In the past eight years since NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION first went online British songwriter Will Samson has become a friendly traveller along the road who regularly finds his way into our heart and onto this page in various forms. Just last week we caught him as part of this haunting ambient piece from Beglgian producer Illuminine. Samson‘s restless artistic vision has led him to countless releases over the past years, many often surprising the listener with new shapes and adventurous experiments. Following 2017’s really great Welcome Oxygen (Talitres) album he now returns with an ambitious new project in the form of the EP A Baleia
The 22-minute EP of tape manipulated soundscapes sees Samson diving deeper into ambient music territory, this time without the use of his voice but the same level of emotion. In an almost cathartic way he invites the listener to sink deeper into the sound and vision of A Baleia (pronounced ‘a bal-e-a’, meaning ‘The Whale’ in Portuguese). Here are a few written thoughts by the artist about his upcoming release:
‘Sometime back in Spring 2013, during the tour for ‘Light Shadows EP‘, a friendly young Belgian named Pieter Dudal approached me after a concert in Gent (Belgium), with a couple of cassette tapes from his new label, Dauw, asking if I would be interested in creating a release for them.
Over the following years, the label continued and Pieter organised a couple of lovely concerts for me when I passed through Gent, which would be accompanied by gentle reminders of that first offer. So, after a long and patient wait for Dauw, I’m pleased to finally be able to present ‘A Baleia‘.
The creation of this new music began in autumn 2017, during the short periods of time that I was back at home, between the release concerts for ‘Welcome Oxygen‘. I felt (and still feel) that everything I needed to put into words came out on that album, so the process of composing wordless ambient soundscapes was perfect.
Whilst the actual composing began then, the initial inspiration started a little earlier: In the mid-Summer, on the anniversary of my Dad’s death from cancer, I entered a flotation tank for the first time. Being inside something that simulates the womb seemed very fitting on a significant occasion like that. The session itself proved to be wonderfully healing, both physically and mentally, and for anyone who has not yet experienced this – I highly recommend it.
The sessions are accompanied by a pre-selected loop of sounds with a particular frequency corresponding to brain wave states. Although I have worked with loops before (as with ‘Lua’ in 2016), I became fascinated by the potential of their deeply hypnotic effects. This is something that stuck in my mind during the recording process with my tape machines, and also partly why I sculpted the tracks to be best experienced on headphones.’
Like with every Will Samson release this one is a truly special one, trust us. A Baleia will be released on May 18 via Dauw as a limited edition of 125 copies. There’s also going to be a special 20-pieces-only edition which will also feature his 2016 ambient release Lua for the first time as a physical release. You can preorder that deluxe edition right here. Get into medidation mood and find the trailer for the forthcoming EP here.