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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - CONJURE ONE

14.09.05

     
 

Q: Now that Extraordinary Ways is on general release – how do you feel about it as a completed project?  

I feel pretty good about it. I like it more than the first record as a complete picture. I still feel there are many ways I could improve on some of it, which is usually the case with my records, but at that time, I gave it my best.

  Q :  Of the large number of projects that you’ve been involved with, Conjure One is probably the most personal – does this create greater freedom for you in the way you approach writing or perhaps unique challenges?
 

It creates a challenge in that I'm trying to please myself and make a record the best I can to the highest standard. When you work with others, in collaboration, or producing, other sets of ears share the burden, and you can let things go a little more. This stuff I carry around with me everywhere when I'm working on it.

     
             
Q : Nettwerk’s press release quotes you as saying that “the first album was more of a Middle Eastern travelogue, while Extraordinary Ways is more of an internal journey,” how would you say that this is reflected in the music?
  The inspirations of the songs came about more from everyday life in a big city and the existential crisis than can come out of that! The first album was a bit more of a dream, where as this one is more of a reality. The cover design also reflects this concept, as well as the escapist element; wanting to get away from the concrete sprawl to the serenity of nature.   Q : Are you moving away from the use of ethnic sounds (although, of course, they are still present on Extraordinary Ways to a lesser degree)?

  It wasn't a conscious decision to remove those elements, its just that's not where as much of the inspiration came from this time. There are still lots of ethnic sounds on the new record, they are just not as immediately apparent.
             
Q : You’ve commented in another interview that the bridge in Forever Lost is “close to what I’m trying to do” – what hit the spot there for you?
  The combination of elements there. The lead, the pads, the processed beat, the guitar all going there creates the atmosphere I want Conjure One to represent. The lead is a multi sample of a turkish instrument called a Kemence..


  Q : Do you have a particular method when you write Conjure One music – perhaps an order in which you do things, a certain pattern of composing that’s developing? What comes first? What’s last?
  It usually starts with developing the chord progressions on piano or a pad and blossoms from there. Beats are next, then the synth work. Live instruments are then added with vocals usually being done after the track is nearly a complete picture.
             
 
     
Q :  We know that you write the music and then collaborate with guest vocalists to add the lyrics and voices – do you always present the singers with complete compositions or do they sometimes produce ideas/material that shapes your own writing?   Like I stated above, the music is usually pretty much complete when it gets presented to the singer/writer. There sometimes are arrangement changes that are made to better suit the vocal. I'm all up for radical overhauls if it makes the vocal and song better, but it hasn't happened that way much yet.
  Q : The Conjure One instrumentals are usually powerful parts of your albums – do they start out in a different way from the vocal tracks? Are they always intended as instrumentals right from the start?
  Everything starts out the same way, but fairly early on you can tell if it suits one or the other, mainly by the mood of the music and what the impending structure dictates. Good ideas tend to write themselves once the basics are there.
             
Q :  How did you decide on the new vocalists - what are some of the qualities that you especially like in them?
 
Its more about the quality of their writing; the melodies and words. Though these usually are accompanied by a good voice as well.
   Q :  The track ‘I Believe’ has stirred up some interesting discussion on the Conjure One forum – what led to you singing a Buzzcocks cover yourself?  

 

 

Its a song that has been a favorite of mine since I was young and I thought it would be a good song to cover because I felt close to it after having known it for 2/3 of my life. I initially put a rough vocal down as a guide with the intention of having someone re sing it later. A few people heard it without knowing it was me and said it sounded fresh. So it stayed. You need to take a risk now and again. I figured after this much time in the music biz I can get away with it!

 

           
         
 Q :  Which aspects of Conjure One would you most like to further develop in the future?   The depth and atmosphere of the sound and the emotion of the chord progressions. Its a work in progress. There is a sound in my head I haven't captured yet. I also want to move the next record away from traditional song structures.    Q :  Is Conjure One a project you foresee being around for a long time?   I hope so. As I said above, its an on going process of refinement. There are sections of the new album that are getting closer, but I feel I have a ways to go until I feel I've made my mark with all this project is supposed to represent.

 

 

           

As a slight sideline: -

Q :  I hear that much of the work on the new Delerium album is done and that "anyone who liked Karma will like this new one" – what part have you had in contributing to this project? Is the Karma connection in response to the constant pleas from fans for more music in that vein?

  Well, much of the basic programming is done but its quite a ways from being done, as no vocals have been recorded. As for the Karma reference; I'd rather not compare the two because this record won't be a return to that era. Thats impossible. It does have a less mainstream approach than Chimera though; There are more moody electronic elements and more ethereal instrumental pieces.   If there's anything we haven't asked that you think the fans really need to know - do feel free to comment.  

We are currently looking to get Conjure One out on the road, so stay tuned to our website for more on this.

 

Thanks to Rhys Fulber for allowing us that interview.