Here and there over recent months, I’ve been “teasing” with references to something I’ve called “The Prog Project”… and finally, I can whip off the tarpaulin :-)
“Book Of Small Hours”—as it was always going to be named—is arguably unlike any of my music releases in the last couple of years, not least because it is not a direct product of my participation in the NaSoAlMo, FAWM and 50/90 intensive songwriting challenges. (That said, four of the songs on “Book” have their origins in material I composed during FAWM and NaSoAlMo in 2014, although I expanded on their composition and/or arrangement in the process of making this album.)
I began recording “Book” in April 2014 during some time away from home in the Easter holidays (creating the piece, using an iPad, which would become “Processional”, the “overture” of the album’s 23-minute title track), and completed work on the project almost exactly one year later. This is the longest I have taken on an album since “Lifecourses”, which came together slowly between 2009 and 2012; I suspect whatever I work on next, will emerge rather more rapidly, but I can’t promise!
This is a totally solo production on my part, where I composed, arranged, performed and recorded everything myself. This was not an egotistical decision on my part (well, not entirely ;-) ), but rather that my budget was really rather limited for involving others, and I also had a very specific idea of how I wanted everything to sound, so I felt I had to take complete control of the proverbial reins. It might have been nice to have (say) a really good drummer on the few bits where one was needed
You can preview tracks from “Book Of Small Hours” at its page on Bandcamp, but if I had to describe it in as few words as possible: it’s definitely slanted in the direction of the “progressive-rock” side of my musical personality. I’m reluctant to pin down specifics, but you may detect elements of the likes of Pink Floyd, the gentler side of Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator’s work (esp. circa the 1970s), Anthony Phillips, Mike Oldfield… that sort of thing. Hopefully, though, you will find plenty of myself in there as well, and it is not overly derivative.
Shortly, I will set up a page on this site dedicated to the album, where I will share a few stories and snippets of trivia which I suspect may be of interest. In the meantime, “Book Of Small Hours” is available immediately as a digital download from Bandcamp, with a PDF inlay and booklet in the download package, in case you wish to “roll” your own CD. I have no immediate plans to make a “physical” (CD, etc.) version of the album, although if I were to find there was sufficient demand, I would consider a limited-edition run of CDs… let’s see how it goes, eh?
I have really enjoyed working on this project, and if I say so myself, am very pleased with it—I hope you enjoy the album as much.