AV: Before we get down to questions about
Continuum, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how
you got started creating the style of music that you do now?
DW: I’m 31 year old with 20 years experience and music has been
an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I live inSuffolk
with my wife Elaine (who runs AD Music) and my 23 year old son Steven.
I’ve been creating music since the early 1980’s but didn’t
release my first commercial CD, Marilynmba, until 1991.
My first full album was the 1989 cassette “Reflections”; the release that KD
Mueller was so enthusiastic about.
That early release, and 2 other cassette releases, was released on CD in 2000.
I’ve always enjoyed long, impressionistic style music. My influences can be traced back to Pink Floyds
‘Meddle’ and Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’.
From there I got into Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Kitaro and Vangelis, to
name but a few.
I have always tried to make music that is different to other
peoples music – my music is emotive and that is a key element for me when
composing. I don’t see myself
specifically as an EM musician, but a composer of atmospheric, melodic and
Your latest CD, Continuum, was released
not too long ago. What was the inspiration
for this project and when did you actually start work on it?
DW: Continuum was a fun album for me.
I help produce other artists outside the EM genre and was working on one such
project in my studio when all my keyboards were packed away to make room for
the project. During periods of
inactivity I found myself playing old LPs that I hadn’t listened to for years –
old EM albums from the 70’s in particular.
It gave me a huge inspirational buzz to record a retro album, but with a modern
21sst century take.
I sketched out most of the ideas without touching a keyboard. When my studio was again my own I recorded the
basics for the album in a week during September 2003.
Once you get an idea for a music
project like Continuum do you set aside the time to work on the music and dedicate
your full attention to the project or is it a little less structured than that?
DW: There is no other way but to set the time aside and dedicate
one’s full attention to the project.
That’s particularly true during the early and critical stages of composition
and feel; getting the album going.
It’s the blank canvas scenario – you need the time and concentrated effort to
get the first ideas down and then to build on them.
Did beginning Continuum bring to
mind echoes of your previous works and how do you let your new work be its own
creation without becoming too derivative of what you have created before?
DW: If there is one thing of which I am certain, my works are
not derivative! I deliberately avoid covering ground previously covered unless
it is a specific reworking of an old track, which I have done on occasion. I deliberately set out to make each new album very
different from the last. The
‘constant’ is my style of musical and atmospheric structure, the melody and the
“feel” that people associate with David Wright.
On a Continuum did you isolate yourself during the creation
process or do you sometimes seek outside opinions as to how things are going?
DW: I’ve never taken outside opinion on musical/compositional
matters. However, I do have a close
circle of people to whom I sometimes, but not always, play pieces. Usually I do that because I’m not sure about some
aspect or other and I want to hear their opinion.
I do ask several people for technical opinions.
I do that because any composer can get too close to the music and overlook
obvious technical problems or deficencies.
Tell me about what you found satisfying
within Continuum and is this feeling the same for all the music that
DW: I think it works as a retro album but with its feet firmly
in the 21st century. It was ‘fun’ to
compose and record………Beyond that I really can’t say what’s satisfying about it. Composing music is a strange experience – you can
spend ages with that blank canvas then suddenly you do something. Maybe an hour later you have something good and
you ask yourself; “Where did THAT come from?” You can spend months working on
an album that becomes a labor of love………in the end, you release it and hope
that other people will enjoy the emotive experience that has gone into its
I suppose the one overriding satisfaction is that people out
there enjoy the music!
If someone were to pick up Continuum what would they find there? Give me an idea of the feel of your latest
release as compared to some of your other work.
Would your regular listeners recognize it as your “style” or might they be
DW: They would find a recognizable David Wright album, but with
longer pieces than were evident on previous releases.
The music is thematic (“strongly”, according to reviews) with a definite nod to
the old school Tangerine Dream & Vangelis.
It has definite light and shade, and is very much a rhythmic space music
excursion – a voyage into space and time.
I can’t say if people will be “surprised”, but feedback has
been positive from fans old and new, so……………
When did you know that Continuum was
done and that tweaking the mix would not make it any better?
DW: Oh wow, now there’s a question!! One can ALWAYS continue to
play around with the mix! The thing of it is, is to know when it’s “right”, and
only the artist and/or the engineer can know that, and even then its subjective. Once everything is “in the right place”, the mix
becomes a matter of personal preference.
Do you ever feel apprehensive when it
comes time to take a project like this to the next stage and release it to the
DW: 18 years ago with my first album, yes, but not any more. I do what I do and am comfortable with it. I have an expanding following who like it to.
What kind of feedback have you been
getting since releasing Continuum? How closely do you follow reviews or the
comments you receive from your listeners?
DW: Feedback has been very favorable, from both fans and the
media. It’s nice to get good reviews
but I don’t particularly follow them.
They’re subjective. I tend to listen
to fan comments more because they buy the CD.
When you finish a project like this and
it has had a little time to settle down after the official release do you ever
go back and take a critical look at the project and think about things that
might have been done differently or have you already moved on in your mind to
your next creation?
DW: EVERY artist looks back on old albums and thinks something
could have been done differently, that’s the nature of music. But ask most artists their favorite album and
it’ll generally be the one they’re currently working on! So, yes, you move on
to the next project. What’s done is
done – the last album “Is what it is” – nothing will change that and people
will hear it for what it is – not for what the artist wanted it to be “with
hindsight”. That said, one is always learning about
technical matters; new and better ways to approach music composition and
Being intimately familiar with Continuum
what will listeners take away from this CD after they have listened to it a few
times? What are you own hopes for this music when it leaves your hands and is
given over to the listeners?
DW: That the listener enjoys the emotional content of the music. That they connect the art and design, the words in
the booklet, the track titles and the music and see the overall concept, and
that they then enjoy the voyage………….that
the music becomes the listeners own personal
Is there anything else about Continuum
that stood out in your mind that we haven’t already covered that you would like
to pass along the readers of Ambient Visions as we close out this spotlight?
DW: Only that is was fun.
Sometimes albums can be a struggle for a whole variety of reasons, but
Continuum was a fun album to do – I sort of felt like I was rediscovering my EM
where I go next is any ones guess!
Thanks for talking to us David and I hope that music always
stays fun for you so that we can sit back and listen to your sessions
of having a good time.