Interview with Geigertek

Creator of melodic and highly spherical ambient music:
an interview with Geigertek, aka Neil Fellowes

Date: September 29 2010

Neil, can you first of all sketch some background on yourself?
Well, I’m a classically trained musician on piano and, primarily, organ. I started lessons at the age of five and took my first theory exams when I was about eight or nine. I then progressed through the various grades and stopped having lessons when I was 14 years old – by this time girls and having a good time were much more important to me and I started to find the predominance of classical tuition too stifling.
I returned to music when I was 19, arming myself to the teeth with a Yamaha DX21, a Roland JX-3P and Casio CZ-101, my first set-up.I have had a love of music from a very early age, my first pop record was “I’ll Be Your Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool” by Little Jimmy Osmond when I was seven years old. My first lp was “Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space” (I love Star Trek and will fight anyone who dares to question that) and my first classical record was “The Planets Suite” by Gustav Holst. I still have all these records today.I first discovered synthesizer/electronic music in 1977 with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”, I was completely blown away by Giorgio Moroder’s sound and production and so began my journey into the esoteric world of synthesizers. I was introduced to the music of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and Isao Tomita by a group of kids who used to come into my parent’s pub when I was about 13/14 and my world was rocked in a good way – the plethora of soundscapes, rhythms and melodies took me to the places of my dreams.What came next?
In 1978, I discovered a hitherto unknown group by the name of Ultravox, led by an enigmatic character called John Foxx, who had just released their third studio album, “Systems Of Romance” (the best Ultravox album ever in my opinion). This was a musical turning point in my life as it not only introduced me to Ultravox, but also to the work of the German producer Conny Plank. From there, I found Can, Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster. My journey also took in David Bowie (going through his Berlin period at this time) which in turn led me to one of my favourite artists, Brian Eno.

The year 1979 was another landmark year because this was when I discovered the music, sound and look of Gary Numan – I still recall, as a spotty 13 year old, his first appearance on Top Of The Pops in the Spring of that year. My shaping identity was heavily influenced by this man and his sound, but it was in 1980 that things took a major step forward with the advent of the New Romantics.
I was a New Romantic, all long floppy hair (you’d never know it now), frills, stylish outfits and outrageous appearance. This time was the launch pad for artists such as Japan and David Sylvian, Ultravox reborn with the great Midge Ure, Visage, Depeche Mode, The Human League and of course the legend of modern electronica, John Foxx starting his solo career. All of these artists shaped me and the music I would come to make.

So what did the ‘80’s and ‘90’s look like for you?
For me, the 1980’s were great time musically as I discovered a lot of the new and up-and-coming artists such as Steve Hillman, Ian Boddy, John Dyson and Ozric Tentacles. And it was in the mid 1980’s that I made the first foray into the world of recording and live performance. I joined several bands, all of whom amounted to whole heap of nothingness and enjoyed legendary status in my own bedroom. I played for a time in a Country group which whilst musically speaking was not the most challenging of times, it did give me a good grounding for live performance on a large scale.

The 1990’s saw me move away from music totally. A number of personal difficulties in 1990 meant the music equipment I owned had to be sold and a year later in 1991, I started a career in the casino industry which as you can imagine, took my whole life over. It was during this time that I met my ex-wife Julie. We got together, had a great time with a lot of laughs, eventually marrying and having two fantastic children. Whilst playing music was simply not happening, listening was another matter.
The 1990’s brought me the wonderful sounds of William Orbit and Strange Cargo, the first solo outings of Ultravox’s Billy Currie and two acts that, at the time, I had no idea would play such a hugely significant role in my life later on – David Wright and Code Indigo.

What happened after the turn of the Millenium?
The new Millenium saw a lot of changes in my life, professionally and personally. My casino career ended through a combination of poor-health (now fully resolved) and too many blind alleys and false signals from my employer. Shortly after this, my marriage failed and I found a new life which started to afford some better quality “me” time. It was in 2004 that I found new love with my current partner Anne, who is simply amazing. She has actively encouraged and supported me all the way through, something for which I am extremely grateful.
The advent of computer-based music creation and recording brought back to me a world I thought was long gone. Through the use of VST’s and a cut down version of Cubase called Cubasis, I began to shape the DNA of the first album – there was a lot to learn and I spent many hours poring over manuals and software, finding my way through the myriad of options computer technology was offering me.
In early 2006 I started work on what was to become the first album, but it took one moment of personal loss to finally push me forward.

