THE PLUCKED SEED is a four-part, twenty-eight track album, privately commissioned by Finnish painter Anni Roenkae in February, 2020. Work began that Spring, just as the pandemic was beginning to happen, and was not completed until May of 2021. It was designed as a musical score for a text reading of a vivid and heavily symbolic dream Anni experienced, which she has been developing separately as a screenplay and a comic book as well: www.anniroenkae.com
As it often goes with my work, what I set out to do initially ends up resembling the final recordings very little, even though THE PLUCKED SEED was rigidly built using a very on-paper system of reference points, textural and musical themes and conceptual motifs. It could be interpreted as a spiritual follow-up to my previous soundtrack-without-a-body, THE ENDLESS SLEEP, and functions much in the same way as that album did for a film that was tragically destroyed before it was ever finished. Anni, for her part in commissioning this work, allowed me complete creative freedom to explore her surreal ideas, and as a result, THE PLUCKED SEED was an organic and subconscious manifestation that grew outward from her prompts. It would not exist without her influence or initiation, and yet, it feels very referential to many other recordings I've published under my birthname, and as Milieu and Coppice Halifax also.
THE PLUCKED SEED is sonically unique in that it used nearly every instrument and sound-machine in my studio at some point in the process of its creation. The list of synthesizers, effects processors, drum machines, electric and acoustic guitars and other strange sound sources would be even longer than the album itself. It is a multifaceted example of the studio itself being used as a tool, and probably the closest example of what a Grainger soundtrack for a feature-length film might look or sound like. The recordings were also made alongside my ongoing construction of a modular synthesizer system, throughout the 2020-2021 year, and many of the pieces reflect that approach to sound design and musical ideas overlapping in unexpected or unusual ways.
Whether the listener chooses to dig deeper into Anni's comic book while listening, attempting to find the narrative points connecting the music to the story, or if they simply let the music itself speak to them without a companion text or image for context, THE PLUCKED SEED is designed as a deeply detailed and immersive listening experience, with many peaks and valleys, heavenly highs and abyssal lows - a trip not taken lightly or without some preparation, which may not be for many of my longtime listeners. For those of you reading this who have been enthralled by my experimental work, made progressively more curious about what could happen next, given all the length of time and space my work has travelled, THE PLUCKED SEED offers a psychedelic and surrealistic world to explore, filled with natural beauty and unnatural doom, a living pulsing tapestry of subconscious expression, thematic improvisation, generative synthesis and dream-state symbolism.