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Arthur on the New Album "Echo Garden"

This is a pivotal moment for me as an artist. "Echo Garden" album number 6, was composed with the idea of being an entire listening experience, a journey.Where a myriad of disparate ideas are brought together to make a cohesive experience.

I perform all of the instruments on the album except for where I am joined by my two young sons.

The tracks and ideas get formed then pulled apart and morph into completley different pieces. For example the opener "Summer Drops" takes the chord progression from the verse section of "Bounce" ,slows it down,strips away drums ,guitar,and the bass counter point and envelopes the piece with 16 tracks of vocals that spell out a totally different harmony. BubbleFish Parts 1 and 2 ,as well as "Echo Garden" theme parts 1 and 2 are more obvious because of name,but also take a few similar ideas and transform them into different pieces. There are other pieces that  take things out further. The track listing and some overview.

Part 1 "Summer Drops" opens the album with lush vocal harmonies floating over a few chords played on piano. "Bounce" a song about rebounding in the face of betrayal, kicks off with some high octane rock where Guitar ,Drum and Bass riffs drive the song and Piano solos over the top of it cutting the rhythm to shreds. "The Other Side" is a Ska like piece  where psychosocial developement and mortality converge.  "BubbleFish Part 1" brings aboard My 12 year old Son Drum Phenomenon Graham Nasson, this high-speed chase of an instrumental morphs into ascending synthesizer lines. "Unglued" is a non-apologetic Beatle-esque rocker,Graham on Drums, complete with Guitar solo that mimicks the verse melody. "BubbleFish Part2" takes a few of the chords from the previous uptempo version,slows them down and adds layers of vocal harmony,piano,guitars,and synthesizers.The Title came at the last minute,I had a few ideas and didn't like them all that much. I was literally in the mastering room and had to come up with something fast,so Iasked Jeff Lipton[Mastering Engineer extraordinare] if we could take a quick break while I made a phone call.  I called my sons,relayed the situation and asked them to take a shot at it.Well I got more nonsensical gibberish than a senate subcomittee hearing,and,,,yes you guessed it BubbleFish sounded like the most compelling [and funniest] of the bunch. "Psych Ward"   rollicks along with good nature de-evolving into a train wreck,concluding Part 1. The track list is as follows.

 Part 1

1.Summer Drops

2.Bounce

3.The Other Side

4.BubbleFish Part 1

5.Unglued

6.BubbleFishe Part 2

7.Psych Ward

Part 2 is where things begin to draw down to a more inward experience ,blending almost neo-classical ideas like "Echo Garden Theme Part 1" flat out synth strings outlining the harmony of "Echo Garden". "Unravel" a piece that runs from Piano and Voices then changes into a string section,and "Drift" a Piano and Synthesizer piece that repeats a forlorn melody. We Then delve deeper into an atmospheric,Avant -Pop area with soundscapes like "Orb" "Firefly Chase" and "The Boy With The Backwards Guitar"   Both "Fireflychase" and "The Boy With The Backwards Guitar" mark the first appearance of my 9 year old son Colin on a recording. Colin performs,Guitar,Percussion,Recorder,FreQ box and Backwards Guitar on these two tracks. The Track listing.

Part 2

8.Echo Garden Theme Part1

9.Unravel

10.Drift

11.Orb

12.Firefly Chase

13.The Boy With The Backwards Guitar

 

We emerge into Part 3 clearly in a new place,through the darkness into light ,with the Fender Rhodes and Vocal driven "Echo Garden Theme Part2" which gives way to the Piano,Bass and Drums backdrop for a vocal piece that borders on neo-doo-wop,called "You Wouldn't Understand" [Graham on drums]where unreasonably immature women get called out and recieve a taste of what they like to dish out.There are even mentions of  James Joyce and Marcel Proust!  "Drag" {Graham on drums]is a straight up stones style rocker lamenting the lack of hedonistic fun we all could use a bit more of. "Meant To Be" dishes up some  backside shaking gospel inflected soul. The Album Closes with The title Cut [Graham on Drums].

"Echo Garden" feels like innocence lost or imagined, a five minute or so journey of its own that ends up in unexpected places. I encourage people to have their own experience with this album,these are just a few of my thoughts. The track listing is as follows.

14.Echo Garden Theme Part 2

15.You Wouldn't Understand

16.Drag

17.Meant To Be

18.Echo Garden