Check out the replay of the Facebook live with my friend Malik Ziad. We played a few songs from the new album Shapes of the Fall : )
Directed by FANTÔMES / Production: La Blogothèque / Animation: Rodolphe Jouxtel / Additional illustrations: Audrey Jouve
I wrote the music to All Aboard with my friend Malik Ziad and I remember at the time as we were playing around with the riff instrumentally, this phrase popped into my mind to sing as a kind of call and answer refrain, “all aboard, all aboard”.
In the end, the lyrics and narrative just flowed out of those initial two words.
To develop the story, I imagined a bunch of survivors after an environmental collapse getting on board a makeshift boat to sail to the poles, the poles being the last place cool enough to live on. I imagined a modern day ark, with animals and plants, carrying precious seed and cargo to survive and start a new life. But I also wrote the song as a kind of parody, to highlight the absurdity of humanity’s inaction in the face of impending catastrophe. We’d rather let our home and planet and our very own paradise burn in front of us instead of just getting on board a green new narrative and all aboard a way to avoid that apocalyptic scenario.
With a modern day ecological take on Noah and the ark, the narrative and lyrics gave the song a lot of potential visually and I always figured it could be an exciting song to animate.
With La Blogotheque guiding the the production, Hugo and Rodolphe Jouxtel did a great job and I’m happy I was also able to guide them in the interpretation of the story.
There’s a 70’s French science fiction cartoon feel to their animation that brings me back to my childhood with references to artists like Moebius, Enki Bilal or Philippe Druillet. The beautiful and evocative landscapes were drawn by Audrey Jouve.
I’m writing to you all today with some slightly unfortunate news as we’ve just heard via our distributor of a setback in the manufacture of our vinyl, this will cause a delay in our shipping to you.
As those of you know, who’ve been following us at Beating Drum over the years, we take great pride in the quality of the objects we release.Because of our desire to never cut corners, we have had to ask for a re print as the final object was not up to our standards. The delay will likely be a few weeks, meaning we will not be sending out the vinyl as initially planned.
Our distributor is currently in the process of negotiating with the manufacturer to achieve the best possible time scale. We will let you know as soon as we have that precise information.
On the 2nd of April, you will receive at least the digital tracks (WAV, FLAC or MP3) as part of your order.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and most of all, thank you for your support!
Piers and Beating Drum Team
My new song “ALL ABOARD” feat. Ben Harper & Abdelkebir Merchane is out on all platforms.
All aboard is a rallying call for action as the storm of climate disruption and the devastation of the natural world gathers pace. The song is inspired by trance rhythms from the Mediterranean, from southern Italy to the Maghreb, these rhythms help us heal, to go from darkness and fear to hope and light.
Drawing on the fable of Noah and the ark, I use the myth to draw a parallel with today’s environmental crisis, “all aboard” to protect and save! What better way to accompany this call to action than two of the finest and most soulful voices in music today, my dear friend Ben Harper and the Moroccan master of Gnawa music and tradition, Abdelkebir Merchane. The song features two instruments from the Maghreb, the aouisha played by the amazing Malik Ziad and the guembri played by his brother the great Karim Ziad as well as the metal hand percussion, the large metal castanets known as karkabous.
All Aboard, “tout le monde à bord” est un appel à l’action collective face à l’accélération du dérèglement climatique. La chanson est inspirée par les traditions de transes du bassin Méditerranéen, du sud de l’Italie jusqu’au Maghreb. Des rythmes aux pouvoirs de guérison… Comme dans le mythe de l’Arche de Noé, « All Aboard » pour protéger et sauver! Quoi de mieux, pour accompagner ce message positif, que les sublimes voix de mon ami Ben Harper et du maître marocain de la musique Gnawa, Abdelkebir Merchane. Côté instruments, on entend le aouisha joué par le fantastique Malik Ziad ainsi que l’unique et hypnotique beauté du guembri joué par son grand frère, l’incroyable Karim Ziad.
I wanted to share a little bit of the process with you. I spent a few days drawing all the individual pictures using charcoal on paper and then put them all together with the music to build a visual narrative for the animation.
The song is inspired by Mediterranean trance traditions from southern Italy to the Maghreb, the foghorn is sounding the alarm of the earth’s potential environmental collapse and the devastating loss of biodiversity. The trance is a call for positive action and healing, to step out of the darkness toward the light.
The beauty of stop motion animation is actually how few images you need to create the illusion of movement.
With the individual human and animal heads, the sequences were often 4 or 5 images long and then looped. 2 with the eyes open, varying the background and changing some details in the pupils of the eyes and then 2 more with eyes half open and then shut!
The same principle worked for the dancers. Having them turn in circles allowed me to create a mesmerising animated loop. It never ceases to amaze me when we watch this kind of animation technique how the brain compensates for the missing information between the images of the turning figure to make it so believable.
Here’s my new song “Foghorn calling” the 2nd single from my forthcoming album Shapes Of The Fall: https://idol.lnk.to/FoghornCalling
“Fog horns are the haunting warning signals sent out from ship to ship or by lighthouses along the coastline to prevent catastrophe or shipwreck.
In the second single from his new album, Shapes of the Fall, @PiersFaccini weaves a cautionary tale using this potent sound as a metaphor for humanity’s seeming inability to act on the warning sounds of its very own potential environmental collapse. Will we heed the foghorn in time and set sail for a brighter future or will mankind’s ship of fools break up on the rocks and be lost to the impending storm?
One of the hallmarks of Faccini’s unusual songwriting is to create original conversations between different musical languages and traditions. Here a guembri, the unique instrument belonging to the North African Gnawa traditions and played by the Algerian Malik Ziad is the driving force for Faccini’s plaintive voice, creating an unlikely marriage of styles and a kind of multicultural 21st Century driving blues. If the song were geographically situated it would be at a point dropped somewhere between an English moor, a Saharan desert oasis and a Mississippi crossroads.”