Virtual World - Sleeve Notes

The subject of Virtual Reality has interested me for some time, and I decided after recording Making Waves, that VR would prove to be excellent subject matter for an album. The thought of interacting with others in a virtual environment seemed much more attractive to me than a solo experience, and so, as I wrote the piece, I envisaged a user in the near future connecting up to a Virtual Reality Network.

I wanted the album to be a complete experience, and not merely a collection of tracks (all the tracks run into one another for a cohesive whole), and so I experimented in presenting the music in a variety of ways. I soon found that by employing too many sound effects or adding descriptive dialogue to the tracks, I was imposing my own thoughts and ideas on to the listener. Without this imposition, your own imagination is free to fly wherever the music takes you. So allow yourself to be drawn into your own Virtual World. Let the music and the track titles be your guide and prepare yourself for your New Reality!

It can be argued that we have always lived in a virtual world. Through the centuries, man has created his own representation of the world we live in, based upon his current level of knowledge and an interpretation of his surroundings. (Heaven is above us, and Hell, must therefore be below.) It is not hard for us to understand the disbelief that must have accompanied the discovery that the world was in fact a sphere. The flat earth model was a virtual world that must have seemed a far more logical perception of reality.

Our interpretation of the world we inhabit is moulded and formed by our immediate surroundings, and is increasingly coloured and often distorted by the images and information we choose to absorb. In the past, information was equated with power, but now, we are living in a time of information overload. In selecting the information we wish to receive, an individual's reality can be regarded as little more than their perception of the truth.

VR is all around us. We de-sensitise pilots on simulators to divorce the destroyed target on screen from the reality of death. We vent our aggression and satisfy a need for violence in video games, revealing a darker side that we suppress in the outside world.

Money - the very measure by which individuals and institutions (rightly or wrongly) value their work and rate their achievements, exists in a virtual reality all of its own. Capital transactions can be broken down into the exchange of digits between two computers.

In creating this recording, virtual faders control the sound levels of a tape recorder and mixing desk that exist only in the image portrayed on the computer screen - familiar representations, used to assist the operator. In reality, the software is converting musical performance into a complex stream of data. The music you hear can be broken down into a huge string of 0's and 1's.

It comes as no surprise that mankind will use technology to create a virtual reality in order to escape from the harsh reality we create in the real world. Future generations may only get the chance to see, hear and touch the beauty of the rainforest through the use of VR.

If TV is opium for the masses, then VR is cocaine for the connected crowd. This is powerful stuff....Welcome to the Web...