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Boldly going…

August 23, 2010

Today, just under 11 months since the GESTATION project began, I will finally take delivery of “Nine Lives” in its fully-packaged glory, and my well-oiled machine will be mailing the CDs out to those who’ve already ordered them in advance.

While the official retail release of “Nine Lives” isn’t until October, I reckon that the moment I post the first of those several hundred packages into the letter box at my local post office here in Dublin is the moment that GESTATION officially ends.

And so I want to say a really sincere “thank you” to everyone who’s read, listened to and gazed at what’s been posted here over the past 11 months, to all those who came to our 9 shows, and to all those amazing artists who sent me images for consideration as artwork (whether via this blog or directly).

By your input and support, you’ve made this the record it is – I hope you like it as much as I do. (If you haven’t already ordered your copy, you can get it from me directly via http://www.selfpossessedrecords.com)

I will shortly be commencing a new blog, in my Alien Envoy persona, at the new official Alien Envoy site – http://www.alienenvoy.com. Please feel free to drop by any time.

.

With love and gratitude

Nick
aka
Alien Envoy

A Moment Of Clarity

June 23, 2010

So there I was, sitting with my friend and producer Boo Hewerdine, on the morning of my last GESTATION show, Wednesday May 26th.

We were discussing studios and money, and I was realising that I was going to need quite a bit more of the latter to pay for the former in order to re-record the songs I’d worked on during GESTATION for the studio album we’d always planned to make once the process was finished. And while we were worrying away at the budgets and practicalities, the freshly delivered “Nine Lives” was playing in the background.

Then Boo looked at me in a funny way (even funnier than usual, I mean). And he said: “I don’t mean to be funny… but isn’t this the album?” So we listened back to those nine live recordings once more, this time turned up loud and without interruption, from start to finish. And I realised that, of course, he was right.

“Nine Lives” captures not just the process, but the intended end result too. What I’d been thinking of as a minor detour – a limited edition bonus live album – was actually the obvious destination. These are the best versions of the songs we got the best handle on over the nine months of shows. As Boo pointed out, we could spend weeks – and a whole heap of money that I don’t have – trying to recapture the atmosphere and urgency of those live recordings, and we wouldn’t get anything quite as good.

So “Nine Lives” is going to be my new album.

I’m aware that releasing a live album of new songs is a fairly unusual move. In fact, I can’t think of anyone apart from Michelle Shocked who’s done this in recent times.

But it’s truer to the GESTATION project’s core ethos – to find a more interactive way of making records which draws upon the energy and inspiration of both fans and a wide range of talented guest musicians.

It’s short – which I love about it (all my favourite classic albums are of necessity under 40 minutes in length – you couldn’t fit any more on two sides of vinyl).

It also has a built-in quality control: having tried each of my 20-odd new songs multiple times with different line-ups over the course of GESTATION, these were the nine versions that just sounded the best. I’m really proud of the other songs I road-tested (and indeed of some of the alternative versions of the songs that did make the album), and hope to put them into the world later somehow, but if I only have nine to go with I’m proud and happy with these ones.

Most importantly of all, “Nine Lives” captures something that was present on the nights when these songs were recorded which is impossible to exactly recreate in a studio – the urgency of putting across what you’re feeling to a room full of live, listening human beings.

What’s next?

I’m adding some more artwork for the official release – lyrics, credits plus some of the amazing images that so many brilliant artists have submitted for consideration via the GESTATION site.

Very soon, I’ll be offering my fans, followers and friends the opportunity to sponsor the official release by buying the album in advance – anybody who shells out for the record within a (necessarily fairly short) time frame will not only get their album way ahead of the record shops but also will be credited on the album artwork as a sponsor (if you’re too shy to have your own name in print, you can of course nominate somebody else – one credit per album purchased, feel free to buy as many as you want!).

And then I’ll be looking to release “Nine Lives” into the world at large in the early Autumn, with as big a PR campaign as I can afford coupled with some live dates in Ireland and (I hope) beyond.

I’m very excited about this development, and very grateful to all the people who’ve helped it come about, especially my mate Boo who so helpfully pointed out the bleeding obvious, thereby talking himself out of a job.

And I’m also really grateful to all you amazing musicians, technicians, live fans and online contributors to GESTATION who’ve made the process that’s made the record so great.

I’ll be in touch very soon about the stages to come. In the meantime, thank you for helping me make a record I believe we can all be very proud of. I’ll be hoping for your further help in spreading the word.

With love

Nick

P.S. “Nine Lives” will be released as ALIEN ENVOY rather than under my own name. I’ll talk more about who, what and why Alien Envoy is very soon.

And finally… Infrastructure

May 31, 2010

Nick, Emmaline, Colin, Pete and Joe rock the last encore

G9:…and Briana

May 31, 2010

Nick and Briana Corrigan

G9:…Joe…

May 31, 2010

Joe Chester

G9:…Pete…

May 31, 2010

Pete Pamf

G9: Now please welcome Bill…

May 31, 2010

Bill Blackmore (Colin & Emmaline just visible)

G9: Then Came Nick, Emmaline, Colin and Sean

May 31, 2010

Nick, Emmaline, Colin & Sean

G9: In the beginning, there was Nick, Sean, Emmaline, Biatch and Ann…

May 31, 2010

Nick, Emmaline (obscured), Sean, Biatch and Ann Scott

Gestation 9: Nick plays out of his suit…

May 31, 2010

Nick onstage at G9 - pic courtesy of Lois Crighton