As with any other person, the loss of my father in 2006 was monumental thing. There were so many things left unsaid and so many dreams not realized. My father was the person who had the most faith in me as a musician. From an early age, right through to the day he died, he would tell me that I should have made music my career. And it was his belief in me, even after his death that spurred me on to fulfill what he believed I was capable of.

In August 2006, the Geigertek-project came into being. Working with a German friend who called himself Conrad Geiger, we worked on a collection of instrumental electronic pieces that when completed, was given the title of “The Garden”.

Neil, you already mentioned David Wright. How did you get in touch with him and all the others at AD Music?
When the first Geigertek album “The Garden” was completed in 2007, I tried to find ways of getting the music heard. The best place at the time was MySpace, so I prepared a page and uploaded a couple of tracks and within a couple of weeks, the “Friends” list was growing quite nicely.

The first “air-play” of my music was on the excellent RoboCast Radio – a podcast created by a thoroughly nice man called Ian Price. This brought more attention to Geigertek and it was a couple of people who suggested I contact a radio DJ called Terry Hawke. He has a weekly show called “Hawke’s Chill-out Sessions” where he plays music from un-signed/new acts as well as the “old favorites”. I did this and had a great response.

In November 2007, Terry invited me to send in more material as well as a telephone interview. It was immediately after this interview that I was contacted by both Terry and a gentleman in the U.S.A. called Steve Ruby, both of whom suggested that I send “The Garden” to AD Music. I did as they suggested and was quite surprised to learn that not only was AD Music based in a small town only 20 minutes drive from me, but it was also run by David Wright.

As I said, I sent the cd-r to AD Music and thought nothing more of it until I got an e-mail from David Wright asking me to contact him, which I did immediately and a meeting was set up. I went over to David’s studio for a 7.30pm start, made sure I dressed smartly and not knowing what to expect. We talked about the music, about what AD Music could offer and what to expect should things progress and David made a couple of suggestions that he felt would improve the sound of the album.

We then started talking off subject (something that happens all the time now!) and the next thing I know is it’s gone 3am! Over the coming weeks, David re-mastered the album whilst I sat alongside him watching and learning. Those sessions provided a lot of laughs and were the foundations for what is now a great friendship (but don’t tell him I said that!).

Neil, please share your views upon the past, current and future EM scene and its music…
Looking to the past, it was a wonderful time of discovery and advancement. New sounds, new technology and new approaches were bringing music that was the stuff of dreams to someone like me. I am not an EM purist as I bring in people such as Eno, John Foxx, Billy Currie, Midge Ure, Giorgio Moroder and David Sylvian under this umbrella as they were making music with electronics in the same pioneering way as the “originals”.

Even after purchasing my own equipment, I was always in a state of awe seeing the synths and drum machines doing their stuff on stage. And I think that the pioneers of electronic music were on a par with the classical greats such as Mozart, Frederick Delius, Erik Satie and William Walton in that they took sound in new directions, and seemed to be perennially evolving.

When speaking of the present, my own view is that maybe things have become a little staid on a number of levels. When buying music, I’m not really feeling that sense of evolution and sometimes wonder if artists are “playing it safe”.
The current EM scene is rapidly losing it’s sparkle and as it is at the moment, I’m not sure that unless artists make changes to their presentation, attitudes and approaches, that sparkle can be re-ignited.

On so many levels, an audience expects a lot more than they did 10 years ago. One area is performance – it’s cool to have the big modular synths and racks of gear, but what about the personalities operating them? As a paying customer, I would not want to be looking at someone’s back for two hours and whilst video backdrops are definitely cool, I want to see that the artist is there and enjoying themselves – an artist enjoying their performance or putting a bit of a show on comes across to the people watching and adds to the occasion. Something as mundane as this could potentially reach a wider audience.

