Exiting the Shadows – our 3rd album is finally HERE!

We are very proud to announce the arrival of our new album from the manufacturer.   This is our 3rd full-length studio album, and it’s the first part of a new trilogy called “the Voyage”.    This album, part 1, is called “Exiting the Shadows”.

 

Exiting the Shadows

Notes on "Cut Below the Line" (and general introduction to album philosophy):
The first song on this album is a track called, "Cut Below the Line".   It's a song is
about confusion, self-doubt, and not being quite sure of what's going on
around you, as though experiencing a dream-world, or being under chemical influence.
The "line" in this case, refers to an ink mark made on the skin, in preparation for
surgery, the protagonist getting ready to remove a mole from a patient's skin under local anaesthetic.
But is there a "line" really there, or  is he just seeing things?  
Also, his thinking has large gaps in it.....shards of awareness that come and go....blinking off and 
on, without getting a precise handle on anything.   The "deep imagining so much more than normal", 
allows access to a self-generated illusion, that can stand-in for the real-world.  But his awareness 
of it, and control of it, are only partial.  That's why there are no full sentences, or even complete 
ideas in the verses.  They are repeating, inconclusive, irrational.   Perhaps there's hoping, in the 
"I might wait" line, that the effects will wear off soon.  The language is somewhat nonsensical, 
but with a thematic purpose.  "Undermined" and "Out of Time" refer to realizations that
there is a problem, and the time for blissful ignorance has now expired.
There are a couple of real-world inspirations for this song.  The first was a story told
to me by my surgeon friend, who was late for a meeting we had, as his surgery went late, 
because he accidentally cut the inferior vena cava (the largest of the 2 main veins going into the 
heart), and he said as soon as he did that, the whole abdominal cavity that had been exposed 
(to perform the surgery) "instantly filled up with blood".   Beads of sweat were forming on his
forehead as he was telling me....a mild tremor in his voice.  Somehow the patient survived, no doubt
partially in thanks to the Herculean effort from the entire room that followed.
I remember thinking about how when I was a boy, one of my big "dreams" was to work on
radios.  At least then, if you make a mistake, your whole work bench doesn't get
instantly flooded with blood.
Imagine making that mistake....and then picking up a scalpel again.   Well....I tried to
do that, when writing this song.
And while that story was a dramatic example of "cutting below the line", or making some
irreversible major blunder, it had nothing to do with altered states.
That's where the next story comes into play:
I was at home, having some Friday evening drinks with friends, when another friend called
me, asking if I would stitch him up.  He had just been in fight,
and his inner cheek got lacerated badly, and he didn't want to wait hours in the ER, so I
said I'd help.  But then he didn't show, and I assumed that was that.
So I continued my imbibement for the evening.  But then he DID show up, at my apartment,
bloody face.   And so at 11pm, I took him into the walk-in-clinic where I
worked, unlocked the place (I had a master key), turned the lights on, gathered up all the
gear, and proceeded to stitch up his inner check with dissolvable cat-gut
suture.   The location of the wound alone, would've made it the most difficult suture-job
of my life.  But being drunk did not enhance my performance, as you might imagine.   
It was the only doctoring I ever performed while intoxicated....probably about 3-4 rum onboard.  
Not official business.....not billing the government, not a patient, rather a favor for a friend, 
but still, not a proud moment.  Not something I'd recommend.  I mean, I love to enhance certain 
activities with creating a favorable biological backdrop.   Certain substances go great with certain 
activities. For example, marijuanna plus musical jam, equals enhancement!   But you can't just add 
any old drug to any old activity and expect it to work.  It must be strategic, or things can go very 
badly wrong.   For example, take that same musical jam situation, subtract marijuanna, and add 
salicybon (sp?) and instead of a fun jam, you get a paranoid jam, afraid of one's instrument, 
and perpetually trying to tune.  You don't want to do acid, and then look in the mirror.  
Big big no no.  And, unlike what is heard in urban myth, hookers and cocaine are a monumentally bad
combination!   Even if you can afford it, it wouldn't be remotely fun.   I've never tried
this personally, but I'm able to make this conclusion based on the stories
I've heard, and the knowledge that having a financial incentive to 'finish', coupled with
a pharmocologically-induced inability to do so, just doesn't seem to be
a recipe for fun.  Nothing involving cocaine, actually, is particularly fun, come to think
of it.  Except for maybe the first 5 seconds.....then it's all downhill
from there.   So on the topic of substance-enhancing activities, and what to avoid, I
recommend against performing surgery while intoxicated.  It doesn't appear
to enhance enjoyment of either the surgeon or the patient.
The song talks about a line, drawn on skin, but unclear to the protagonist.   In the real-
life situation (which inspired the song), there was no line.
I was closing a wound, not removing a mole, so no line was drawn.  But the "line" in the
song does have a real-world analog.....it was the thing that
was plain to anyone to see (except for me): the truth about my growing chemical
dependency.
   I was an addict, and at that stage, I was in complete denial.   I couldn't see it.  Or
I refused to see it.   The illusion, that my reality was fine,
was an illusion I had spent years manufacturing, and believing fully.  But I eventually
came to doubt that illusion.   Everything was not fine.
Something needed to change.   And external changes, like changing ones clothes, or
partner, or city, or address, or job, wouldn't help....at all.   It had to be
a big change.....internal.....fundamental.
Gradually this realization dawned: I needed to find a new way of living.....different from
what I've known my entire adult life.
