Dave Stafford, June 2013: after some forty years of work in music, a new phenomenon
came along that literally changed everything: applications. in the past, to make
music, I needed guitars, keyboards or other instruments to make sound, sometimes,
using computers to help me, but never before could I create music using an inexpensive
application running on an apple tablet - and, create professional, fully-fledged
pieces of music to boot.
despite being a traditional player, who learned piano as a boy and played guitar
in many a garage band growing up - I took to this new technology like a duck to water
- in late 2011, I acquired an ipad 2, and started working with some of the amazing
and remarkable music applications that are available. it just seemed...right, a
technology that would allow anyone to create music, whether they had musical knowledge
or not, but, having musical knowledge, being able to read music, I feel gave me at
least a slight advantage...I could manipulate these tools to make the best music
possible (or so I hope).
I began collecting music applications, downloading them, trying them, and if they
seemed promising, I would begin recording in earnest with them. one of the first
serious music apps I downloaded was the fairlight pro (which is now named “peter
vogel cmi”, by the way - but I still call it “the fairlight”) which I struggled a
bit, to be honest, to learn, because of a gap in my knowledge: I’d never learned
how to sequence.
a few weeks passed, and...I learned to sequence. I embarked on a career of recording
fairlight sequences whenever I could find the time; getting used to the remarkable
library of samples, and how to assemble the samples into brand new pieces of music.
in an eighteen month period, I worked on about 70 sessions with “the fairlight”,
which yielded 45 complete tracks, and an additional 24 early mixes, alternative mixes,
incomplete pieces, etc., which remain unreleased.
I also recorded many, many other pieces with many, many other applications, and in
fact, in this year and a half period, I became so incredibly prolific thanks to the
ipad and thanks to the incredible number of really robust, powerful music applications,
that it took me some time to come up with a solution for how to make this “new music”
available to listeners - and it was then (probably in about mid- 2012) that I hit
on the concept of the “eternal album” - which I describe in detail on the bandcamp
site for this album. it took me about a year to work out how the eternal album would
“work”, and this summer, in june, 2013, I sat down to remaster the entire dave stafford
“fairlight pro” catalogue for the express purpose of making it available in this
new format, the “eternal album” - on bandcamp (which has the advantage too, of allowing
folk to listen before they buy - a very important feature that I heartily approve
in brief, the “eternal album” is an open-ended album, with no finite number of tracks,
and no completion date - I will continue to add tracks to it as they become available.
in this first instance, I’ve uploaded all 45 existing, available fairlight tracks
initially, and then over the coming 30 - 40 years, I will simply add more and more
tracks as I create them - and whatever the current total of available tracks is -
“that” is the “album”. obviously, customers can pick and choose what tracks they
like, and create their own “version” of the “fairlight album”, with as few or as
many, or all of the tracks, if they so desire - a very flexible arrangement I feel.
I will still create traditional albums, with finite tracks, for projects I make with
traditional instruments - guitar, electric guitar, guitar synth, bass, piano, keyboards,
drum machine, synthesizers. I will still make my “normal” ambient albums as well,
as I’ve always done. but - as an adjunct to that, and, to deal with the amazing
proliferation of tracks that creating music with apps seems to espouse - I will create
many of these open-ended, “eternal albums” - one for each application that I work