Along the East Sussex coastline at Pett (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pett
) are the remains of a petrified forest that becomes exposed at low tide. Although all that is left are the black roots and stumps, It looks, literally, like nothing else on this world.
The forest came into existence at the end of the last Ice Age, some 6000 years ago, when colder temperatures had frozen a great deal more water in the Polar regions and the sea-level was, as a consequence, over 150 ft lower than it is today. As the Earth warmed and sea levels rose, so the forest became submerged and fossilised.
When I visited Pett, I was captivated by the idea that the coastline and the very beach that I was walking on had in fact once been dry land (over which it was possible to walk to France), covered in trees and filled with plants and animals - not least, on occasion, those of our own species.
I had originally set out to make an album of voice and guitar improvisations based on the forest, but after finding the results unsatisfactory, rather than deleting all the existing material and starting again, I broke the demo material down into small, near unrecognisable pieces of audio and set about building new pieces from these remains, stretching and warping and sculpting the old sound into new instruments and building the tracks on top of them.
I came to add a number of field recordings to the tracks, as well as synthesiser, my upright piano and recordings I made of my speaking voice on a cassette tape. What made me want eventually to release this album, however, is that sometimes you still hear the guitar or the voice from those original demos coming through, almost trying to push through the dense wall of acoustic, electronic and granular sound as a reminder of what once existed, and what once was before - just like the remains of that forest at Pett which grew when the earth was, for a while, in a cold spell.