Friday, 25 November 2016

Books Of Blood (Ode To Clive Barker)

This piece was written and recorded over the last two days. It came together very quickly and I am as pleased as I can be, when I don't hear it's little sonic imperfections jump out at me. So I try to listen to it as a nonchalant listener would and appreciate it for what it is. But you want hear the back story, right?

When I was a teenager, I found the graphic novel of "The Yattering & Jack" by Clive Barker in the local library. I fell in love with it immediately. The premise was simple but fun. Idiotic man, Jack Polo (a gherkin salesman, how colourful) is tormented by a demon. Said man is too stupid (or is he) to recognise there is a malevolent presence in his house and this leads to the demon being pushed to the edge of it's own sanity. No spoilers, I promise! But I noted the piece came from "Books Of Blood" and added it to my must read list. Long list that it is.

I've always admired Barker's work be it writing, films or art. There's a beauty to it. In a brutal way, but it's always there beneath the visceral, sexual imagery. It's rooted in the Gothic style but it's equal parts fantasy as well as horror. "Hellraiser" is probably his best known film. But there are many others based on his short stories. "The Forbidden" became "Candyman" for example. Back to the point though. Speed forward a couple of years, I secured a copy of "The Hellbound Heart" and "Books Of  Blood 1-3" from a guy in my local. True story. It's had several name changes over the years, I believe it's now called "The Funky Monkey". (One used to be able to smoke weed without bother in the smoking area. But that was a long time ago, not that I'd know...)

I fell in love with the books, I kept them for a long time. But eventually returned them, it broke my heart. A few years ahead and I met my beautiful soulmate. We would occasionally take random day trips, mostly to Dublin. We still do. But we love to take random shops, think old vinyl and books, the smell alone is perfect. Old paper. (Some people get it, some people don't). I approached a corner in one of these shops and there it was: "Books Of Blood 1-3". It was almost smiling at me. I snatched it up and ran. Well, after paying for it. 

I love this book. It helped me grow up. This piece is inspired by my 3 favourite stories: "The Yattering & Jack", "New Murders In The Rue Morgue" and "Skins Of The Fathers". I called on a few influences for this - Stravinsky, Jarre and Elfman are the most obvious ones. I worked my arse off to get this piece perfect. I'm rightly proud of it and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing and producing it. Thanks for reading. For any music tech heads, I'll write how I did it in my next blog.

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