Ian Neal sat down to study classical music for several years after playing keyboards in various Sheffield (UK) bands throughout the mid-90s. Technological breakthroughs with digital music production and the birth of software instruments meant that he could now develop some of the large scale projects which had been milling around as ideas recorded onto tape.
It also meant Ian had access to the classic sounds of the Mellotron, Hammond Organ, and Moog synthesizer along with everything orchestral that up to this point would have required spending thousands. Ian’s early influences are never far away, and there is more than a passing sentiment of prog rock lurking in the background of most tracks.
Ian Neal: “It has been great to hear the sound of the Mellotron back in fashion, but I love to look back to the way it was used by the likes of King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, and Barclay James Harvest. I learned to play keyboards on a Hammond Organ, and I think that has informed my style in a way that differs from learning on piano. Guitar is my second instrument and I predominantly stick to acoustic, although there is electric on some of my work. Vocals are used as a third instrument, but are pretty much in disguise”.
A starting point for several of the tracks on the album “All in the Golden Afternoon…” came from spoken poetry. The title of the album is the first line of the poem that features as a preface in the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and fragments of the poem inspired the title track. Elsewhere on the album, Ian uses sampled birdsong to create the impression of an English Summer, as seen through the eyes of Lewis Carroll and other Victorian writers.
Ian Neal’s lushly orchestrated music combines ambient, electronica, and classical influences – think Lemon Jelly, Air, and Zero 7 mixed with psychedelia. If you’ve been into progressive music of any style from the 1970′s through to the present, then there will definitely be something in Ian Neal’s music for you.
Free download ‘Kingdom Of The Birds’ is one of the stand-out tracks on the highly acclaimed compilation album, ‘A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding In Your Mind – Volume 1 – Cosmic Space Music’ by DJ’s THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS a.k.a. THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON.
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“Kingdom of the Birds” (mp3)
from “All In The Golden Afternoon…”
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