Greetings my friends from the non-localized Fourth World Radio cyber-headquarters! I am writing this today to welcome you to fourthworldradio.com and give a brief introduction to this blog, some upcoming posts that I will be adding here. As you may have noticed, FWR has recently released it's first full-length album, "Transmission: One", which can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Bandcamp, and streamed on Spotify (to name a few options).
My intention in these upcoming posts is to delve a little bit into each song, and give a description as to what they are about. The intention is to detail what I was feeling while writing and producing, the technical and creative processes involved, and the stories, themes and images each song is meant to tell or convey, I am doing this because sometimes it is not always clear to the listener just how much (or little) goes into writing songs. I guess I other artist's stories intriguing, and I am fascinated with stories about how songs are written, and what they may be about beneath the surface: their processes, how it was accomplished, the tricks, the failures, what it took and all that went into it, emotionally, psychologically, technically, musically, etc. I recognize the risk of an impression of self-importance here. I do not just assume that everyone out there is going to be instantly interested in reading about this or invested enough to navigate my occasional long-winding (and winded) explanations. I really just hope you enjoy the music, and if you do and are interested in these stories, if you ever wondered how/what/why about my process or curious about some technical aspect, then I invite you to follow me down the rabbit hole... if not, just play the record again, tell your friends, and be excellent to one another.
Some people may say that if you have to explain a joke (or story, or scene) then it wasn't executed very well. In many cases I agree, but any obscurity on my part is intentional and is actually an invitation ask questions. This is another reflection of my personal tastes. I enjoy all levels of artistic expression, the sacred and the profane, the smartest and the stupidest, the banal and the substantial... But what I thrive on is the stuff that begs questioning, books where one paragraph opens up a thousand images and questions and only give hints, allusions... movies that don't give the entirety of the plot to you, that let you imagine the missing reel, songs that may be about one thing but maybe another, songs that have history, inside jokes, cryptic words like puzzles to be solved, music with new sounds and chords to figure out. I like the stuff that keeps me involved, that ask something of me or the audience. When the audience is expected to understand or figure something out or think about what's going on, than there is no longer a duality... observer and observed. There is a singularity happening, where the book or movie or song depends on the audience, and vice versa. We are the tree, the woods, the fall, and the sound.
I love to delve into a song, study the lyrics, map the arrangement, figure out it's meaning, track it all the way back from it's present form to it's alchemical genesis...especially if it has an obscured or abstract appearance or expression. Above all, I just listen carefully. So, because of this attraction to the elusive, I have always tried to create songs with stranger musical and thematic ideas. Most songs are about things most people relate to, and this is one of the first rules of songwriting that I have more or less tossed out the window. I've tried to write a more human song, but the weird just keeps creeping in. Maybe I've given up on writing for humans, and I'm trying to write for gods or aliens or ghosts or something... I don't know... So maybe, if someone were curious, it behooves me to offer a little explanation or insight, like a map-key or cipher... to give an approximate idea of where I was coming from, in order that they may gain something more from it, along with their own ideas and thoughts. My intention is not to tell the listener how to feel, but sometimes the parallel or contrast of differing interpretations is just as relevant. The idea that a song can mean two or three different things to different people is, to me, what can make a song great, or at least it makes more interesting art.
So, while I am here and on the subject, I will give a brief and general synopsis of the record's overall theme. I would say that it is a concept album, in a sense. When I was writing these songs and putting the album together I had a vague idea of being able to string the songs together in a very abstract way. There is overall story-line or arc, so it is not a traditional "concept album" style or format. It's more of an anthology series, with subtle relative themes... songs that drift between stories within similar themes, textures and backdrops. If I were asked to describe it in a few words I would say: "It's a call to adventure via desire, communion, transcendence, compassion, hope… the journey of an entity in search of new experiences, new lands, new forms, new ideas and new beginnings." The "action" all takes place in a setting of unspecified wildernesses: jungles, islands, oceans, mountains, deserts, prairies… And while there is no actual story thread between the songs, it could be thought of as a "choose your own adventure" type of thing, where all these songs could make sense in many different story-lines… all part of a long dream that has it's own backstory, it's own memories, it's own cloud of varied feelings and emotions, filled with places, people, and experiences that are simultaneously strange and familiar… impossibly detailed, interpretable only in terms of what the interpreter wants to see, a Rorschach test via episodic series, this season is set in an imagined world of raw and brutal nature, romantic visions, human emotion, animal impulse, the miracle of music, and otherworldly influences. Well, it is important to leave some things out, to get'em wanting more, so I will stop here and hope you turn the page, so to speak.
I invite you all to listen to the songs, read the lyrics and check out the artwork for each song (each song has it's own panel in the CD booklet... download the file below!!!)
You can also view the artwork, read the lyrics, and listen/purchase on bandcamp:
And click "NEXT" to continue on to my first post, the story behind the first song on the record, "Lush".
Hope you enjoy!
- Geoff Giordano