask her how it was going. In the end she gave me the ten cent tour during a visit there, and I wrote the lyric based on what she said. She was very nice about it and said it perfectly recreated the atmosphere of our visit there; but I'd still have preferred it if she'd written the lyric.

6. Cool clear water - instrumental. This came together very fast. I had an idea to use a piano to recreate the feel of water at the seaside. It felt very easy. I added strings to it to get the feeling of deep water and later a lighter sound, I forget what now, a music box or something like that, to represent glinting sunlight and balance the sound.

7. A guide to the city - the title to this came from a science fiction short story. The place was actually real, though I exaggerated somewhat. I forget now exactly where it was. I remember walking down a hill, past a shopping centre as I remember it, to what had been a beauty spot. The idea musically was to try and write something in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan.

8. Noddledirk (oh yeah wow far out) - This was aimed at disco songs with incomprehensible lyrics. I particularly didn't like one where the singer said he would get himself connected. He could have been talking about getting broadband for all I knew.

9. The easy to assemble furniture flat pack blues - I think this started with the title. I was trying to think of daft titles to write lyrics for. I kind of like it as it isn't particularly influenced by anyone else, it's just me. I actually did have problems with a flat pack some time before and remember hammering a dowel through the back end of the piece it fitted into, although I didn't screw anything into the floor.

10. The shoes blues - this was based very closely on an incident at a hotel on Lake Garda. The shoes turned up behind a curtain. Pretty much every word of this is just how it was. You'll notice that the lyric is strict blues format and even starts "I woke up this morning". I wanted to try and get a sort of early morning feel into the delivery of the lyric and the finished track at the beginning. I was very pleased with the middle 8. 

11. Gatwick airport - I was actually delayed at Gatwick, though I can't now remember why. Probably security again. I do remember one passenger becoming very bitter when told that there would be more news of his flight back in the terminal building. He tried to get the representative to apologise for his flight being delayed, but she wouldn't, probably because she hadn't been told anything.

12. Some other rainbow - the backing vocal on this has taken a lot of work. It was triggered by the sort of feeling you get when you've said goodbye to someone at an airport and you're going one way and they're going the other. The lyrics aren't autobiographical, it's more just about a feeling really with a lot of poetic license.

13. Reasonable - technical issues on this track were overcome by using a different microphone into a separate voice recorder. This was a sarcastic parody of a series of management briefings. Sadly quite a lot of it was really pretty much what was said.

14. One more drink - I had a streaming cold when I recorded this, which may or may not have been fortuitous. It was a sequel to One more for the road (the song Sinatra used to sing). I very rapidly decided I wanted to do something different with the backing. The piano actually had a script. The rhythm of the piano part was constructed from what the pianist was thinking (but didn't say) while the character was talking to him (though I can't now remember what it was).  The orchestration was later altered to take it still further from the original. You'll notice it balances in the middle - it's what you might call an A-B-B-A structure.

15. Gasworks Terrace - this is really more a female perspective than a male one. I don't know quite why it came out that way, it just did. It was triggered by a remark someone made that I'd never seen anyone drunk. I think it's the best written song on the CD although it's not the one I like listening to best.

(Mumble mumble, Speedway and Leaving Venice didn't feature despite having been specially written for this CD)

16. Rocking chair blues - with apologies to George Harrison. This song was heavily influenced by (and written not long after hearing) Rocking chair in Hawaii by George Harrison (off his has last solo album Brainwashed). I've amended the backing to take it away from the original accoustic feel and give it a more polished studio produced type sound. Harrison of course especially later in his career was keen on avoiding what he saw as over-production. When I wrote this I mainly had in mind some adverts featuring a black man playing blues (or trying to) on his porch while sitting in a rocking chair. The lyric started from an odd phrase that came into my head, I think while I was driving somewhere. I put the two together and started a lyric about a rocking chair using the odd phrase.

17. Fort William - Again, this is very largely true and much of it was written in a cafe in Fort William. Oona was with me at the time, watching me scribbling furiously. Odd bits were added that had not happened (such as the fishing), and the chocolate bars were moved from Glencoe visitor centre (which didn't sell any though that seems to have been a policy decision), but basically this was pretty much how it was at Fort William. The museum was closed as it was Sunday, it was too early in the season for the steam train, the chair lift (or gondola to be strictly accurate) really was seven miles away, etc.

(One day you'll understand did not to feature despite probably being the best lyric I've ever written)

18. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord - this was largely an attack on American policy in the middle east as I could see that at that time (this was under George Bush Jnr) it was counter-productive and appeared to be morally indefensible. I was trying to think about noble upstanding model behaviour, and I thought of  knights and chivalry and King Arthur. Later I realised that it was knights that fought in the crusades - in the middle east.

19. A day at the seaside - instrumental. This portrays a day at a seaside resort, from the quiet early morning, to people arriving, to busy hubub at an amusement arcade, and then people going home again. Near the end Laughing Man turns up. I honestly can't remember him or what he was laughing at.

The cover is in CorelDraw Select Edition (7.0) format.
The full 12 page lyric booklet will appear only with copies of the CD made by me.
cover - back cover.