#I Trawl the Megahertz (In Explore)
(...)I am telling myself the story of my life,
Stranger than song or fiction.
We start with the joyful mysteries,
Before the appearance of ether,
Trying to capture the elusive:(...)
Patrick Joseph McAloon (born 7 June 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and a founder of the band Prefab Sprout.
Prefab Sprout is one of those bands I've been missing since the '80s. I found an album of the old songs in acoustic form, definitely more current. And then I found this album, which I didn't know about. Definitely a surprise, a great stylistic change, unusual, but beautiful.
I Trawl the Megahertz (stylized as I trawl the MEGAHERTZ) is an album originally released as a Paddy McAloon solo album in May 2003 on Liberty Records. It was later reissued in February 2019 on Sony Music under the Prefab Sprout name, as originally intended, with new artwork. After McAloon was rendered almost blind for a period in 1999 due to detached retinas, he was left housebound, and found comfort in listening to shortwave radio transmissions such as chat shows, phone-in programs, and documentaries. He recorded conversations from these programs and fragmented them, adding in new words and lines from other sources, providing him source material for the album.
I Trawl the Megahertz is a heavily orchestrated and largely instrumental work, documenting "a personal journey with grace and feeling". Washes of orchestration that have been compared to Leonard Bernstein and passages said to evoke Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, McAloon's favorite composers, are coupled "with words of intelligence and desperate sadness." The usage of strings and "a mournful horn section" helps distance the album from the plaintive melodies and witty wordplay of Prefab Sprout's music. The Scotsman even described the album as "less an album than a largely-instrumental suite." The tracks feature an array of voices representing those McAloon heard on the radio, mostly during phone-in radio conversations, "swimming in and out of earshot as the dial spins through the frequencies." Entertainment.ie felt the weaving of fragments of radio show conversations into "a series of compelling narratives against a lushly orchestral background" defines the album's sound. (From Wikipedia....more here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Trawl_the_Megahertz )
In Explore on December 9, 2020
Thank you very much to everyone!