Also, attitudes to how the music is presented is something that I personally find difficult to understand. I say this because EM is losing audiences and needs to reach new and fresher ears and minds, therefore a reluctance to embrace some new technologies kind of flies in the face of what creating electronic music is about and negates the complaints about lower sales and poorer attendances.

So, what’s you opinion on the format of music?
Well, I’ve seen so many questionable comments about presenting music on cd-r, cd, mp3, Flac and every other dot-thing that my head spins – the bottom line is about whether or not you want to sell music. As it stands, I think that a radical change of attitude needs to be considered because the generation of tomorrow is simply not going to buy cds.
To prove my point, my daughter is 13 years old and very into music, yet if I say to her about buying a cd she laughs. Why buy something that takes up room and sometimes has added costs through postage when you can make a couple of clicks and hey presto, instant music which equals instant listening?

Speaking personally, I haven’t bought a cd for the last three years. Why? Because I too embrace the change which allows me instant listening and saves me money. And as for sound quality, I believe that with a decent download such as 256kbps you need to very anal to tell the difference – I have a good quality hi-fi system at home as well as well-tuned ears, and quite frankly whatever microscopic audible (for those would threaten me with oscilloscopes!) difference there is won’t have me crying like a baby.

We had it with vinyl – if you want to listen to crackles and hum, go ahead. We have it now with cds – if you want to spend extra on a physical product that takes up room and sometimes has postage costs, go ahead. Download is the way for all music, never mind EM, and if this genre was to embrace it fully, I, for one, believe that it stands a good chance of re-establishing itself as an acceptable part of the musical arts in the future. The future of the EM scene and music has to be about change.

There is a need to attract and educate a wider and younger audience who presently think that electronic music is all about Lady Gaga or Little Boots. I recently introduced my twelve year old son to the Yellow Magic Orchestra – he’s hooked and is playing it to his friends, who are also saying it’s cool.
New approaches and new stylings need to happen instead of playing it safe and relying on good old “Berlin School” – yes, it’s cool, it’s great and it has a place – but it’s close to being some 40 years old!
Software houses and equipment manufacturers are giving artists new and exciting things to play with, so let’s be children again and play with these toys, then perhaps we can leave the past where it is and hopefully find new glories with new and fresher audiences.

Do you keep contacts with other musicians next to the already mentioned David Wright
It has to be said that I am still very much at the beginning of this next chapter of my own personal musical journey, so my obvious musical contacts are the ones I have been mixing with through my association with AD Music, but I have also had a some interesting exchanges with Steve Hillman.
I also have contacts with a number of unknown/unsigned musicians and spend time listening to their music as they listen to mine, and discussing various music related thing with them.

So do you have any interest in collaborating with other musicians (any favorites?) for certain projects?
Well, I would love to work with other musicians, and this is something that is happening as not only will I be working on the next Code Indigo album (which has the working title of “A Different Colour” but I didn’t tell you that), but I will also be working on new material with David Wright and Nigel Heffer-Turner.
In terms of “favorites”, I would welcome the opportunity to work with musicians such as Billy Currie, Brian Eno or John Foxx (wouldn’t we all? lol), but it would be fun to do projects with people such as John Dyson, Steve Hillman (I love his soundtrack ideas), Nattefrost or Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock.

What can you tell of the way you compose your music?
I like to believe that we all compose from an emotional response, be it physical or psychological. I certainly don’t sit down and just compose though, it’s something that I let come forward of it’s own accord. Sometimes I get a pattern or a melody in my head and I run to the computer and get it down, save it as an “idea” and re-visit it at another time. Sometimes imagery will spark things off – in another part of my life, I am an urban explorer which means that I explore abandoned or derelict buildings etc, and the sights I see in these places bring forward the creative process.

Emotional situations/experiences (the main thing for everybody I think) also feature in my approach. My first two albums were born of emotional response and (particularly the second album) spiritual beliefs. The new material I am working on is more image response than anything else, but it is still early days yet.
Once those ideas are there, then it is the usual process of formatting, arrangement and development ready for programming/recording. Once the material has been recorded it’s then production time, a process I personally enjoy as much as the writing and recording.

