introduction by tom johnson
photograph by desiree rousseau
We’ve covered Will Samson a number of times over the years, the Brussels-based musician finding new and ever-intriguing ways of curating beautiful spaces from which his tender compositions can be explored. Following on from last year’s full-length, Samson today unveils brand new EP ‘A Baleia‘, a new twenty-two minute piece of music, the title for which means The Whale in Portuguese.
His seventh solo release, ‘A Baleia’ is as evocative and beautiful as we’ve come to expect, gentle ambience underlain with the little flecks of experimentation, like a carpet faded in the sun, the pattern obvious and then obsolete. The EP seems carefully designed to be taken as one whole piece, a stretch of time that doesn’t behave as time usually does, an ebb and flow, perhaps, but something more abstract even, a bending of the rules, of the unseen fibres that dictate our each and ever move, never usually noticed or even considered.
You can stream the EP in full below right now, via a set of visuals also made by Samson. It gets a full release on May 18th; the pre-order for which can be found right here. Here’s what he had to say about the EP and processes behind it:
The writing and recording process for ‘A Baleia’ began during the short periods of time that I was back at home, during the release concerts for ‘Welcome Oxygen’ in late 2017. Even the best tours can be pretty physically and mentally tiring, so creating these ambient works became the perfect way to unwind, rest & just be fully present with sound.
Whilst I had a lot of fun during those shows (in fact, performing live is truly one of the greatest joys), I was thinking to myself a lot about how the cycle of releasing albums & subsequently touring them has changed so much since I began. In a world where everything has seemingly become disposable, free and immediate, the life span of an album has also become incredibly short. As much as my love for creating & performing music has only grown over the years, I genuinely wondered if I would make another album again.
I began recording solo music on a little cassette 4-track, which was all instrumental, so coming back to that was very fitting (even though Cubase 5 got some use too). Furthermore, I still felt as though everything I had needed to vocalise had come out on ‘Welcome Oxygen’, so wordless choirs expressed all of that which didn’t need words.
During the Summer, preceding the release of the album, I had spent a couple of afternoons in flotation tanks. It had been a beautifully healing experience (as is always the case when you have a little break from ‘the self’), and I wanted to try and capture the feeling of warmth and deep rest that was experience. The music was mixed for headphones, with the hope it would help to give the listener that similar sense of being in a warm, healing space.
~ supporting S.Carey
26/09 – Cologne, DE – Gebäude 9
28/09 – Brighton, UK – The Haunt
30/09 – Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
02/10 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
04/10 – London, UK – Cecil Sharp House