Ramblings | Releases | June 27, 2013

You Wait Thirty-Five Years…

In what will probably go down as the worst bit of release timetabling in the history of my musical endeavours, it looks like both Fusion Orchestra 2’s Casting Shadows and Broken Parachute’s Down is the New Up are going to be released on the same day. It seems that you can wait thirty-five years for a release and then two come along at the same time.

Of the two, Casting Shadows has taken the most work by me personally. The writing mostly happened in 2009, with the intervening time seeing the inevitable refinements that occur when a band’s line-up changes. The main delay for the recording was simply the instability of the Fusion Orchestra 2 line-up as we went through an almost Spinal Tapesque set of changes, encompassing four drummers, three bassists and two singers.

In the end, recording of the album happened in two main chunks starting with Cider Sue back in August last year, and then Leaving It All Behind and Secret Shadow around the turn of the year. Since then, I’ve been mixing, remixing and mastering and remastering. It’s been a long process but I’m proud of the finished results.

The length of the gap between the writing of the Casting Shadows material and its release means that we have inevitably written a fair bit more material in the intervening time. There’s about half an hour’s worth of ideas, scattered between three songs, that will probably never see the light of day as a Fusion Orchestra 2 composition as it was felt that the style was no longer really representative of the new line-up. In addition to that, the new line-up has two new songs ready for recording and two more in the pipeline. These are shorter than the Casting Shadows epics, coming it at closer to six minutes each so far. Now that Casting Shadows is finished, we will probably be turning our thoughts towards a next album fairly soon.


By contrast, Broken Parachute’s Down Is The New Up was a much more relaxed affair for me. I supplied vocal and keyboard parts, but the writing, mixing and bulk of the responsibility for dull but necessary work was handled by Marcus Taylor. As a result I’ve been in the position of receiving mixes, listening to them, and sending back feedback to be acted on or discounted. It’s been quite a liberating experience and has made me think again about the possibility of further collaboration work in the future.

Since the final mixes of these two were finished I’ve been taking a bit of a well-earned break from writing and recording. There’s been work to do on the CD packaging and so on, but actual music making has been confined to occasional noodling. I am, however, starting to get itchy feet again and my thoughts have turned back towards my solo projects. It’s a bit early to say just yet, but there’s still scope for this being a three-release year…

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