From Here started with that riff. I had just bought my favourite guitar pedal ever (a Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, for all you fellow geeks out there), and had fed my guitar through it and just started messing around, and the riff just rolled on out. It had a hypnotic quality to it, and I just obsessively played it for hours on end, leaning back in my chair, with a drumloop for rhythm. I felt there was an interesting duality to the melody, one minute it sounds like sinking into a warm, soothing bath, the next it carries a sense of melodrama and heart-ache.
So I thought: maybe this could be the story. One moment you’re the most confident, care-free person in the world, and everything seems to come naturally to you and you don’t give a damn, and the next you find yourself panicking about your future, or about your day-to-day actions, and it all suddenly seems pointless.
So I structured the song into carefree verses and a chorus that kind of turns back on it self and goes: “Wait.. what’s the point? How long can I keep this up?”
Putting the sound of the track together came quite quickly. It was a sort of hyper-focused three day production sprint, and then it was done. Basically, it’s all built around that looping drumbeat and the main riff. I wanted the verses to feel a bit muggy, sticky, like a hot afternoon. So I added some super messy percussion, a bass line that kind of lopes and pulls and drags, and those musing little extra bendy guitar lines that kind of feel like they’re talking back to the vocal melody. Like they have a bit of an attitude. I sang it as slurred and lazily as I could, to really capture the mellowness in the verse. In the choruses, the arrangement becomes tighter, the bass and the percussion are more on the nose, making the whole thing feel more sturdy. I used these shimmering synth sounds to open the track up wide, and towards the end I even pulled a super heavy grinding synth bass out of my Prophet to really give it that final oomph.
But all the way through, I was working to preserve the hypnotic quality of the riff and the groove. No matter how you feel, up or down, high or low, there's always a beat moving you forward, slowly but surely. To me, that's the heart of it.
1/5 of the ORBIT Augmented Reality exhibition, a new music and art release. This work is interactive, and will come to life in sound and vision with the use of the "Someone presents: ORBIT" app.
Giclee on fine art paper. Signed by the artist.
Download the app here, free of charge.