Writing about music is something I try to avoid wherever possible, but in this case, I felt that some background insight into this little record may be of some benefit to the kind people who will listen to it.
There is a lot that I would like to say about the events that influenced the making of these songs – however, I will try to keep this as concise as possible.
For a few weeks I have been trying to figure out a way in which I can explain the following, without sharing too much personal detail – however, I’ve realised that tiptoeing around these facts would simply hinder the essence of what I wanted to express.
So, it goes something like this;
In May last year, roughly 1-2 weeks after putting the final touches to my last album, Balance, and securing its release on Karaoke Kalk, I received an unexpected phone call from England. My Dad had cancer.
The next week I was on a plane back to the UK.
The following months were something of a blur. I would spend the days at a summer job (pruning trees, cutting grass & generally attempting to look after plants) whilst racing to visit my wonderful Dad in between my lunch breaks and straight after finishing work. It was an exhausting schedule, but one that wasn’t to last very long – as only two months after his diagnosis, my Dad (and one of my greatest friends) took his last, peaceful breath.
It was an experience that still simultaneously makes my heart ache to its core & fills me with unbounded gratitude – for only now can I deeply appreciate the privilege of being born & joy of simply being.
But, a year and a half on, I am left feeling deeply puzzled about one thing in particular. How have we come to live in a ‘developed’ Western world that not only, on some level, seems to deny the inevitability of one’s own death, but even feels largely uncomfortable in openly discussing the subject? We will all leave this beautiful planet one day and our physical bodies will eventually return into the ground. I truly do not mean that to be sad, depressing or morbid – it is simply a fact of life. To deny such a basic truth is to live at odds with reality. After all, is death not as natural an occurrence as birth?
I cannot help but feel that if we were raised to fully understand and realise the impermanence of all things & were taught to practise non-attachment to our external world, that death (that heavy and loaded word) would cease to be a such a taboo subject, and maybe…just maybe, even become a peaceful & celebratory experience for those involved.
Everything around us is changing constantly. Even the atoms that make up our bodies (and all matter) are forever vibrating and shifting. In fact, I recently read that these very foundations of our bodies are entirely replaced within each of our lifetimes.
So, if the nature of our world is to behave in such a way – why do we choose to desperately cling onto things that cannot possibly be clung to? If we were to truly realise and fully accept our own fleeting, earthly existence then we could massively transform our life experiences in tremendously positive ways. Perhaps we would finally understand that the present moment is all that ultimately exists & take responsibility for our own perceptions of the world – instead of blaming ‘life’ for our sometimes seemingly unjust troubles (many of which are so often created by our own minds).
Remember that we are, quite literally, remnants of stardust (“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.” – Carl Sagan), spinning around at 1000+ miles per hour on a rich, blue planet…in infinite space. Would you not agree that that is a stunningly beautiful concept?
So, with that said….’Light Shadows’ is a strange amalgamation of all of these things I have mentioned, that gradually seeped their way into my consciousness, since ‘Balance’ was released a year ago. Of course, I could never and would never attempt to portray this into any piece of music…but it would be unfair for me to deny that these events and realisations had not, in some way, attributed to the end result of this tiny, little release. – Peace & Love, Will
released 25 April 2014
Produced by Will Samson & Florian Frenzel
Mastered by Mike Grinser
Released by Karaoke Kalk
Viola performed by Doreen Ooi
'Colliding With Oceans' remix by Benoît Pioulard
'Rusting Giants' remix by Ritornell