Oh, here I am….

Again the months have drifted by without a contribution from me in the journal stakes.

For myself, I’ve been quite comfortable with this. I’ve spent a working lifetime disseminating information about what’s happening on the work, release, performance fronts; frankly, that’s been nothing at all (for public consumption at least) in the last few months. Nor, indeed, have there been any announcements due or needed for future events. So I’ve stayed silent.

I understand that some have been concerned about this silence but there’s really been no need. I’ve been bleating away in public for more years than one can shake a fist at and if, as and when I actually retire I’d like to think that this aspect of “the work” will be the first to disappear. So as, gradually, I begin to slow things down (and that’s inevitable and right at this age) I’m likely to be less and less visible in both conventional and social media. It remains my belief, of course, that whatever worth there is in what I do resides in the music rather than in my ramblings.

Having said that, I (still) don’t wish to paint myself into a corner as to what I will and won’t do in the future. Basically, expect to hear from me here (or, indeed, over at sofasound.com or on twitter) as and when you hear from me. And if there’s anything to report I shall do so, as ever, personally and directly, rather than by intimating things to others.

Belatedly, I’ll say something about Merlin Atmos, firstly about the title, which has bemused/confused some. The WWII Rolls-Royce Merlin engine powered the Spitfire (among other aircraft) and was a prominent tune in the air for those of us born in the UK immediately post-war. It’s the noise which HB simulates (*not* samples, it must be said) at the start and end of our version of flight. Atmos is the feeling out among the crowd. Back in the days when we were able to wander incognito among the audience prior to a show we used to go out and see what the atmos was like…. Hope that goes some way towards an explanation.

As to where the performances come from: two different approaches were at work. HB worked mainly on individual and specific shows, with a majority of tracks being taken from Milan. Since that was the last show we did under normal conditions – Pistoia, being a festival, was somewhat out of the ordinary and control – this seemed and proved appropriate. I no longer remember the exact shows he used though. As for my efforts on the Bonus Atmos disc it may be noted that my credit on the album is “assembled and balanced” rather than “mixed”. That’s to say that I didn’t go for an active mixing approach, instead making a flat – though hopefully correctly balanced – compilation of different performances edited together in multitrack form…so this disc comes from All Over the Place(s).

Finally, yes, I have been and continue to work away. I’m in writing mode, heading toward both the next solo disc and the next VdGG one. It’ll be awhile before either of these get properly under way, mind….