So how does your studio look like and what the gear do you use?
Ha! My actual “studio” is a sound engineer’s worst nightmare because it’s in my living room! My set-up is very simple, and to some, quite boring, because pretty much everything is done “in the box”.
That said, I do use a Roland JV-2080 synth module (previously owned by Code Indigo’s Dave Massey) and I do have a Zoom 1201 multi-FX unit which I use mainly for live vocals. I have an ancient PC running Cubase and far too many VST’s, all kept under control using an Evolution MK449C MIDI keyboard controller.
I like the old Evolution keyboards as they were cheap, are easy to use and look good. I run the sound from the PC using a firewire audio interface via an old Mackie 1202 mixer to a pair of Alesis M1 Active 520 monitors.
Obviously because of the acoustic atrocities I have committed through not having a dedicated room for the studio, I use the Voxengo SPAN audio spectrum analyzer to keep a check on frequencies etc. I’m a big fan of VST’s made by Togu Audio Line, Kjaerhus Audio and Glen Stegner (yep, the freebie ones), all very flexible, all have a great sound and yes, the financial considerations are there as well.
They are what I used when I first started and have been quite happy to continue using them. I also use an old version of the EnergyXT DAW, it’s modular environment is the one I found the easiest to use.

Let’s have a closer look at your two albums you released so far: “The Garden” and “The Timeless Mind”. How different are they from each other in your opinion, musically and in approach?
To my mind and ears, “The Garden” and “The Timeless Mind” are two very different albums for a number of reasons.
“The Garden” was my first full album ever, it’s raw in that it was made by someone with little studio experience. My musical adventures had always been about live performance rather than studio outings, so much of “The Garden” was done as we learned about new things.

Musically, “The Garden” was inspired by our garden. When I started writing the music, Anne and I had only been in the property a few weeks and it is a small piece of nature in a little corner of a city, with so much going on in it from the birds to the insects to the trees and plants.
Also, “The Garden” is very much an emotional outlet following my father’s death three weeks after we had moved into our home – coincidentally, my father spent the last ten years of his life as a gardener. In this album, you can hear my highs and lows of the time, tempered by the various going-ons in the garden.

But also at this time, I also saw the garden as something of a mystical place, somewhere to go to when we first pass the point of physical death, something of a spiritual waiting room if you like and that’s how “The Timeless Mind” became something of a sequel to “The Garden” in it’s concept.

Musically, the album is a mixture of styles, influences and moods. I love ambient soundscapes and a couple of the tracks, particularly “View From A White Room”, embraced that love. This was also a time when I was experimenting a lot with the new software synths that had come into my possession, sand I think that comes through on a track called “The Day It Rained” as I happily and deliberately used a Korg Wavestation (the Legacy Collection was my first premium synth package – wish I could have got the controller as well!) preset for the main rhythm and other Wavestation presets for pads etc.
I have a strong classical background and this was vented with a piece called “The Sculpture and the Wall” with it’s orchestral 3/4 time signature – you could dance a serious waltz to it if you so desired!

The album “The Garden” was mastered by David Wright in his studio one night a week over an 8-9 week period. I sat in on the session and this is where I began to learn more about what the studio had to offer.
David was very patient and enthusiastically explained what he was doing, why he was doing it and how it would affect the overall thing. For me it was like attending something of a weekly master-class in music and I enjoyed this time immensely as not only did I learn so many new things, I also gained a very good friend in David Wright – we have a lot in common, particularly the sense of humor, and we certainly spent a lot of time laughing.

So what about “The Timeless Mind”
The second album “The Timeless Mind” saw me heading in a different direction, musically. I had spent more time with other EM musicians, such as David Wright, Dave Massey (Code Indigo and Callisto) and Klaus Hoffman-Hoock, and I had also started attending and performing at EM events such as the Hampshire Jam, AD 2009 in Derby, U.K. and E-Day, so the style of the music in some way reflects the influence of the people and the times.

