Move along

Move along, nothing to see here…

Just a chap getting on with recording his latest album. That’s exciting internally but as far as the outside world’s concerned…pffft!

It shows how long the process has taken this time that I’ve gone from having to have the fan going to cool things down to, now, having to put the radiators on well before I go in to start work for the day.

Things are now at the stage where if I were a writer of prose I’d be spending a good deal of time staring vacantly into space. In both that discipline and this one (of music) one has to wait for the right tone to be struck, the word to arrive.

Words (The Lyrics) *have* arrived in the current project and so have top lines, so there’s a semblance of lead vocal now laid down on all tracks. Whether they’ll all survive – or whether they need to be bolstered by harmonies or supported/undermined by B Vox – is, of course, a matter for the future.

So, it’s an album of songs, that’s established. But the nature of the songs here is a long way from conventional, even by my standards. I won’t go further than that at this stage, save to say that only a couple of pieces here come from what might be considered a traditional starting point.

Hence the staring into space. I have to look to fill in on what are already angular and/or skeletal structures. Generally that means deciding upon an improvisational angle to come in on – and, instinctively, finding a sound/instrument which will suit. Once those things are decided I’m doing my best to work quickly and in the moment. It’s the run-up to the moment that takes the time…

I’m not looking to myself for virtuoso stuff , naturally. But by now I’m more or less aware of my own capabilities and am comfortable enough in not having anything to prove that any attempts at showing off would be useless in any case. Economy of effort and of expression are ever more important to me.

As ever, once I’ve decided on a given course of action I go into record from the very outset. Often the first unknowing stab at a part will have a charm and naturalness which more considered efforts lack.

Well, this one’s still got another couple of months in the making, I reckon, by the time the holiday season has swung around. Doubtless it’ll be quite different from the current state of things as well in its finished form.

It’s now at that point where every song could go in a number of different directions and I’m free – and delighted – to follow each one. Later, things which I’ve spent hours on will be discarded. But they all have to be tried and tested to reach that stage…

Pauses, sits. Stares at the screens. Grabs a guitar….

23 Comments on “Move along”

  1. Andrea says:

    …did I ever stated how much I love your music and lyrics …

    At 45 years old my hairs are getting grey the music of your albums have become frames and pictures of my entire life until now; some of your lyrics have become a state of mind, sometimes basis of my personal insights, traces at least … inspirations !
    Yes, my hairs are getting grey not meaning that I am wise, these few words just written to let you know how much your work is useful and loved … these words I wanted to say that day in Udine, that simple hand shake, that picture together (sorry) those few words are now “expanded”

    No words are enough clear and sufficient to describe how I appreciate your amazing work as a musician, an artist and a poet (at least I didn’t miss the chance to write it down).


    Andrea, Italy

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, well, I hope it’s a double, then …

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ok, it will still take some time before the next solo-Album but we do get “Otherworld” early februari, and it would be a nice idea to see a boxed set of the complete Enigma recordings. I also hope that on next years VDGG tour, “Primo…” will be played, as it never really worked as a solopiece, so bringing Fury back on track would be a great Thing as a guest, not only “Primo” would benefit from it.

    • Ólafur Audunsson (Iceland) says:

      I would also like to hear VdGG take Now Lover and Here comes the talkies .Typical VdGG songs there .

  4. Dewy says:

    Down at the Exeter University VdGG group in the seventies we had a term for that hiatus between albums. We called it the Lacuna Bhuna–named in remembrance of the best (sadly defunkt) Indian in Exeter.We expressed it as a formula with which I won’t affront you. But basically it meant that the longer the interval between albums, the higher the quality (we had a more complicated algorithm for solo albums from an existing band.)
    The only artists that integered a positive vector were Pink Floyd, Gryphon, Jo Jo Gunne and, you’ve guessed it Peter Hammill!


    PS Judy if you are reading this PLEASE connect me

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes;looking forward to it allready with high hopes.Along with the live album from the last VDGG tour.It’s got to be said regenerating the “boys” has rejuvenated you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Damn this mediaeval technology!

  7. Anonymous says:

    PS. Didn’t do Roy Harper any harm either considering the reception for his latest album.

  8. Anonymous says:

    PS. Didn’t do Roy Harper any harm either considering the reviews of his latest album.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely no rush for new songs. Take your time. Don’t panic. It didn’t do Leonard Cohen any harm. After all, most other acts take 2-3 years between albums. Rather good stuff rarely than crap frequently.

  10. Ólafur Auðunsson (Iceland) says:

    One Icelandic writer say´d ones “Writer has to work alone because 90% of time goes to pick nose”. I´m looking forward to this record as all the “old” ones.Merry Christmas.

  11. Bob Evans says:

    As ever we look forward to the next release, always worth the wait. I’m currently recovering from a accident at the moment, I am using this time wisely to listen to the full back catalogue again!

  12. Dagmar 41 says:

    Why is it that, having just re-watched the Doctor Who 50th anniversary Special, any mention of The Moment now makes me wonder if Terra Incognita might have a Big Red Button somewhere if you ask nicely? It does have TARDIS-like qualities at any rate 🙂

    Run (with it), you clever boy!

  13. Geoff Goodyear says:

    Yes, Peter. I’ve followed VDGG and you since 1971. You just go from better to even better. I consider you to be one of the greatest and unique male vocalists / musicians, and you have been a real inspiration to me over the years. At a time when nearly all the groups which I have loved have faded away, the boys and your good self are still operational and pushing the boundaries. I loved the VDGG concert at the Barbican, earlier this year. Good luck with the new album, and may you continue to entertain and inspire all your loyal fans for many years to come. In conclusion, I hope that you continue to keep healthy. That 50th anniversary isn’ t too far away!

  14. Ge says:

    I cannot recount the times your songs saved my live (oh yes they did quite literally ‘in the end’), surely I owe you the patience,gratitude and humility in light at least of your resistance to to any cynical resignation to whatever… (as if you could help being who you already were…and will be…) inpatient I will wait…never to whatever….

  15. Rolf van Gelder says:

    Take your time, Peter! It will be excellent again!

  16. Chris Breeze says:

    Waiting patiently. It’ll be worth it, as always.

  17. sue says:

    Well, it was pleasant to get your sofa post in my inbox…in winter I always feel more reflective and realize how much your songs mean to me….and what a privilege it is to look forward to new ones…even though its way into next year…but hey…time is relative!…it will seem like a blink.
    Thanks and keep being productive.

  18. Andy Potter says:

    Let it flow, Peter. Looking forward to it, as ever!

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