Alright, I’m not trying to compare myself to one of those ancient pioneers, intrepid champions of the Unknown….. But I guess we can all be described as explorers when moving into personally uncharted territories .
In the solitary time spent writing the songs that make up The Explorer, I found myself reflecting on journeys of loss and discovery. Before this time I had never really allowed myself the time to dedicate to a creative project in its own right, and in this process I came to understand myself more fully.
For the past few years I’ve challenged myself to take on new experiences and to venture to places I’d probably been too timid to go as a younger man (.. even singing publicly was a hurdle in this respect). I’ve tried to meet and work with those outside of my own normal experience; inner-city teenagers, the homeless, the addicted, people in conflict and deprivation, asylum seekers and refugees.
It’s been surprising and inspiring to find hope and good humour even amongst the most disenfranchised and marginalised, and amazing how music can be incredible force in bridging diversity and misconception. In the people I’ve met, I’ve found a commonality, equality and kinship that goes way beyond the often narrow sociopolitical and media perspectives of those different to ourselves.
2016 felt like an important and transformative year. Personally, it led me from period of darkness, being unsettled, unsatisfied, and somewhat broken hearted, towards a more acceptant and celebratory outlook.
Through it I also realised this album – my first proper one. The songs include personal and political reflections from my experiences. They are an invitation to look beyond the obvious and to think more deeply about ourselves and the world we are living in today; they are ultimately hopeful and accompany an intention to only follow what most calls.
Even in these strange and disturbing political times,
there appears to be an awakening in many to push for change to a system that
often upholds divisionism and distrust, rather than openness and exploration.
Time, perhaps, for the dreamers and the visionaries,
the revolutionists and the egalitarianists,
to start taking the helm.
Bristol , England. October 2017
Words and Music by Tony Almond
Produced by Chris Powell at C-Side Music Studio, Bristol. 2016/ 2017
Mastered by Gaz Williams 2017
Tony Almond – Vocals , Guitar , Vibes , Moog , Shruti box .
Chris Powell – Bass , Guitars , Percussion , Hurdy Gurdy , Keyboard
Greg White- Drum kit, percussion
Sadie Wiggin- Vocals , Keyboard
Esther Rose Parkes – Vocals
Sophie Wilsdon – Clarinet
Sarah Moody – Cello
Fiona Barrow – Violin / Viola
Emma Holbrook – Drums (tracks 6 & 10)
Nick Wilsdon – Violin (track 5)
Paco Casasola – Musical Saw
My friends who gave their time and ideas to this recording.
The creative community of Bristol-
it’s alternative thinkers and activists, it’s musicians and fellow songwriters-
for bringing home into my life and life into my home.
Lindsay Alderton for not seeming to mind that I stole her idea (and words) on The Believers.
Embercombe for its land and lake, its leaders and dreamers.
Chris Powell for being a calm , creative co-pilot – and political commentator !
Much respect for Nick Wilsdon who played violin on the album,
who sadly died in a road accident in Bristol around the time of release.
A lovely fellow and true explorer.