I wanted to do something that was a little more electronic, more up-tempo and closer to the sequenced style of music I was listening to. My approach to “The Timeless Mind” was very different. The initial recordings of “The Garden” were done with a friend who had some idea of what we were supposed to be doing, this time I was totally alone with the initial writing, recording and production. But armed with what I had learned from David Wright, I felt more confident about what I was doing.

The album took me approximately a year to record with a further three months of production. I was pleased with the outcome, but still felt that it lacked something, and certainly elements of my production were not perfect. This time around, Dave Massey (Code Indigo and Callisto) stepped in and gave the album the polish it needed. Again, I sat in on the sessions and as with the time spent with David Wright, I found sitting with Dave Massey both educational and fun (mostly at David Wright’s expense!).

I also read somewhere your second album “The Timeless Mind” is inspired by what lies beyond this life….
Yes indeed. For a number of years, I worked full-time as a medium and clairvoyant which, in it’s own way, brought me a certain perception or belief about the next step after we die. Once again, my father’s passing brought me a number of questions and scenarios – where was he? Was he okay? What was he seeing? What was he experiencing? What was he feeling? Who was he meeting? Where was he going? etc.

I took these questions and put together a scenario of what might occur after we leave the physical body, and did it from a first-person perspective. The first track, “The Stirring Of Echoes” essentially represents the coming death experience and I think that the second track “Passing” speaks for itself. For that one, I created the dramatic first part which signifies the last moments of life, the gathering of the family to say the goodbyes etc, then the atonal electronic passage represents the journey to the afterlife. The final gentle piano-based section portrays the arrival into a garden where loved-ones await greet the newly passed person – as a nod to the under-lying concept of my first album and as a tip of the hat to my father, I ended this track with a couple of phrases from the track called “The Garden”.

The third track looks at the first impressions one might have when first arrived in the afterlife – as you might well have guessed, the film of the same name with Robin Williams was a huge influence here. “Until The End Of Time” is about the acceptance of where you are and that you have to wait for those you loved in the physical world, particularly a wife or children, to join you at a later time.
“In Another Light” again speaks for itself; you’re somewhere new, it might be mysterious, it might be beautiful or it might be just a little scary to begin with, and what does the place look like and how is it lit? Your first new day in a new world, lit by another light.

The longest track on the album “The Embrace Of Eternity” explores the concept of what is available to you now that you free of the confines of the physical body. Can you explore the farthest reaches of space? Can you travel back and forth in time? Can you go to the end of eternity? The title track was always going to be deliberately “cheesy”.

I wanted a track that was up-lifting because this is the point where you re-connect with your higher-self. A part of my personal beliefs is that only a part of us is in this physical life and that the greater part of ourselves remains in the spiritual realms. It’s only after we die that we re-connect with this part of our consciousness, something that I call the timeless mind, therefore, it has to be a good thing to be complete again, hence the up-tempo, cheesy melody.

“Spirit-Walking” is another track that I think speaks for itself. You’re in this place, you’re free to go and to move where you want. That’s a good thing and once you’ve found your “spiritual feet”, you can start moving about and taking in all that eternity has to offer.
The final track speaks of the time when our spiritual self moves to the afterlife completely, the point where we finally know and accept that we can’t go back, but also a time when the loved ones we’ve left behind learn to say goodbye and let go of the person departed. Imagine a gate of light, and walking through that gate never to return.

Why did you insist on the (in my opinion) quirky ending of “The Timeless Mind”?
“The Timeless Mind” has a concept and much of that has come from my own imagery making it very personal. There is reasoning to each and every track and a reason why it had to be in the order it’s in because, quite simply, it is a journey.

The last track, “The Gift of Goodbye”, is the most personal track on the album. It has it’s meaning within the overall context of the album but it also has it’s meaning for me personally because this was me saying goodbye to my father. When I first played “The Gift Of Goodbye” to AD Music, they all fell about laughing at the last minute or so, because they weren’t expecting it – it was totally against the rest of the album.

But that’s me as a person, I don’t like sticking to conformities and like to challenge conventions. But also, the quirky little ditty – which is the main theme of the track played in a slightly jazz-like way – represents someone moving on in their own way, much as I imagine my father would have done. You had the grand and dramatic first part, church organs, choirs and strings, but then you have the person, a wry smile as he turns and walks away to music and a groove he would have enjoyed in his physical life.

