| Chris Blackwell went one day: "Wally, it'd be great if you could make your next album a classical one". And he litterally flooded me with classical CDs, a medium that just started to get popular.
This is all I wanted to hear, all I wanted to be asked for, all I precisely wanted to do, for many, many reasons. First been my love for classical, no doubt. But moreover, I needeed such support precisely then, as I viewed that next album as a way to defuse all the misunderstanding the relative success of "Echoes" did not stop fostering.
_ ... what bin should we put these also ?
Another incentive for the genre was my studio. MIDI, the Synclavier and the Apple Macintosh suddenly made a dream come true: the end of the demo (as a genuine artform that could never be released, because of so-called 'poor recording conditions'). The demo ended up beeing, at long last, the 'pierre d'attente' (pending brick) I had been dreaming about. The revolution could finally yield in the advent of a new art: studio-composer.
And listening to the demos I had digitally accumulated, it became obvious to my ears that the dynamic range I could then afford was not far from what you could get out of a classical performance. And what other than comparing the size and age of mountains versus these of a man could best describe those dynamics ? Hence the idea of working short fantasy tales around a mythical mountain, a Platonic idea that gets 'impersonated' by all the mountains of this planet.
With "Words Of A Mountain", I unconsciously co-pionnered quite a few trends of the digital age: it was among the first fully 'home-studio' achieved and first 'tapeless recorded' albums ever, back in 1986. Doing it all by myself was like solitarily crossing the ocean: acting as the sole composer, performer, producer, engineer, I had to invent, design, maintain, repair all the tools around. Internet was not made public yet, but through networks like PAN, Compuserve and Calvacom, I could communicate and exchange tips, resources and ideas with the people at MOTU (Performer software), Opcode (librarians), N.E.D. Synclavier, musicians/programmers/developpers friends like Benoît Widemann, Nigel Redmon (HyperMidi), Simon Franglen, Georges Rodi, well the world over, from within my 'studio on a rock' as pal Philippe Chatiliez once called it.
The album took more than an exhausting year to complete, at which time I was drawn into the French Bicentennial preparations. It got released in France right around Bastille Day 1989, but did not really benefit from the buzz the Bicentennial had created. It took a couple french radio stations to use 'The Dachstein Angels'
'Leaving This Place'
"Echoes" had been a fantastic breakthrough, on many levels. Sampling and re-mixes finally made it my most celebrated album, undisputably, which horizons I still intend to further explore. But, because of the challenge it represented to the self-thaught composer I am, "Words" became the piece of work I'd cherish most, undeniably. If only the subsequent opus of the same fabric I'm still striving for could equal "Words" in depth quality, I'd be the happiest man on earth. Probably the reason why I felt no hurry. Quantity never bothered me: quality always been 'the' must. I simply got to live up the standard I've set for myself.