Hi Steve , The percussion sounds/samples from Words with the Shaman are to this day extremely, well amazing. When I saw you perform it live I was far away from the stage , an Octapad with drum kit I think? Can you tell me about creating this polyrhythmic masterpiece? As a percussionist this was an influential album to me, and still is. Much thanks, -mb

A sampler contained a collection of sampled percussion sounds from the studio recordings. In the case of ‘Shaman’ the hand drum phrases were broken into smaller sample fragments which were then triggered by playing the Octopad in a sequence of specific beats to replay as the original phrase. This was deemed safer than triggering a sample of the entire bar because that could potentially sound very irregular if not struck with absolute precision every time …  the shorter the phrase the greater the flexibility, and it was also then more ‘played’ rather than merely triggered (I could incorporate a slightly wider variety of sounds too). A similar approach was taken with the ‘Weathered Wall’ hand percussion, the reason being that the tonality and phrasing of these rhythm parts were important to driving the track and it wasn’t possible to replicate it sonically in a live situation, therefore using samples of the studio recordings was more reliable. Because some of the samples were still long enough to require a strict BPM it was necessary for me to wear an earpiece with the precise BPM metronome ticking away in my head the entire time.

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