In the U.K., we had a comedy duo called Morecambe and Wise who were national treasures and my father’s favorites. The straight man was Ernie Wise and the comic was Eric Morecambe who had a gifted sense of timing.
At the end of their shows, you would sometimes see Eric walking off at the back of the stage, dressed in a long coat, a flat cap and carrying a brown paper bag – there you have the quirky ending to the track and the album. It’s an English sense of humor thing.

Was there any kind of “risk” involved assembling the tracks and music for the second album?
I’m quite comfortable with the tracks and the music of “The Timeless Mind”, the only risk as such was the inclusion of the closing part of “The Gift Of Goodbye”, aside from the personal references to my father.
As said previously, I liked the idea of injecting a little spontaneity through humor because I feel that far too many EM artists take themselves far too seriously – I can’t do that and with a haircut like mine, it’s not hard to see why!
English humor is not really understood or appreciated by many other countries and I suppose there was the expectation that no-one would “get it”, and as expected, people haven’t “got it”.
I was cursed with a sense of humor at birth and it’s a part of what I am, I don’t take anything seriously, least of all myself.

I heard the initial concepts of the Geigertek project did not include performing live concerts at all, but this this changed following the signing of the first Geigertek album to AD Music. How come?
When the Geigertek project was first conceived, the idea was to create electronic music across a number of styles including ambient, electronica and classical. I did a lot of live work many years ago and whilst it was fun, it was also hard work.

On top of that, I didn’t have any equipment, apart from a MIDI keyboard and a computer. However, whilst David Wright was mixing “The Garden” in January of 2008, he was telling me about a concert he was planning for the following September in his hometown of Bungay (which is only 13 miles from where I live) and suggested that perhaps I might like to play as his support act.
Without thinking, I said yes straight away – don’t ask me why because even now I don’t know.

Now, let’s keep in mind here, I had no equipment, I was 20 years out of live performance and I had an unfinished album of music – saying yes was, in some respects, total madness. However, I had committed to the gig and had to sort everything out – it was a challenge!
Good old eBay came to the rescue and I managed to pick up nice and cheaply a Roland D20 synthesizer, a Roland U220 synth module and a Korg M1r synth module. I also bought a second MIDI controller and discovered that my late father’s Yamaha PSR620 home keyboard made a great MIDI controller.
I got it together and enjoyed a very positive response from the audience. What also came as a surprise was being invited to join David Wright on stage for the last track of his set, along with Robert Fox and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock.

So from there, I was bitten once again by the live bug, and over the last couple of years, I’ve been altering my live set-up so that I can avoid the pitfalls of millions of miles of cabling and an excess of equipment. I’ve now reached a point where I’m happy with my live set-up which consists of a pc, a laptop, three MIDI controllers, the Roland JV-2080 and my sparkling personality and good looks.

What can you tell about your recruitment in January 2009 as keyboard player to the popular electronic rock group, Code Indigo?
My recruitment to Code Indigo came as something of a surprise because of the long association of the group’s members. I get together with David Wright pretty much on a weekly basis (always a Tuesday – lol) and have done for some time now, so this particular Tuesday evening in January 2009 was no exception.
Over our usual coffee, chocolate and latest demos sent into AD Music, David explained to me that there was need of a replacement for Robert Fox, he had discussed this with other members of Code Indigo and it would appear that they all felt that it was a natural thing for me to join.

It was quite a moment for me because, along with following David Wright et al, I had also been following and buying the music of Code Indigo for some time. And now here I was, being asked to join. I thought about it for approximately one third of a second and then said yes. My first outing with them was at the AD Music Festival in September of 2009. I have to say that I was a little apprehensive because I had to fill a rather large pair of boots. I was very aware of Robert Fox’s popularity and of course his reputation as a keyboard player, but I went out onto the stage, did what I had to do and thoroughly enjoyed the moment.