This was the time for my TRANSITION.   To make a TRANSITION, to becoming remedied.  A
transition to full health.   To full growth and full potential.  To "physician
heal thyself!" myself.  To experience freedom, in a way I hadn't fully known.   I needed
to ESCAPE dependancy,  ESCAPE despondency.  Escape the confines of my
self-imposed, self-imagined limitations.  Some kind of metamorphasis, or evolution, lay
ahead.   "The Voyage" that awaited me started with my major TRANSITION into
recovery.   I entered the treatment program January 27, 2011, and have been clean ever
since.
This album is the first of a trilogy of material.  "Exiting the Shadows" deals with the
theme of escape (or transition).   The next 2 albums will deal with
Discovery (Epiphany)(or transform) and Return (resolution)(or transcend).  And if you
think we're biting off more than we can chew, or think we're just being
optimistic, I'll say that as of this writing, all of the songs for the entire trilogy have
already been written, and the bed tracks for all of them are recorded.
Half of the second album (album 2 in the Trilogy, album 4 overall) is already mixed.   So
we're ahead of the game.   Unlike Disney's Star Wars, we thought this
whole thing through right to the end, before releasing this first part.
This 3-part story draws many references from real-life experiences.  But it is not
autobiographical.  My own personal voyages are many:  I've travelled the roads
of addiction and recovery, marriage, divorce and remarriage (got it right the second
time!).....grown from childhood to fatherhood, been both rich and poor...... had the incredible 
joy of having a son, and then the completely seperate joy of having daughter.   But this trilogy is 
not about me, or Jim or Gil, or Remedy.   It's informed by us.  But it follows a fictitious character 
through a long voyage.  And hopefully you, the listener, will recognize some of his
experiences as familiar to your own.  Only you will know what each song means for you, and
how it relates to whatever road you are currently on.   As we're all going somewhere.  
Even if you're staying still.....you're still moving forward through time.
Total unchangability is impossible.  The second law of thermodynamics, and all that.
I've made notes on some of the songs on this album, to help fill in some of the details
about the creative musings that spawned them.  But as in the first song,
where a real-life experience helps inform a song that is, at it's core, fiction, remains
true for the entire work (Remember....in the real story...there is no "line").
So for convenience sake, I'm going to give this fictional protagonist a name: Ford (as a
nod to Doug Adams).  It's a lot less cumbersome than saying "protagonist".
The original title for "Exiting the Shadows" was going to be "Breaching the Heliosphere".
It was a reference to Voyager's exit from our solar system, and into a
transitory region of space just before it reaches interstellar space, outside the magnetic
influence of the sun.  It's taken almost 40 years after it's launch, but
Voyager has actually successfully left the solar system, the first man-made object ever to
do so.  It felt appropriate commemorating the event in an art vinyl form,
especially considering it's carrying a gold-plated record on it's hull, that contain
"Sounds of Earth" (although the record did not contain the COMPLETE works of
Johanne Sebastion Bach, as "that would be boasting", I do believe go 'ol JS made the cut).
We decided to change the name to "Exiting the Shadows" as it just as well
conveyed the theme of "Escape" that's riddled throughout the lyrics of nearly all the
album tracks, but also infused a broader meaning into the title.
This album is the first physical work we've put out in 9 years.   So in a way, this record
is our exit from the shadows, by bringing new work to light.
We hope you enjoy this album.   And in alignment with it's general theme of "Escape", we
hope it allows you to escape from your world, into our world,
to appreciate a shared sensory experience with us, and everyone who hears this work.
Production Notes:
"Cut Below the Line", like all of the songs on this record, was recorded and mixed in a
Roland VS2480 hard disk recorder (24bit, 44.1kHz), and mastered using mastering
tools in Sonar and Wavelab.  The drums were all recorded at CrestHill studio in Halifax,
direct into the VS2480's brilliant AD converters and preamps.  For the
uninitiated.....it's really old digital tech....but it's still excellent sounding, and so
worked for our purposes.  We relied heavily on our Universal Audio
LA-610 Mk II (a real one!) for compressing vocals, bass, and guitars.  This album was also
our first use of strictly LCR mixing.  That is to say, each track is panned in only one of three ways:
1) Extreme Left, 2) Centre, 3) Extreme Right.  No other option allowed (though I often made exception 
for this on the drum panning).
 This makes for a sound palette that's maximizing the use of stereo contrast, and
differentiates it as unique in Remedy's cannon so far.  And in the area of
interesting trivia, this is the first use of ripped paper in a Remedy song.  The very
first drum notes (an open high hat) are immediately preceeded by the sound of a
single sheet of 8.5 x 11 sheet of looseleaf being ripped lengthwise, fairly close to a
heavily compressed condensor microphone.  It took several experiments to find
the right distance from the mike, and the right speed of ripping.   Turns out, the fastest
rip, is not the loudest rip.   Who'd of thought?
"the map"
"THe Voyage", will be described in 3 albums, representing the 3 phases of the journey:
Phase 1) Departure.  
Phase 2) Discovery 
Phase 3) Return 
Phase 1) Theme: Escape  "Exiting the Shadows".   
Glyphs:  TRANSITION. CHALLENGE, COMBINE
Phase 2) Theme: Epiphany  "Mechanical Epiphany".  
Glyphs: TRANSFORM, EXPLORE, CREATE
Phase 3) Return (resolution) is represented by albm 3 of the Trilogy, "Vehicular Serenity
(Driving back to Earth)".  
Glyphs:  TRANSCEND, UNDERSTAND, CONNECT 
(The glyphs that are bolded above, appear on the "Exiting.." CD, with the glyph that represents 
the current CD colored differently than the other 2, which represent the upcoming 2nd and 3rd albums 
in the "Voyage" Trilogy).
So each album has 3 glyphs that help describe the album's theme.

