This Sentence is True

This Sentence is True

1. THIS 5.24
2. MIEN 3.23
4. SENTENCE 5.20
5.   IS 3.53
6.   TRUE 8.56



say something and the acoustic setting in which it’s heard – that crackly tinny slapped-back large stadium type sound has an effect akin to seeing something in print. It all serves to amplify the perceived 'truth' of a statement. So the whole track is about 'serious' noises and 'ridiculous' noises and about how easy it is to take something as gospel, not on the basis of its content, but the way in which it is said.

We started these recordings with a vocal session. The background to the making of the EEPs was that I'd had a voice problem for a very long time and my voice had only just come back to anything like what it should have been – ie to about 70-75% of my full capacity. The prospect of going into the studio to sing refined melodies at that time was a bit too much of a leap. Instead we began with the silliest vocal session in the world – vocal creaking, helicopter noises, broken bits of speech, and made the vocal palette we gained from that session the basis from which we started up lots of tracks. The resulting EEPs were a collection of sparse and episodic sound collages 'as gnomic as a physicist's notebook' (according to Mark Sinker in 'The Wire' magazine).

Steve's Indipop label sent 1000 of each EEP to media people and tastemakers around the world. It was very good for me to be able to send something out as a gift and ask for nothing in return – not even reviews! I think artists need such outlets sometimes – situations in which their career and livelihood doesn't hang on the critical and financial success of the Next Thing They Release!!

In May of 2000, when Steve first decided to take the sketch pads that had been EEP1 and EEP2 and build them into an album, he played me a track or two very early on essentially for artistic approval. I got really excited about what he'd been able to do with them and started making lots of suggestions. Well, I stuck my oar in so much that we decided that the fate of the tracks and the way they sounded had been significantly altered by my input, in short that I had influenced the production. It wasn't that I was sitting at a sound desk saying "I'll have a db more of that". I did virtually all of it from my sofa flanked by my hi-fi system! It was a really bad case of back seat driving, but I am pleased to have been able to contribute at that level.

'Not a Word in the Sky' is in part a homage to David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'. The track finds Major Tom years later – adrift in space – no drugs and no human contact. Ground Control are no longer listening. But he is adrift with the stars and perhaps larger knowings about the nature of things have taken the place of the mundane stuff to which day to day living ties us. Pre-language, umbilical cord cut, from outer space to inner world.

He perceives alone in that vast 'silence', the birth and death of words and cut adrift from them a sense of their place in the creation myth. I remember hearing of an old rule of magic that to name a thing originally meant to match its vibration in some way and therefore to have power over it.