'CLARA' - Complete Logistics And Research Automation
Updated: Jan 23
It's been some time since I posted here, (August in fact, but for good reason!) Turns out my head has mostly been orbiting Jupiter, or in particular it's fifth moon 'Amalthea' as I've been working on a brand new album which has been released this past weekend by the lovely folks at Spun Out Of Contol and you can pre-order it on cassette now (as of writing there are only the Orion Orange variant is available). I've actually been writing CLARA for around 9 months, and originally it started out as a short vignette, during some sessions creating custom patches and sound design using Native Instrument's FM8 and Massive. The idea for CLARA came from research and reading I'd been carrying out into the Greek mythology surrounding Amalthea and in particular, how this related to some of my favourite science fiction films, tv series and stories. Over the course of a couple of months, the narrative of CLARA emerged, and the album came into being.
'CLARA' (Complete Logistics And Research Automation) - a fully autonomous scientific research station tasked with studying and transporting a large suspended populous across vast distances in space.
CLARA is discovered adrift in low orbit around Amalthea, Jupiter's fifth moon, all non-critical systems have been suspended, and no contact can be established. A research team is dispatched to investigate the station and its important cargo, which left Terra over 5 years ago. After successfully gaining entry through a maintenance airlock, the team discovers the remaining human population have been subjected to a number of experimental neuroscience procedures during suspended animation. As events unfold, it becomes clear that CLARA is critically unstable and highly possessive of her human cargo... an unnerving maternal connection that must be severed in order to preserve the countless lives onboard.
The artwork you see above was created by Eric Adrian Lee, who's done a stunning job interpreting the narrative I set out in the synopsis, and I'd like to say a big thank you to Eric for all the hard work put in to make this (and the forthcoming cassettes) look so great! As you'll know if you've read about any of my other projects and musical meanderings I usually have quite a strong theme and visual identity set out from the start, and CLARA was no exception. At the same time as writing and recording the album, I was also imagining the world in which CLARA inhabits - taking inspiration from Alien and it's consequent follow up game 'Alien Isolation' I began working on computer graphics that you might find on one of CLARA's CRT monitors and control panels - something I've always had a fascination with (those of you who follow me on Twitter will be all too aware of this!) One of the results of which you can see below, as a bit of a teaser for the album.
Thanks for reading and check out the album below (headphones recommended!)