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Song: Washed Away (68 Minutes in 14 Musical Passages)
1. Captain's Ledger **
2. A Random Occurrence
i. The Calm Before The Storm
4. Captain's Refrain
5. The Approaching Front
7. The Surge
i. Navigating The Fog
8. A Cold Gray Morning
9. Into The Dead Calm **
10. The Tempest **
11. A Random Disturbance
12. The Confluence
ii. A Rumble in the Distance
iv. Emergence of the Eye
v. Lost at Sea
i. Into The Abyss
Pete Trewavas : Bass Vox Lead Guitar Synth Guitar Orchestration
Rick Armstrong : Lead Guitar Synth Guitar "Rick"enbacker Bass
Eric Blackwood : Bass Vox Lead Guitar Synth Guitar Orchestration
Henry Rogers : Drums
Lisa Wetton : Drums
CLICK ON ANY ABOVE TRACK TO SEE THAT SONG'S
LYRICS AND COMPLETE LINER NOTES
(As lyrics and liner notes are completed the song
will become a "clickable link". Please keep checking back as
more and more lyrics and complete liner notes for each song are added)
What are "The Disturbance Fields" ?
The Disturbance Fields are the physical manifestations that mother nature's fury can take against the human race due to our mistreatment of the oceans, rainforests and overdevelopment of urban landmasses. This has resulted in dramatic climatic changes in the temperatures of the earth and the sea and is the cause of far stronger and more violent storms and destructive natural events.
The Disturbance Fields features just one song... a 68 minute epic piece of music called Washed Away that takes you on a journey of a man fighting all of the forces of Mother Nature' wrath
It is also personally based on the fact that during these recording sessions of all of Edison's Children's current and upcoming albums that we were hit by a hurricane, a 6.0 earthquake, a tornado and a massive blizzard which caused a state of emergency. Having experienced first hand much of what Mother Nature's ferocity can deliver ... it was natural for the band to write a concept that maybe... we've crossed that line and perhaps Mother Nature has come to purge the world of what has become its biggest liability... human nature.
As Hurricane Irene raged over Pete Trewavas and Eric Blackwood (and artist and backing vocalist Wendy Darling) who were all hunkered down in their rustic beach house turned recording studio (with mics and wires and guitars hanging from everywhere just west of Ocean City Maryland), they switched to acoustic instruments so that power surges wouldn't destroy any of their gear. They were going to make the most of this wild moment... having a hurricane party and writing a song about the Hurricane called "Irene" which they recorded on Pete's iPhone and put out on Facebook as a joke (which probably frightened many of the "Inaugural Fans" who were wondering if this odd piece of "Blues" referring to Hurricane Irene being "as crazy as Charlie Sheen" was what Edison's Children first album was going to "sound like").
Though the fire department had come and boarded all the windows up after pleading for them to evacuate and with the wind driven rain pelting the house, Wendy, Pete and Eric weren't concerned... they were deep into writing their first album "In The Last Waking Moments..." and were lost in musical ideas and creativity. They had been through so many "Random Disturbances" together by now (earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes and daily electrical storms that kept hitting the Isle of Wight Bay) that they were getting quite used to battling Mother Nature first hand.
Still Pete realized the severity of the situation and had quietly mentioned his thoughts out loud to Wendy that "even though they would probably make it out of this storm unscathed ... many may not be so lucky". For some families... their homes and everything that they've ever known were about to be "Washed Away". Pete Trewavas didn't realize just how clairvoyant he was until the transmissions returned to Maryland and the National Weather Service was flooding the airwaves with Special Reports of the utter devastation of entire towns which had simply vanished due to the incredible storm surge overnight. So many old New England homesteads which had survived the many storms and disturbances since before the Revolutionary war had indeed been "Washed Away".
It was then in the middle of recording the first album "In The Last Waking Moments..." that Pete said maybe we should turn our concentration to the concept of "Washed Away". The idea that the places that those families had watched TV in the family room the night before and all the photographs they've taken of their children over the years... all the memories that were embedded into the bones of that olde house of theirs ... could be gone in the flash of an eye.
The band would switch gears for awhile in the middle of their "Alien abduction" concept of their 1st album "In The Last Waking Moments..." and the ghost story of their second album "The Final Breath Before November" to begin writing lyrics and music inspired by the insane weather they had been battling. While Eric Blackwood had been the creative force behind Edison's Children's concepts to date... Pete's concept that "In the blink of an eye, you could find yourself in a place where you could never go home ever again" would take center stage for awhile and one day become "The Disturbance Fields"... a concept that would become so intricate and the band would write so many pieces of music for ... that the concept would unfold over the course of the band's 4th and upcoming 5th and 6th albums.
