Whilst I was on the Steve Hackett 2005 Acoustic Trio Tour, before the sound check at each gig the sound engineer Billy Budis would put on tracks from the album “Cerulean Blue” and there was much talk about the track “Light and Magic” which contained a piece of music taken from the Genesis song “Watcher of The Skies” actually re played by Dominic who goes under the name of RAIN online.
Dominic had used the mellotron sound and basically fitted it into the sound Light and Magic which is a beautiful piece.
Well Dominic found out that his music was being used by Billy Budis and he decided to come along to the gig at Barking in Essex to see if it was true and it was here I bumped into him.
I was sent a copy of CERULEAN BLUE to review, and I decided to approach Dominic for an interview and here it is.
RAIN: Ok Mark! Glad you’re getting a chance to listen…
TEJ: Is the album a concept album?
RAIN: The album is a kind of concept album, in that there is a story.
TEJ: What is the concept?
RAIN: Here is the blurb from the site:
The CD “Cerulean Blue” by Rain consists of seven tracks, each introduced by a section for narrator, string quartet and sound effects. The narrator, Rob Brown, has appeared in the major BBC adaptation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Other contributors include the saxophonist Iain Ballamy, winner of the BBC Award for Innovation in Jazz.
*The narration and lyrics tell the story of a young man’s once-in-a-life-time journey across America; the characters he meets and experiences he has. The story is told through a series of postcards that have been received by the mysterious Mr. Jaeger who is following the young mans trail. The story comes to a dramatic and emotional conclusion on the slopes of Mount McKinley in Alaska where Mr. Jaeger’s secret is finally revealed.*
The CD also includes a 5 minute accompanying DVD film “ASHES”, starring Rob Brown, along with text files of the lyrics, “Ashes” script and a 40-page discussion of the CD with the author. Musical comparisons have been made with Peter Gabriel/Early Genesis, Blue Nile, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Elbow and Pink Floyd. Other CDs by Rain for future release include “Thamesis”, a commissioned work for string quartet to accompany a book of etchings by the artist John T Freeman.”
TEJ: Why is there narrative before the tracks and the a string quartet ?
RAIN: The narration is there primarily to tell the story in a way that covers a lot of dramatic ground quickly and enables the lyrics to be more poetic and not over-burdened with having to explain what’s happening. As there are two main characters and two main “voices” on the album, the young Rick and the older Mr. Jaeger, it is also a way of differentiating between them. Having the string quartets associated with the narration also helps this I think. It also breaks up the album both giving it variation and structure. I also very much enjoy the mood of a string quartet and like to write for it when I can.
TEJ: How did you end up working with Dale Newman, the Genesis studio manager and guitar technician?
RAIN: Dale Newman makes a little cameo appearance on the album. He plays one of the characters that Rick meets on his journey (on track two, “Parsifal”) and only speaks a couple of lines. I met Dale accidentally through a completely separate musical project being run by a mutual acquaintance. I must say he was a gentleman and very helpful. I live in Guildford so over the years I’ve got to know a few people associated with the band.
TEJ: Have you thought about a live performance?
RAIN: Yes I’ve often thought about a live performance but with 16 different musicians it would be a very costly business! Maybe one day if the album sells a few more copies…
For more information about RAIN please visit the official website www.telosmusic.net
Conducted 18th April 2005 online