(Behind The Music) Paul Kirkpatrick on Ashes in the Snow

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A film? A soundtrack? What if you flipped the whole creative process on its head and created the sonic work first, and then produced a film around it? The titles of the tracks become the plot guides for the film. That is how I imagined the “plot” for the album. – @ipauljk

Live Interview November 29 – 12:20 pm et:
Episode #392 http://tobtr.com/9605881

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW PAUL KIRKPATRICK
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

“Ashes in the Snow” is the lead track from my new instrumental album “Omertà”
and features a range of musicians who I have worked with on a few projects recently, including the Glitch Code album “Gifted_Damaged”, which was released earlier this year.

“Ashes in the Snow” from the album “Omertà”

OMERTÀ
is a code of honor that places importance on silence, non-cooperation with authorities, and non-interference in the illegal actions of others.

 

“Omertà” is available to buy from my website:
http://www.paulk-music.com/music

The 44-page book and CD are available to pre-order here:
http://www.paulk-music.com/shop

From 28th Nov 2016, the album will be available worldwide on iTunes then from 6th Jan 2017, on all major streaming and download services

A film? A soundtrack?
What if you flipped the whole creative process on its head and created the sonic work first, and then produced a film around it? The titles of the tracks become the plot guides for the film. That is how I imagined the “plot” for the album.

The album tells the story of a young girl who witnesses something awful
and is sworn to silence under threat to her family. As she grows she realizes she must free herself and her family from the burden of her silence and sets out to expose the truth about what she has witnessed. There are twists and turns throughout the plot with one final twist at the end when the Omertà theme is reprise.

I have also worked with acclaimed art director Laurence Stevens,
(Eurythmics, Muse), to produce a 44-page book to accompany the album, with the story of the film told through a series of digital collages. Everything is shot in a film noir style black and white and features images from a couple of shoots we did in London coupled with digital image compositions and location footage. Early versions can be seen on my website http://www.paulk-music.com/gallery

All the tracks themselves were recorded in my home studio
over a period of two years, with only the drums being recorded externally. This helps give the music a more lo-fi feel that goes with the film noir imagery and means I could spend time getting the exact sound I wanted.

Omertà is a very personal album to me
as I’ve tried to get the melodic emotion you would normally associate with a vocal performance on to an instrumental album. Using the cello as the main instrument, I try to convey some of the more mournful themes using layers of harmony, expertly played by the talented Rachel Dawson. I have then used a lot of piano and fretless bass to pick out hooks and phrases that the voice would normally accentuate. Glitchy electronica and acoustic guitar add to the timbre of the pieces and I think “Ashes in the Snow” combines all the elements I was hoping to achieve. It’s also special to me as my son plays the beautifully haunting solo on lead guitar and it was great to work together.

I have also experimented with Theremin and trumpet on the track “Broken”
which was great to record although the Theremin is notoriously difficult to play and took a few attempts and some nifty editing to get it sounding how I imagined it in my head! When people listen to my album I want them to feel like they are on a journey and imagine whatever the music makes them feel, and create their own interpretations of the sound and imagery combined. I think one of the early reviews has captured exactly what I was trying to achieve

“Kirkpatrick has a real knack for making music the listener feels,
and ‘Omertà’ is an impressively nuanced, detailed work “ To me music is an emotional journey and I hope the listeners will enjoy the journey through this album. I find lying in a dark room with headphones on is a great relaxing way to listen to a work like this. There are twists and turns in the music to reflect the plot of the
film and I’ve used instrumentation and percussion from all around the world to get the sound just how I imagined it.

On “Lay Preacher” there is a lovely Latin recital of the ”Salve Regina” prayer
by the Rev Julian Bowers, a little bit of opera here and there on other tracks and some cut up vocal phrases sparsely spread across the album. Expect the unexpected!

It took about two years to make from start to finish
and the next logical step would be to take a symphonic version of the album to a live audience.

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I live in a small village about 100 miles north of London
but not far away from other major cities so there is always a great variety of acts to go and see from local bands playing nearby to major acts playing in Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham etc.

Music as a business has changed massively over the last few years.
It has become more of a consumable than a commodity and that greatly affects the longevity of acts as they no longer have 4 or 5 years to develop. On the flip side, there is a great independent scene as people are looking to move away from one hit wonder mainstream acts that all seem to be clones of each other, to independent artists who can get their music out there through the internet and develop at their own pace. I think having my own small label, BasilicaMusic, let’s me put out the music I want to put out and, as with the Glitch Code release, I’ve tried to make a product that is different and physical as well as digital. I loved getting a physical CD or LP when I was growing up would spend hours studying the artwork and lyrics and I’ve tried to do that on my releases. There are loads of clues to the film plot in the Omertà artwork so see if you can spot them all!

If it was anyone alive or dead, I would have to say Kate Bush.
I’m a great admirer of her unique sound and songwriting ability and she is a big inspiration to my own creative process, mixing electronic and acoustic instrumentation, unusual textures and arrangements with great melody and lyrics. I was lucky enough to see her live at the “Before the Dawn” shows and she was simply mind blowing. Combining the imagery with the music is something I’ve tried to follow her lead on. She is a truly one off artist and in my opinion one of the greatest artists of all time.

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pauljkmusic/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ipauljk
Instagram: https://www.instragram.com/_ipaulk_

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