Nostalgia: detailed background notes to the compositions

landschaft 003

This was my first commercial release through now defunct netlabel Atmoworks, and is currently unavailable.

Release date: 31 January 2008

Format: CD album in a slimline Jewel Case and [no longer avaiable MP3 download]. Cover, disc artwork and typography by Landschaft.

Each piece explained

Most of the pieces are sparse piano based meditations with subtle ambience to add space, depth and modulation, and is something of a personal journey. The album is a distillation to 12 tracks; the best of a 24 track cycle. The cover photograph was taken by my father in 1947 in Singapore - the first of his extensive collection of photographs that I have restored. The mood is orange fire and gold leaf.

Atmoworks have this to say about Nostalgia: On "Nostalgia", Landschaft has crafted a 12-song journey through the deep and often muddied landscape of history. Reminiscent of Brian Eno's early piano-based compositions, the album moves slowly but with an undeniable sense of purpose. There is a story being told here, and the music compels you to stop a while and listen.

01 Memories from a Lonely Place:

02 Clouds: When as a child, time extended forward for ever, the clouds marked the beat of life in their endless procession across perfect afternoon skys.

03 Rediscovered Photograph: As a child I remember looking at my father's photograph album from his service days after WWII in the east, Singapore, Ceylon. And the poses for the camera of my father in his youth with friends amidst the Ballardian landscape of aeroplane graveyards and bombed out bunkers.

04 A Conversation: - - - - -

05 Fenlands: Both branches of my family originate in the East of England. Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. The big skies, flat boundless landscapes and long sunsets of the fens remembered from family holidays stay with me and give me comfort. Solid and un-changing, marked only by the score of the plough and the passing of seasons..

06 Suspended in Time: Where memories live. Frozen as snapshots more vivid than any photograph, and more precious.

07 Generations: My grandmother was a great relater of family history. As a child she lived in a moated farmhouse near Selby, North Yorkshire. I have been unable to find it on modern maps, and suspect Drax power station may have been built on top of it.

08 Stepping Forward: As I step forward, time folds over, as my children's childhood repeats memories of my own.

09 Across Water: This piece reflects my fascination with the mystery of standing water, made magic by the sunset.

10 The Positive Things: I always take comfort in the positive things, and draw upon the past when the present is difficult to bear.

11 Resurgam: "I shall rise again" A splendid latin word. Some words have more potency in a different language, and this is one of my favourite.

12 Impressions (edit): This piece just suggested itself as one to close with. A softly repeating motif, a bit in the manner of Selbsportrait-era Cluster. Gentle meloncholic. A sound-metaphore for Nostalgia.