"Tell us about your latest projects, Anthony…" Anthony and Jonathan talk about Radio Clyde, Archive Collection 2 and the forthcoming Private Parts & Pieces album: Field Day with Alan Hewitt at Vic's Place Sunday 6th December 2003.
Hopefully we are going to chat about the latest and forthcoming releases: Radio Clyde, Archive Collection 2 and the new Private Parts & Pieces album. Radio Clyde… that is one that people have known about for ages… how did that one emerge?
Radio Clyde was during the brief British promo tour of radio stations where they set up one live or semi-live playing session it was recorded as live. I wasn't allowed two takes on any of the pieces and Tregenna Afternoons got chucked out because I just couldn’t handle the whole thing in one it was just too difficult. It was an extremely difficult piece. I still had quite a difficult twelve string for that one unfortunately. That was basically done all in one session as live with all the voiceovers and obviously in those days there wasn't he huge market for re-releasing all the different things that you have done and so it just sort of disappeared and I forgot about it for many years until these tapes started appearing which were sped up and poor quality
It was down to Jon Dann's good offices that it was rescued and re-mastered by Chris at Serendipity and Voiceprint have kindly released it
What source did you take it from, Jon?
That was from finding a cassette copy …Radio Clyde own brand! (laughs) just a cassette copy.
Did you ever find out why they decided to speed it up?
No, it is one of the great mysteries really.
Did you do any other radio sessions at that time?
That was the only live one I recall. Obviously, I think it is well documented that during The Geese &The Ghost I used to take along a twelve string in America in an impromptu way. This was very much a fixed live radio. In America I used to sometimes go down and play and sometimes it used to work because it was so informal. Particularly I remember playing Flamingo in Denver when it was snowing and it was lovely. Later, when I did the Virgin re-releases, there were a couple of small sessions, as you know. That tour as I recall, was just really the Clyde session.
Moving on to the next project: Archive Collection Two…
Really that is down to Jonathan wading his way through all the old tapes and finding a hopefully homogenous batch of stuff that works. It is a little bit more of one period we don't really leap around from really primitive to really quite presentable. We are in that middle area of quite reasonable area and Jon has done some wonderful work with the noise reduction to try and make it a little… people are more interested in the music and the quality isn’t the key thing on an album like this. It does help if you are not being outnumbered by the hiss.
There are all sorts of odd things like unreleased material from the Scottish Suite which was written for MacBeth and one or two forgotten nuggets. And it is a double CD which will please the devout. Without Jon it certainly wouldn't have happened, actually.
J D: I think the contrast between this one and the first one is that we are now rummaging in the area of early multi-track and four track and eight track and there are things now of which there are no existing mixes; such as The Arabs which was done on eight track in 1980and which we transferred and an acoustic piece from The Geese.. with Mike Rutherford. That was just on a tape box which said "Important Bits" (laughs).
There are also some of your early library pieces on this one, as well…
Yes, there are some very early things, something from 1976 which was I think almost the first production I ever did when Atmosphere run by this kind but slightly eccentric character called Knuckam Hyman which was why it was called Hyman Music and we did a production at Riverside Studios actually and that was a little piece which was used for a shampoo advert actually. Again, the quality isn't too bad actually but it was recorded at a proper outside studio with decent kit. Yes, we go back as far as… actually we go back further there is a piano improvisation which Peter Gabriel said "it moves well" (laughs) and that goes back to 1971. The earliest recording is…? That one…Windmill actually.
I gather that one of the pieces does feature another member of Genesis?
Yeah, Mike as is known Mike was involved on the heavier sections of the MacBeth project and because we have resurrected a couple of those pieces and Mike is playing bass and Andy McCulloch drums and also there is a link from The Geese & The Ghost on two twelve strings. John Silver also appears on the first proper student film project: Fantomas which was done in 1973 and in which Richard MacPhail was involved as well and done this time thirty years ago down in Brighton and a lot of the music is too picture dependant to include and it is a bit surreal and French and John came down and did almost what he was best at which was a kind of Jazz brushes scenario and he is in his element. So we have included that and a little piano improvisation from Fantomas as well. And Chris Stewart, that well-known travel writer has done sleeve notes for Tregenna Afternoons…a different version of Tregenna Afternoons which he used to do in his warm-up before his Flamenco wine bar incarnation (laughs).