Wendy Darling was of course assigned to creating all the artwork and photography for the album and its accompanying 20 page booklet. The artwork was inspired from many different locations and objects including the album cover which takes us back to the "lightning bolt" of "In The Last Waking Moments..." but with so much more of Mother Nature's wrath. The Album Cover was shot just south of Boston Harbor in the town of Hull during a hurricane looking north to the islands that surround the harbor near the airport. The album originally featured a different "monster" and was in sepia tone (shown below). Pete however liked the photograph better in its original "bluish color setting" while Rick Armstrong objected to the monster having masculine qualities (as it was representing Mother Nature). Wendy changed the "monster" Mother Nature to a more feminine looking creature which she filmed during a Halloween photo session at the actual town of Sleepy Hollow. The actual "tornado" in the shot however was superimposed onto the photograph and was taken from the deck of their 1st Ocean City recording studio session on the Isle of Wight Bay while they were recording Pete's "screaming down the hallway - Roger Waters style vocals" that lay underneath Eric's dark brooding vocal parts for the "Slow Burn" section of "The Awakening" (which was at that point had just been changed from "The Longing" which had until that recording session, been the "middle bit" breakdown of "The Awakening" and not "Slow Burn").
Mixdown for "The Disturbance Fields" would take place at Outhouse Studios by John Mitchell (Arena / Frost / Fish ) who had mixed most of "The Final Breath Before November" and part of "Somewhere Between Here and There". Up until now, most Edison's Children albums had several mixers working on songs simultaneously... Mike Hunter (Marillion), Robin Boult (Fish), Jakko Jakszyk (Lead Singer of King Crimson) and Pete Trewavas himself, had mixed much of Edison's Children's albums in the past, but this time... it would be just John Mitchell who would mix The Disturbance Fields in its entirety as Mike Hunter was involved in Marillion's upcoming new album as well as mixing the live albums and DVD's from the previous Marillion Weekends, Robin Boult was on tour with Fish and Jakko was on tour with King Crimson.
The Disturbance Fields was actually intended for mixdown by Steven Wilson but Steven was getting out of progressive rock altogether at that time and heading down a more "main-stream" road while preparing to get married and bowed out of doing the production as he just couldn't put big enough blocks of time to the project to get it done in time for the big 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 concert coming up in July of 2019.
The demos of the album were tweaked many times from Mix 1 to Mix 17 and if you look back at the 1st mix... only 20% of the songs that were on the album in the beginning (Captain's Ledger, The Approaching Front, Indigenous and A Cold Gray Morning) made it to final Mix 17.6. The 17 other pieces of music that were part of The Disturbance Fields were "pushed" to upcoming albums #5 and #6. This wasn't because of the quality of the songs... in fact Pete and Eric that most of the better songs that were on the album came off before final mixdown. The reason for the constant roster shuffling had more to do with the fact that as the band began to record more and more in the Northern and Cape Cod Fishing Villages... the album became more "nautical" in theme and the songs that weren't inherently dealing with the sea or actual "weather" events were cut one by one as new songs were added and others put off til the next 2 albums which deal with the other "disturbances" ... earthquakes and perhaps a change in the earth's gravity due to a random disturbance in the sky (which Wendy's artwork eludes to in the booklet for the song "A Random Occurrence".
MASTERING & RE-MASTERING
The Disturbance Fields had already been completely mastered at Outhouse Studios in Reading UK by John Mitchell and was ready for production. However Eric Blackwood was not particularly fond of the way the album was sounding. It lacked the punch of the massive wall of guitars that he and Pete and Rick had created for Indigenous. Eric's voice seemed to be in a very low-midrange part of the EQ and was getting drowned by some of the orchestration and guitar effects. Many of the little nuances that exist throughout the album (and there are hundreds of little noises and effects and wooden blocks and Native American percussion and animals howling and birds flying and all of the things that make an Edison's Children album an Edison's Children album) Eric couldn't really hear. When the rest of Random Disturbance Records (Rita K. Drew, Sven Henriksen and Brian Kovacs of Cyberiam) heard the album, they were also underwhelmed with what should have made a massive impact on them. The mixdown was okay... but the mastering seemed to lose the tremendous "in your face" force that it was looking for as well as the subtleties of the album during its quieter moments.
Brian Kovacs mentioned that Cyberiam had their 2 albums mixed by Andy VanDette who was in charge of remastering all of Rush's back catalog as well as some of Porcupine Tree's albums including In Absentia and had done the mastering for Muse, Tool, Nirvana, Sir Paul McCartney, Sublime, Dream Theater, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, The Smashing Pumpkins, Justin Timberlake, The Killers, Ani DeFranco, Gorillaz, Smashing Pumpkins, Deep Purple, Limp Bizkit, Jack White and The White Stripes, LL Cool J, Tears For Fears and U2.
