Hi Steve, Just curious if you’ve enjoyed music made by any/all of the following: Piero Piccioni, Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Piero Piccioni, Martin Denny, Henry Mancini, Yma Sumac, Les Baxter, Serge Gainsbourg, Santo & Johnny, John Barry, Juan García Esquivel, João Donato, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben, The Free Design, Javiar Cugat, Sergio Mendez & Brazil ’66, Duke Ellington, Toru Takemitsu, Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius?

Yes indeed (with perhaps the exception of Yma Sumac and Les Baxter).

I remember being quite buzzed about the news of a collaboration with you, John Foxx and Steve D’Agostino. I find the finished product to be supremely useful to dream to. Might there be more suchlike in future and is there anything you might share with us about the process of making ‘A Secret Life’?

The concept came from the live performance with Harold Budd in Brighton (don’t remember the year exactly … early 2000′s) at which John Foxx also sang. Harold asked me to perform a 20 minute solo gong piece (very easy to insert comedic illusions of oiled, naked flesh here, but let’s resist) similar to something that was featured on an album of his some years previous. After the event, John asked me to record similar gong pieces for an album, this is what became utilised on ‘A Secret Life’.

I read many, many moons ago, that it was difficult keeping to time on the song “Blackwater”. Have I remembered correctly, and if so, what exactly was the difficulty?

That’s correct. ‘Blackwater’ started out very different musically and I wasn’t comfortable with the feel of it. At the time I felt it would have worked better without drums at all, (still do in fact .. something less busy for sure) since it was a very delicate song built upon ambient sounds and vague crescendoes and even the bass was fairly dull by Mick’s standards. I spent quite a while whittling the role down to brushes and dropping the swing element it had started out with. The kit was so exposed and close-mic’d against the gentle timbre of the song that I found it impossible to get an entire take that I was happy with. The band were getting increasingly agitated with me spending what little remained of the recording budget on a drum track, so in the end I took a bunch of samples of my playing on floppy discs (this was pre hard disk recording) and programmed the entire thing overnight on a Mac SE midi-triggering samples on an Akai S1000.

Hi Steve. Over the last few weeks, Snow Borne Sorrow has spent a lot of time on my sound system. I truly love the interplay of styles, textures and emotions and just wanted to thank you for all the enjoyment I’ve experienced since discovering your work. That being said, I was wondering if there was any song or aspect of that album that you enjoyed creating or are proud of? Thanks, Amethyst x

I’m pleased with this album overall, David and I work very well in collaboration. It was generally enjoyable to work on, although a long process.