Streams, Downloads & Track Previews
Now available below on all major streaming and download platforms! You can also check out Dan Whaley’s radio programme, featuring one of the new tunes off Unsung (go to 1hr 38mins): Dan Whaley “Out of Limits” show on Mixcloud
From the outset of his ITR releases, John Villiers has sought to create his own world of acoustic guitar exploration, drawing on his influences across the musical spectrum. This continues with the release of Unsung, his second set of solo acoustic instrumentals. From the mystical Raga stylings of If You Think Like Everybody Else via the Beeheart-inluenced Freefall, through to the country tones of Frantic and Riding In The Country he has created another musical landcsape for the listener to glide over…
“Despite all the trials and tribulations of Covid, 2020 has turned out to be a very productive year for me. Having released Pastoral in March, I was already embarked on the follow-up set, which is the new album, Unsung, just as we were moving into lockdown. The tunes are a continuation of the ideas from the first album, but I wanted to create more of a performance, rather than just a rendition of them. It’s always a problem, particularly with recording instrumentals, as to whether to just provide an accurate version of them or to try to create in front of the microphones something that is the basis of the tune, but may never be the same every time it is performed.
“Some of these tunes were wholly written before recording and kept as close to their original composition as first intended, while others were a framework that I knew would provide a solid basis for further exploration – these allowed me more room to improvise and take chances in their capture! I was lucky with tunes like Over The Hills and Far Away and Pastoral that I was able to play them live at venues before the lockdown occured. In the event, they have all finally been played live – but sat in the local park performing them for the entertainment of the pigeons and anyone sat nearby, to keep me in practice and get me outside again! Still, an audience is an audience, after all…
“Once I’d made the decisions about how to approach the recording sessions, it freed up my playing considereably, to the extent that I adjusted a couple of the older tunes, scrapping the perfectly acceptable first session versions of them and inverting them, to save me from being too restricted by their existing shape and letting me develop their essence further towards where I felt they could go.
On one tune I was lucky to have the capable hands of ‘Wild’ Jimmy London, playing percussion – on loan from his commitments performing with Zounds, The Astronauts, and many others – there would have been more tunes, but within days of starting the recording sessions, travel and social mixing were subject to major restrictions, so after we put down Unknown Soldier and a couple of rough outlines of two others, I was back working on my own again! Those roughs may yet end up on my Souncloud page, as that side of things will be continued.
“Anyway, dear listeners, I hope you enjoy Unsung and let the music take you on the journey that you might not be able to get away on, whilst we are still under curfews and restrictions. Think of it as the holiday you never had! So, close your eyes, relax and float away…”