Gavin LairdTemperate Man
Released: 10th November 2017
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Instance is the debut solo album of former Telstar Ponies and Macrocosmica musician Gavin Laird. Recorded at his home in Glasgow in the winter of 2016, Laird used a single microphone to record over five hours of improvised instrumental acoustic guitar, synth and piano. The album also features Joel Derby (Make Flames), who contributed to the track Lewis and the Great Astral Library. "I set up the microphone, and just start playing without any real plan or thought of how it would sound. I didn't write anything in particular they were just improvised until the track fell apart...I'd stop, take a break and start again," says Laird. As the recordings progressed, conscious choices sounded forced. "I was trying to not overly direct my thoughts,"muses Laird. "Through that I found I was drawn towards the sections that sounded more melodic - didn't fit the clichéd idea of what people think improvisation is, full of chromatic notes and discordance. When I set out to play in a more chromatic style it sometimes sounded self conscious and wooden."
"I should probably point out that Everyone Is Cooking Now (Part C) was recorded immediately after Part A and so I suppose it isn't fully improvised as it reuses themes from Part A. There is no Part B." Laird set out to create an album in the mould of John Fahey, Six Organs of Admittance, Jack Rose, Bert Jansch, Sandy Bull, etc but ended up with a record that reflects a lifetime of musical loves. "I think the note choices come from everything I've ever listened to - there are even some metal riffs in there," he says. Laird left the files on the computer over Christmas and returned in the New Year to shrink 5 hours to 45 minutes. For the intriguingly opaque song titles, Laird drew on a serious of instants; moments in time that relate back to the tracks. He offers these to the listener to make of them what they will: "They are moments in my past but I also wanted them to sound like the title of a movie or book," he says. "The listener can use them to soundtrack a movie inside their head - with the opportunity to make their own mind up about what it means. Obviously, instrumental music easily opens itself up to the possibility of someone projecting their own meaning onto it."