Another view of "The Map" (glyphs in "The Voyage"):
                album 1       album 2        album 3
rel to self    transition    transform      transcend
rel to world   challenge     explore        understand
rel to others  combine       create         connect

Again the bolded glyphs above represent what's printed on album 1, "Exiting the Shadows".  They 
represent a cross-section of the 3 different types of relationships one can experience......
relating to oneself, to external environment, to other individuals.   One interesting part of this:
the last row (relating to others), might also describe the process of creating music in a band:  
Combline (the players), Create (the music), Connect (to the listener).


"Exiting the Shadows" Credits:
All Music and Lyrics by Steve Harley,
except "Walk a Mile" written by James Bond, Steve Harley, Andrew White
and "Escape to the Rhythm" written by James Bond, Steve Harley.
All arrangements by Remedy.  SOCAN 2018.

The Band:
James Bond -Bass, Loops
Steve Harley -Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Loops
Gil Roy - Drums, Percussion

Guest Musicians:
John Peer:  Wurlitzer Piano on "Walk a Mile"
Morgan Cruickshank: Guitar Solo on "Gettaway Sticks"

Graphic Design: James Bond
Manufactured at PutitonCD.com
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Cresthill Studio
Produced by Steve Harley

 

more notes on the remaining album tracks to follow shortly.
Thank you very much for reading these notes!   I’m glad you’re still here!

Steve Harley

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