PREVIEW: moogmemory (Matthew Bourne – Tour Dates March 4th – April 23rd)

 – moogmemory is a forthcoming album for  The Leaf Label , recorded entirely on a Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog (LAMM) – a standard Moog Memorymoog that has been specially modified by engineer Rudi Linhard

– moogmemory will also take the form of a live, audio-visual show from March-April 2016, in which  pianist/ keyboard player Matthew Bourne will be collaborating with filmmaker and graphic artist Michael England. Matthew Bourne explains the background:

Moogmemory album cover

I’ve known Michael England for many years, and we’ve always wanted to work together. Now, finally, we’ve got round to producing what is hopefully the first of a many projects together. As the album came into being during August-November of 2014, I reflected on just how important the journey of this particular instrument was: where it had come from, and the people involved in its life seemed to speak out and have a strange, uncanny resonance.

Moogmemory live project in the making. Picture credit: Matthew Bourne

I’d bought the instrument from keyboardist extraordinaire Phil James in 2007 – who had owned it from new, and was a treasured part of his collection. I remember going to pick it up from him – and met a passionate musician, who knew the instrument inside out, and put it through its paces… I’ll always remember Phil’s reaction when I came to put it in the back of the car: it had been an integral part of his music making for twenty-five years…

Moogmemory live project in the making. Picture credit: Matthew Bourne

Fast forward nearly ten years, and with numerous visits to the repair shop, and one huge upgrade from Rudi later, and we have an instrument that has travelled some considerable distance, and been lovingly cared for by those that have nurtured its brilliance.

It is this human story around the instrument that has interested Michael and I, and has governed our rationale for the project as a whole, choosing to focus on very specific set of narrative criteria. The film and graphic elements will reflect place (from locations as a varied as Montauk, NY, to my home in Airedale, and drone camera filming on the Yorkshire moors), and people – including my communications and correspondences with Rudi, and a visit to Phil James’s studio in Huddersfield just a few weeks ago, capturing the reunion with his instrument on film.

Still from Moogmemory live project

 Similar to the approach for Songs from a Lost Piano (2009), I find myself fascinated by the memories of various instruments. Even though this is an electronic instrument, I remember the words Rudi once told me: “Don’t forget – she’s an old gal!”, meaning that, although the LAMM functions every bit as well as its more modern counterparts, she’s a living, breathing entity – a character, with a life, and with memories, and stories to tell. And in that last statement lies an important subtext: it’s not me who makes the music. I’m just someone who flicks the power switch, depresses a handful of keys, and listens carefully to what she has to say…

Hopefully Michael and I can do her justice in bringing some of these memories to life through the mediums of sound and vision.

Still from Moogmemory live project



4 – BRISTOL – Colston Hall
5 – LONDON – BFI Southbank
6 – MANCHESTER – Islington Mill
17 – BRIGHTON – Komedia
18 – SOUTHAMPTON – Turner Sims


23 – GLASGOW – Outskirts Festival at Platform

LINK: moogmemory is available to pre-order via Bandcamp

Categories: miscellaneous

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