Prog and the property developer

Picture: Jana Haemels

Photo courtesy: Jana Haemels

As some of you know I had an operation recently to remove a tumour from my right arm.  It’s been a worrying time as due to its location on a major nerve there was some doubt whether its removal would leave me with a permanent loss of motor skills to the fingers.  Nerve damage is a nightmare scenario for any musician and something that has really affected Phil Collins who is battling to get his health back after back and wrist issues.  Nerves can repair, but extremely slowly and significant damage is often permanent.  I was very lucky in getting a referral to one of the top surgeons in the country for Nerve Injury at the RNOH in Stanmore.  He was confident he could remove it with minimal damage and thankfully I’m pleased to report I seem to be making an excellent recovery.   Three weeks post op I’m playing guitar and keyboards again, my arm is a bit weak but it’s getting better a tiny bit each day.

I’ve been busy writing since The Unreasonable Silence was released and I already have a new album’s worth of material written and demos recorded.  There’s obviously a ton of work ahead to get it properly recorded and mixed but things are looking very positive for another release forthcoming.  This album will be a little different in presentation, less of a story and more a collection of songs around a central theme.  It’s also going to have a more mellow, retrospective feel to it, dare I say more 70s sounding…

There’s been a lot of crap written recently on social media about progressive music, progressing. Certain prog luminaries have taken a very ‘holier than thou’ stance condemning retrospective sounding music.  The thing is the Genesises,Yeses and Floyds of this world had a greenfield site to explore innovate, and build new ‘progressive’ (small p) music.  Anything they did, was new fresh and exciting because they were there at the beginning.  We are now nearly 50 years on.  Any prog artist now is working in distinctly ‘brownfield’ developments.  Of course some will try and convince you that their music is new, fresh, truly innovative and like nothing you’ve ever heard before, just like a property developer buying a factory, gutting it and putting luxury flats in it.  Maybe I’m too honest but I can’t see that anything I do will be truly innovative or new. How can it be when all around is a near on 50 year history of prog development that has gone before and influenced me? I’m basically scouring the old buildings of Prog (large P), finding the bricks and features I like and building something new behind the behemoth facades.   I’m more than happy with that.  I like music that sounds good to me, and this music sounds great.  I’m not seeing any reason to nuke the site from orbit and start again just because someone thinks that ‘derivative’ is a naughty word.  Things may evolve, they may not, who cares as long as it sounds good.   Even in a brownfield environment you can twist design, mix styles and add contemporary technology to make it sound fresh, but it’s still rooted in a long tradition. That’s what I’m doing with Cosmograf.

 

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5 Responses to Prog and the property developer

  1. Tobbe Janson Saturday 22nd October 2016 at 14:04 #

    Great to hear your recovery seems so good!! And I like your honesty in what you say about the prog world and your music! Cheers!

  2. Roy Clay Saturday 22nd October 2016 at 15:53 #

    Well said and well done ! Glad you are progressing both health and music-wise.

    I absolutely agree with your stand with regard to said “He who should not be named” prog music luminary !?! (If there is actually such a thing). I like the music of said individual and band but not all of it, some of it is very derivative, bland and plagarist even. Hence was surprised when they came out with their comments. Nice to hear a musician make excellent valid comments that show those spiteful views to be only so much hot air.

    Not all music needs to be earth-shattering or ground-breaking. It is a point I made to said individual that sometimes its about just enjoying good quality music. By the way utterly love “Capacitor” absolutely stunning on all levels. For me personally its your best work, and pushes all my musical buttons. Thank you.

    • Peter Harrison Sunday 23rd October 2016 at 07:31 #

      Glad the recovery is going well, keep it slow and steady. These things take time!

      Look forward to any new materials from Cosmograf, Given the progress from album to album, it is unthinkable that the next one will not be as good, or even better than the previous.

      Take care and keep up the great work.

  3. Akos Balogh Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 22:08 #

    God bless You (and the Cosmograf too)! You are perfect! Cosmograf is fantastic!
    [from Hungary]

  4. Martin Blake Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 02:09 #

    More power to your elbow (and the rest of your arm), sir!
    Thanks to “Free Prog Rock” on Facebook, I heard Cosmograf for the first time this week. The track was “This film might change your life” and I was instantly hooked, and got The Unreasonable Silence and The Man Left in Space right away. Thanks to Roy Clay’s comment I will have to get “Capacitor” as well now! Thanks for the tip, Roy.
    Here’s to your full recovery, thanks for the lovely music so far and I look forward to your next album.

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