My music, part 2

by stephenpalmersf

Continuing the stroll down music avenue…

A lot of my music is rooted in land, seasons, weather, landscape. I’m definitely Rural Man. Ten years ago I did a series of solo recordings loosely associated with 1970s music, and one of them was the album Border Land. I very rarely listen to my own music, but some albums, including this one, have a peculiar chemistry that I never can put my finger on. So I listen to this one quite often. It’s music to evoke a part of Britain very close to my heart, and pretty much where I live now – the Marches, the region where England and Wales meet. Border Land does dive south into Herefordshire, but mostly its world is the Marches area of Shropshire.

There’s a hint of Mike Oldfield in this album, but I played and arranged the instruments in a different way to how he does his music – more impressionistic. And because music is mostly about feeling and emotion, I suspect the reasons Mike Oldfield recorded Hergest Ridge in 1974 are similar to the reasons I recorded Border Land.

Around the time I made Border Land I had a group with two friends, one of whom, Chris Gill, lived in Criggion in Wales. We jammed a few times in the Criggion village hall, and I suspect the atmosphere of the place contributed to the spacey music that ensued. Landscape can influence music in many ways – in composition and in improvised playing. Chris, Andy and I may have been making rock music then, but we were channelling something more elemental, I think.

Border Land remains a favourite of my long form pieces.