Rather than emulate Robert’s style, I took my own pathway by allowing my personality as well as my musical style to come across in the performance and the music. I was pleased and quite touched that the attending fans of Code Indigo accepted me – let’s hope that stays in place when we present a new album!!! I get on very well with the other members of the group and during rehearsals we had a lot of laughs – I enjoy the company of Dave Massey and Nigel Turner-Heffer very much and I find that “jamming” with Andy Lobban can be a lot of fun, it’s a shame he isn’t more local to us. There’s a great attitude as well as considerable humor (often directed at David Wright) within the group and this is what I enjoy the most at this stage.

David Wright & Neil Fellowes playing along…

Joining Code Indigo took me to the AD: 2009 Music Festival and as a result of that, allowed me the pleasure of meeting Ian Boddy, a thoroughly entertaining and very talented man, and another example of meeting someone you’ve admired for some time and not being disappointed.

A further spin-off from this was also being asked to step in and provide keyboards for Callisto’s live performances because Dave Massey is quite simply not a performing person in the slightest. This was just great for me as I love the music of Callisto, so the chance to perform it was never going to be refused.

We did our first performance of the “Nyx” material at the Hampshire Jam in 2009 and it was very well received. It was another cool event at which I was able to meet some of the U.K.’s best EM performers (notably Duncan Goddard of Radio Massacre International, John Christian of Air Sculpture and Phil Booth and Mick Daniel of Pollard/Daniel/Booth) as well as the fans of the genre.

I also enjoyed our slot at the 2010 E-Day, which for me was a real step up in terms of technical performance as I was running the majority of the sequences live through two laptops through-out that part of the set.
It was good to meet a number of new people from the European side of things as well, including Hans-Herman Hess from Electronic Circus, Stephan Schelle, Stefan Schulz from Syndae and of course your good self to name but a few!!! It was nice to meet up again with Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, always a pleasure to be in his company.

I recently heard your “Endless Night” EP is also due very soon. Could you please say a few things about the release and its music?
The “Endless Night” E.P. is something that, quite literally, came out of the blue. I was asked to perform at an evening of live electronica/synth-pop here in Norwich by a group of electronica enthusiasts who wanted to start a regular series of events, which they would call “Artificial”, that gave a platform for local electronic music artists to perform.
This wasn’t to be an evening for thoughtful electronic ambient instrumental music, so I looked to a stack of material from many years ago and put together a 40-minute set for the event. It was becoming quite clear that I might have a little opening here and so alongside the gig, I started to prepare the tracks as a studio offering as well.

I didn’t approach AD Music with the E.P. as it isn’t their sort of thing musically, but when I asked David Wright for advice about doing the publishing myself, he stepped in and offered me the opportunity of releasing “Endless Night” through AD Music. Whilst it’s only a six-track affair, I’m quite proud of it as it shows another side to my music which has lain dormant for many years – I also had a lot of fun doing it!!!

It also gave me the chance to put into practice many of the studio things I learnt from David Wright and Dave Massey, which was evident because no further input was needed at the mastering stage, unlike my first two albums.
The music is darker than my previous releases and my influences are shamelessly very clear – John Foxx, Kraftwerk, Billy Currie, Ultravox, Gary Numan and The Human League (circa “Reproduction”/”Travelogue”) to name but a few.

I also look upon “Endless Night” as an opportunity to show that sequenced EM and vocals can sit together, and, based on the experience, it is possible I will do more of this type of thing again because it gave me a new avenue of experience in recording and producing vocals – at times a total nightmare, but I think I managed to pull it off – lol.
Of note is that the local B.B.C radio station has shown some interest in the E.P. and will hopefully be playing it in the near future.

Finally, anything else you’d like to share/mention
I’ve had some recent difficulties with my computer system which has given me a number of headaches, but now that they’re sorted out, I can restart work on two new albums.

One will be original material and has the working title of “Soundtrack For City Living” and the other is an album of classical music, to be called “Interpretations”, where I’m using original orchestral scores and replacing the elements of the orchestra with synthesizers. It won’t be like William Orbit, Tomita or Wendy Carlos as I’m not re-arranging the pieces.
And finally, a big thank you to you for showing interest in me and my music, it’s really appreciated.


*The Garden






* The Timeless Mind



* Endless Night (EP)








Sonic Immersion
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