Enormous credit to Jon because A: it is a lot tidier than the previous one and B: I think it is a lot more homogenous. I think racing round from one moment of desperate quality to another of quite up to date quality is something of a mind shift and the pacing on this as well going from one to the other and I think it should be listened to in two sessions in my opinion and two CDs of an average length of about an hour each.
Now to fill in another gap; I believe there is another album in the Private Parts & Pieces series on the go and of course, Quique's new album… Suenos…
It is all his own work. It is stuff he has recorded over the years in different parts of the world. Some of it was recorded in Argentina and maybe some of it was recorded here but I don't think so and some of it was recorded in Spain and it is a wonderful mixture of his own pieces, one of which is absolutely gorgeous: Tema Para Cos, that's his girlfriend. Cos "Lettuce" because you know what his name means (Laughs) and then of course there is the Mixed Salad and that is absolutely beautiful. I can't be absolutely objective about it because when he first played the CD to me I had no idea which of the pieces were written by modern Spanish composers. Because the modern pieces tend to be Spanish composers or Argentinian composers. There is one track of Steve's and one or two of mine. Of the modern classical repertoire pieces they are mainly Spanish and so when his came on I just thought it was another composer and I was completely objective and I thought it was the best of the lot, to be honest. And then there is some Bach and some of the more conventional composers. It is a nice mix right across the board on twelve string and classical guitar. Hopefully people will find it a nice selection. And it was very nice of Voiceprint to stick their neck out because it must be difficult for them; obviously because they are not a record company that can afford to do major campaigns to try and break totally unknown artists into the public and so we are relying on people that know me and the whole Genesis scenario to go out and buy it.
And now the eleventh in the Private Parts & Pieces series…
I think it will be a Private Parts & Pieces album. I have been toying with not, because it is all totally new material and Private Parts & Pieces albums have tended to be compilations so… there are precedents for totally new material combining elements on PP's there have been small scale projects and obviously Private Parts & Pieces V and to a greater degree Private Parts & Pieces VIII fits into that category which was pretty much all new material, so I think this will end up as a PP and you are right it will be the eleventh, and we will, of course, be going down hill from then on because we are on the second eleven and obviously we won't be able to quite match the…. This album is down to its third year and I haven't recorded a note!
That's wrong, actually I HAVE recorded two different attempts to start and it has been a question of "I have started, so I will finish". I decided each time that I needed more practice. The problem has been that it has mushroomed because I got bored with the older stuff and started writing new ones and so the practice list gets longer. So conceivably, this will be a mushrooming project that will never be finished. Seriously, I DO hope to record this after Christmas but it features quite a wide range of instruments; there is a lot of twelve string stuff nearly all in weird tunings. There is a lot of Classical guitar stuff including several on ten string; English Bouzouki and Cittern and there is also now the Greek Bouzouki and I got him down off the wall and he has crept in and there is also the Charango and the Mandolin. My wonderful old antique six string Classical ; the Mirror Chord from 1850 which is almost a fretless guitar because the frets are so low down you just slide up it; it is very strange the most beautiful instrument.
There is possibly going to be a new version of Nocturne. When I say "new" I mean just newly played as I still after thirty years can't play it properly. There is a Traces revisited bit . So those are the only two which will have any precursor I think. It is just possible that some of them might turn into duets and I might get Martin Robertson in to perform some exotic woodwind on it and just level it out a bit. Although it is risky that when you do that it makes the rest of it sound a bit lean and you have to be careful what dimension you elevate this to.
And there you have it for this final issue folks. My thanks to all the fans who made The Pavilion possible in the first place. Thanks also to Jonathan and above all to Anthony without whom none of this would have been possible or, indeed, necessary!
The Pavilion Magazine/Newsletter has been produced by: Alan Hewitt and you can write to him at: 174 Salisbury Road, Liverpool, L5 6RQ,UK (Include SAE for reply) or check out the Anthony Phillips web site at: www.anthonyphillips.co.uk