Broken Saints volume 1: Passage

Passage is the record of a number of journeys, all very much interconnected, some still underway. The first journey was a physical one, and took me to India, Nepal and Thailand for six months when I was but a wee lad of 19. Within that journey was a photographic odyssey which generated a collection of around 1000 slides and prints, some of which are even worth looking at... A later journey took the shape of a remarkable collaboration with my cousin Brooke Burgess, creator of the Broken Saints series, for which Passage forms a central part of the soundtrack.

The other journeys are more nebulous; perhaps it's better to let the music tell that story...

(if for some reason this embedded player does not show up or work in your browser, you can click through to the dedicated page on Bandcamp.com)

 

To sum up Passage in a few words is very difficult; quite simply it was, and remains, one of the most elaborate things I have ever undertaken. The initial idea was to select 12 photographs that told the story of my journey, and compose a suite of music around them, each piece exploring the mood and texture of the image it was based on. The results touch on everything from jazz to ambient, classical to trip-hop, worldbeat to elecroacoustics to minimalism, from rigorously composed complexity to freeform trance-like improvisation. It is realized on piano, synthesizer, trumpet, flute, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, and a selection of odd ethnic hand percussion.

Somewhere along the line I realized I was doing something altogether larger: I was telling the story of the creative process as I then understood it (my current conceptions of it are not incompatible with this vision, just a little looser and larger), along with a vast array of connected ideas and impressions of how the world works. This took shape as a website: the 'Passage Webspace', a kind of in-depth 'listener's guide' to the album. [WARNING: while there's some interesting stuff to be found there, it's an ancient hand-coded website from the distant past, so please be patient and gentle!]

Musically, Passage is quite diverse. It touches on everything from jazz to ambient, classical to trip-hop, worldbeat to elecroacoustics to minimalism, from rigorously composed complexity to freeform trance-like improvisation. It is realized on piano, synthesizer, trumpet, flute, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, and a selection of odd ethnic hand percussion. All in all, it's a pretty advenurous piece of work, which is very much the spirit in which it was imagined, and which is also the best frame of mind in which to begin your explorations of the site...