“Fading Cosmos” and “Autumn In Lisbon” were both recorded in Lisbon during the Somnium recording sessions, but they were not included on the album. The reason for this is that they are while being thematically similar, significantly different in their approach. Somnium was intended as one 43-minute journey, while these two tracks respectively interpret the concept of transformation within 8 minutes of improvisation. The concept of a journey of exploration, mixing cinematic and electronic sounds with a more jazz and folk, live improvisation type of performance has been very inspiring while working on this EP. I’ve been listening to a lot more jazz and progressive than I had before, mainly because I was introduced to a lot of really inspiring stuff by my girlfriend María Pandiello, who is performing Somnium with me right now on synths. Her presence has been very influential, but also the sense of adventure and discovery she brings. Some influences I feel like were major inspirations on this EP are Popol Vuh, (early) Vangelis, Bo Hansson, (early) Patrick Cowley, Francis Bebey, Piero Umiliani, Silver Apples and of course some (mainly Saucerful Of Secrets era) Pink Floyd. All these artists come from different parts of the world, but I still see them very connected on a basic principle, creating a psychedelic progressive trip through the process of experimentation with electronics, a foundation of Synthedelia.
During the creative process, the line between what was calculated and what was a total “happy accident” became very blurry, and I just went with that, which resulted in the type of sound that it has. Live sequencing synthesisers while jamming to this on other instruments, like bass or electric piano, seems like a pretty basic concept, but I had not really explored this interaction and it’s full potential in depth before. I found it a very exciting and liberating feeling, to feel both focused and precise and totally free at the same time while working alone in the studio. I’ve always been able to immersive myself in something very intimate and personal, and to really escape to another place while I’m working alone. Also, the mood of Lisbon and the area where I live became very present, as I often went on solitary walks, mainly at night. To me, the city holds something almost mystical and very powerful, which can be very present in the area I live, and it undoubtedly found its way into these two tracks.
The first ideas for “Fading Cosmos” came after conversations I had with my brother, about the tragic reality that the endlessly rich cosmos around us is rapidly becoming invisible because of an increase of artificial light, leaving us in the solitary darkness of human progress. I wanted to offer some potential visibility into our cosmic neighbourhood with this track, but also to escape into a world of wonder and mystery.
“Autumn in Lisbon” was written after walking around on a beautiful but stormy autumn day in Lisbon, not long after I moved there. The air was full of changes and a mysterious future was showing her powerful presence while hiding her face.
Both tracks feature acoustic guitar, synths, bass, drums, percussion and electric piano, all greatly manipulated via analogue tape. It was mastered by Simon Heyworth, who did an amazing job on it. I felt the same about his work on Somnium, so I naturally asked him for this EP as well, and I'm very happy with it. Every time I can feel the immense experience he has in making otherworldly creations feel truly immersive. I'll likely work more with him in the future if he's up for it as well.
released June 14, 2019
Recorded in Lisbon, Portugal.
Written, performed and produced by Jacco Gardner.
Percussion by Nicola Mauscovic.
Mastering by Simon Heyworth.
Back photo by Maria Pandiello.
Cover art by Jacco Gardner.
This album has a desolate, desert aura to it that sets it apart from other outings in their discography, and the riffs in "Green Sugar" demand air-sitar play. "Melted Crystal" is the real gem, though. PannionSeer