‘Meditations Vol. 1’ is the brand new album from Goodparley, the alias of Cardiff-based sound artist Oli Richards. Bathed in a relaxed however highly effective quietude, ‘Meditations Vol. 1’ collects collectively 5 single-take improvised guitar items, each recorded within the very first waking moments of Richards’ day. These are items of nice lightness and subtlety, each unfolding with a mild, euphoric consciousness.
The origins of the ‘Meditations’ venture could be traced again to 2020 with the discharge of ‘Inexperienced Into Blue’ (Recordiau Prin). The album consisted of three lengthy guitar improvisations chosen from round seventy recordings that Richards made within the wake of a relationship breakdown, however which he by no means supposed to launch. They have been private moments in Richards’ life, designed extra as a apply or self-discipline than a recording session. Utilizing loop pedals and results, the recordings that ultimately appeared on ‘Inexperienced Into Blue’ have been reside, unedited and freighted with deep contemplation.
Final yr noticed 4 releases from Goodparley – ‘Canvas’ (Submarine Broadcasting) and ‘Mist, Rain, Mud: Dissected Frequencies’ (TQN-aut), adopted by two collaborations, ‘Having fun with Nature’ with Poppy Jennings (Strategic Tape Reserve) and ‘Environment’ with Ioan Morris (Subexotic). The upshot of that launch schedule, in addition to starting the recording of a second album together with his band Silent Discussion board, was that he barely touched his guitar for many of 2021, one thing that began to bother Richards because the yr progressed.
“Taking part in guitar is without doubt one of the most meditative issues that I’ve in my life,” he says. “It’s actually a apply of meditation. I do meditate as nicely, and I additionally began doing yoga within the pandemic, which took place from combating my psychological well being. Nevertheless, I enter a stream state probably the most once I’m messing round with pedals and taking part in the guitar.” The necessity to launch new albums wasn’t one thing Richards felt he wanted to do, so after a interval of reflection late final yr, he determined to search out time in his day to begin experimenting together with his guitar once more.
Like many individuals, the pandemic compelled Richards to handle his day job from dwelling. “I’ve by no means been a morning individual,” he admits, “however when working remotely, I quickly discovered that I wanted a while earlier than switching the laptop computer on and beginning work.” To cope with that, Richards constructed a morning routine of meditation, yoga and journaling earlier than beginning work. Even then, he realised that he was dozing for ten or twenty minutes after his alarm went off, and contemplated utilizing that point – when most individuals are nonetheless quick asleep – to play.
“I arrange my guitar and amp in entrance of the window that I are inclined to look out of once I’m meditating, and I simply left it there,” he explains. “It means I’m good to play inside 30 seconds of getting away from bed, regardless that I’m nonetheless half-asleep. I swap on the amp, plug within the pedals, plug within the guitar and play. As a substitute of both dozing or The Guardian web site and miserable myself, I’m already in a greater thoughts state. It’s turn into my favorite a part of the morning routine.” The outcomes are imbued with a form of inquisitive serenity, creating with a pure, unhurried tone; minor imperfections turn into essential parts of the best way that the items unfold; melodies emerge, evolve then dissipate beneath new clusters of notes.
You’ll be able to pre-order Meditations Vol. 1 here.
Phrases by Mat Smith.
Printed by Paul Scott-Bates. Extra of Paul’s writing on Louder Than Conflict could be discovered at his author’s archive. Paul’s web site is hiapop and you may observe him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Fb here.