Paul gave me complete freedom for the creation of the artwork for his double vinyl album. But it was when he gave me the title of the album that three veils came to me, with a contrasting element for the "Why Now". The veil "Somehow" is red, "Somewhere" is blue, and "Sometime" is yellow. These three words had to interact with each other, which is why I let the light pass through. As the music is alive, the veils are in full motion and all point to the dark and gold sphere.
5 Questions to Paul Jorgensen
Through email, I asked Paul Jorgensen 5 questions. Click on the button to discover the interview.
#1- Which Instruments do you start recording a song with?
Most of my music comes from a rhythm bed. These rhythmic beds are based on mathematical choices. How does 1/4 fit into a bed of 1/32? Sometimes it is a bed of 1/6 over 1/4 and it becomes the interlocking bed I am looking for. Crossing even and odd time signatures is always fascinating to work with. When I have reached a point where the rhythms are inspiring me I pick up my bass and work on a bass line that supports the music well. I am also thinking about the keys I am currently working in and how a chord structure once again is able to support the music.
When I think about working on ambient music that is less dictated by beats I generally tend to go through existing presets on my synths and select a sound I can work with, edit it and manipulate the sound with filters. I may adjust the attack-decay-sustain-release [ADSR] and these will in turn inspire a starting point. The sound dictates the music and I let that guide me through any changes in the sonics that could steer it towards some darker places. Delays and reverbs also form a sonic space that can open the sound in fascinating ways.
Technically speaking now.
When I first started recording in 1984 I was using a Foster 4-track tape cassette recorder and this took ages to even get close to completing because I was recording 3 tracks and then bouncing to 1 track thus opening up more possibilities for overdubs. This often resulted in sound degradation which was frustrating. Fortunately while I was living in Los Angeles I was able to meet some very interesting musicians that guided me through taking my mixed results through a great mixing console and by using compression and live equalisation we were able to record a multi-channel live drum mix to my existing music and bounce these out again with much better results. That process has thankfully changed dramatically since 1984 when I was then just working with a rudimentary drum machine, a bass and a basic analogue rack-mounted delay. Currently I am using an Apple iMac 2023 running Ableton Live Software. Within the software I have integrated a NI Maschine MK3 which is a rather complex drum machine sampler/arranger. I am also using a Push 3 controller that once again is a complex controller that controls soft synths plus much more. The hardware synths I use are a Korg Oasys, a Roland V-Synth and a Roland JP 8000. The software synths of choice are NI Komplete, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Arturia Pigments and BT Phobos.
#2 There is a tribal rhythm in the style. Where does this influence come from?
I was born in South Africa in 1965 in a rather tumultuous time. I could easily tell you that I was influenced by African music there until the time I left in 1983 but that would be far from the truth. I found that my interest in tribal rhythms really began in earnest in 1979 with Talking Heads, especially the work they did with Brian Eno on the record ‘Remain in Light’. Once I immigrated to the USA in 1983 I discovered a huge amount of world music that I had not been exposed to as a teenager. I got exposed to Fela Kuti in 1984. By the mid 1980’s I had discovered Jon Hassell and that sent me on a musical journey that was a complete result of his interviews. I found out more about the music that he was inspired by. By the time Peter Gabriel formed Real World Records in 1989 I was buying everything I could and absorbing it all. I’m not too sure that it has influenced my style but it has certainly been extremely pleasurable to listen to. By the early 2000’s my close friend in the USA introduced me to Balinese Gamelan and Kecak (Monkey Chant). He was studying at CalArts in Newhall California and through his guidance and his mentors we started practicing and performing with others. He travelled to Bali and returned with a full Gamelan set and over the course of 5 years we performed at multiple festivals in the USA and Indonesia. That was hugely inspirational.
#3 Which artists influence you the most?
This is an easy answer.
Jon Hassell Brian Eno David Sylvian King Crimson Steve Roach Miles Davis (1960’s - 1980’s) Mick Karn Jah Wobble Bill Laswell
#4 Do you write the music or do you start with an instrument and let the inspiration guide you?
I am self taught on the bass and synths and understand basic structure and basic music reading. I am able to read TABS and charts. I consider myself to be more proficient at the recording of sound to get what it is I am looking for in a particular piece of music. Firstly I would consider myself to be a good bass player that can lock in with a groove and be in the pocket. I love playing with good musicians and improvising. I tend to record a lot of this and have years of mixed down CD’s. Sometimes it is actually really funny. That is all inspiration
#5 How long can you work on a song?
I started recording in 1984. I put out my first cassette in 1987. Then the CD ‘Seeds' came out in 1994. Since then I have been in multiple bands and over decades have continued to record my own music. To give you 2 examples from my latest record ‘Somewhere, Somehow, Sometime and Why Now?’ I worked on the song ‘Harmonic Ratios’ for a day. I discovered that by detuning the D string on the bass to a C and then only playing harmonics up and down the neck, it opened up all of these Indian Raga themed sounds. I was so happy with the results. A year later I decided to add a basic percussive bed. This in turn led me to consider simple melodic synths to it. I was happy with the music. I think I spent a couple days on it and it was over 2 years till it saw the light of day. Now If we take the last song on the record ‘April Showers. I started that in 2003. I returned to it in 2023. I edited this lengthy piece of music that originally was for an art installation in Atlanta and was played through a quadraphonic PA. This last year I returned to it and found this particular section that I had always loved. I added new textures to support the drifting melodic beds. I love to constantly work on new material and record it. I just don’t know when it will surface. The thing I do know is that returning to a piece of music even much later in life is actually refreshing. It is like a 38 year old you playing with a 58 year old you. Which it is.
The inner sleeve
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inspired by music
My artworks offer a captivating journey into the connection between music and visual expression. Through immersive and dynamic experiences, I pay tribute to the incredible power and inspiration of music. Additionally, I create original artworks to complement albums.