With Sevendust winning a grammy for production and bringing home yet another piece of "hardware" to Andy VanDette... he seemed to be the perfect person to re-master The Disturbance Fields. Pete to be honest wasn't quite as "hard" on the final product and thought that re-mastering an album that was already completely mastered was a complete waste of both time and an awful lot of money but Eric insisted that they go through the process because he was not proud at all anymore of what the two of them had created. Pete relented again giving Eric the benefit of the doubt (something that they would have gotten into quite a rouse over in the past but Pete has since become far more trusting of Eric's gut instinct). Rick Armstrong and Mary Shannon took the tapes to New York and did the re-mastering with Andy VanDette and let Pete know halfway through the process that the difference between what he had heard going into the session and what he was hearing now was astounding. Sure enough Andy VanDette's re-mastering of the album moved all the instrumentation into the proper EQ channels. The intricacies of "Into The Dead Calm" could now be heard perfectly while "Indigenous" literally blew your face off with a massive wall of guitars that would probably have impressed "Lemmy". Rita, Sven and Brian heard the new Andy VanDette masters and were amazed at the transformation of the album. It was now everything it was supposed to be... dramatic, impactful, dangerous, stormy and you came out of the 68 minute piece of music feeling like you just survived A "Random Disturbance" yourself. Pete had to admit... the difference between the two masters was extreme and it took the album and the band to a whole new level and stated that Eric's insistence to "do it right the first time" was indeed a the right choice.
The band have considered releasing the first master so that fans can have both copies of the album but were fearful that if that version got around the internet more than the Re-Master, people hearing it for the first time would be less than impressed or "impacted" by hearing it for the first time and not have the same level of interest as they seem to have had from Andy VanDette's new re-mastering
The Disturbance Fields was in many ways ... the first album written by Edison's Children as "A Cold Gray Morning" was the first song that Pete and Eric had ever written "together" at Brad Morrison's Black Dirt Studio's in Sugar Loaf NY ... an old barn which Eric was leasing from the former Manager/Producer of Phish and Miracle Legion and where REM & The Pixies would "tune up" before touring. Pete and Eric brought to their first sessions at Black Dirt Studios many of their own "songs" which had existed for years before ... Eric brought Dusk and Stranger In A Foreign Land and Pete brought "Jammed Up" (never released). While tuning up on the capo'ed 7th fret for "Stranger In a Foreign Land" (which appears on the 3rd album "Somewhere Between Here and There"), Eric began playing the open chorded vamp to what would become "A Cold Gray Morning". Pete began playing with the piece and wrote the chorus and bridge and before long they had completed their first song "together". It was a monumental event as they had finally co-collaborated completely on a song that didn't previously exist beforehand.
Sadly Brad Morrison who had managed or been an influential producer in so many of the post-punk bands of the Velvet Underground era (credited as "Mr. Lee") on such bands as the Pixies and REM and Spiral Jetty passed away in 2018. Brad had helped tremendously with gear and the recording setup and advice getting the right vocal sound for Eric Blackwood, which was kept from the original tapes as every attempt to try and capture the original magic of that day failed to do so. The "Syrupy Strings" section and Pete's acoustic fingerpicking behind Eric's strumming and guitar slides also remained from those original sessions. Silhouette's main theme would also be written during these sessions ...
The Disturbance Fields would be recorded throughout the sessions for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd and upcoming 5th and 6th albums, so a piece of this album comes from every single location that EC has ever utilized including Black Dirt Studios in Sugar Loaf NY... Castle Edison in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania... the "Shed" in Aylesbury UK... Ocean City Maryland (locations 1 & 2)... Baltimore Maryland (locations 1 & 2) ... Northern Cape Cod Massachusetts... Clearwater Florida... Northend Boston Massachusetts... The Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts and finally the fishing villages of Southern Maine and Northern Massachusetts (where the inspiration derived from the memorials to those lost at sea, gave this album a far more "Nautical" theme then it had when it started.
The Disturbance Fields had originally focused on "all of the possible random disturbances that Mother Nature could take". However between 2006 and late 2012, Edison's Children would write nearly 250 minutes worth of music just on this topic alone and the band realized that TDF would actually become a trilogy.
With Epic #4 now focusing specifically on our old salt of a sea captain, pieces of music written about Mother Nature's other "wrathful elements" were then pushed to albums #5 and #6.
** Two red stars:
The lyrics for all songs from The Disturbance Fields are now online. ** Two Red Stars however means that the complete liner notes for that song are online as well.
Original Album Cover for The Disturbance Fields (with original Mother Nature "monster")
To see the reasons why the album cover changed to what it is today... see "Artwork" above