‘The Topologies of Blue’ returns to the past. Housed within archaic architecture and old hospital wards, one finds a still piano and a set of cold, careful strings. Dense ambient textures are coloured in a heavy grey. They create pressure, but the record’s ongoing studies and experimentations help to release it, making for a spacious listen; the music is both doctor and patient. Abstract sounds puncture the air with the precision of a scalpel. Notes flow into the brain; the brain absorbs their medication…
Seaman’s music acts like an open casebook, its files (tracks) comprised of experimental investigations and historically accurate case studies. Within it, he tackles psychological issues and imbalances, exploring cases in which reality has stretched and slanted to a precarious degree. The uneasy textures are in the midst of the fight, right there with the patient.
Until relatively recently, issues of mental health were swept under the carpet. One was either sent to an asylum or it was never discussed. Proof was ridiculed and the topic was deemed insignificant by society. One was told to pull oneself together during the onset of a nervous breakdown, and how times have (thankfully) changed. Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it’s taken so much longer for the world to see. Music therapy produces positive results, engaging and comforting a mind suffering from either physical or mental distress
And so Bill Seaman returns to the medical and psychological pioneers (around the turn of the 20th Century), when psychological study was approaching something of a golden era and new discoveries in medicine and treatment were on the immediate horizon. Soldiers returned from war with shellshock and battle fatigue (now known as PTSD). Green fields and quiet country houses aided in the recovery process; nature became therapeutic, and the brain’s functioning slowly unfolded.
There’s still so much of the mind that isn’t understood, and the music remains mysterious, deeply rooted in its ongoing studies. Stemming from early childhood, life experiences, and outside influences, the music closes itself off to delve into psychological experimentation. It explores space and how one perceives and interacts with that space – otherwise known as field theory – and the results of any given interaction. Likewise, the piano interacts with the general mix, causing reactions, tremors, and spasms which echo within the sound-world and are similar to a prodding of a frog’s legs in high school biology class.
No progress in any field would be made without experimentation.
Distances and touch, the darkened skies of depression, and unquiet desires are all part of the mind’s inner population. Seaman’s instrumentation feels old, almost baroque in its regal-yet-decaying elegance. The tones are brought back to life in a Frankenstein way, old but still breathing, and the strings help to distil and dilute the medicine, smoothing out the concoction.
Once again the packaging design for this one is absolutely beautiful and perfectly in-keeping with the overall concept/theme of the album. We are once again using deluxe GF Smith 540gsm 4-panel letter-press/blind debossed covers with a Buckram emboss finish. The design will also include 20 x photos printed on Fujicolor crystal archive paper, 6 x double sided vintage prints that include track title / poetry along with page inserts from antique psychology books (Psychology in Service of the Soul / New Concepts of Hypnosis / Introduction to Experimental Method in the Social Sciences.
Made by hand…
Printed on GF Smith 540gsm embossed buckram card
Glass mastered CD
20 x photos printed on Fujicolor crystal archive paper,
6 x double sided A7 vintage prints that include track title / poetry
1 x page insert from antique psychology books
Housed in glassine bags (Sealed / stitched)
Mastering by James Plotkin
Made with love…
Bill Seaman – Piano, Piano Libraries, Sample Compositions, Samples, Abstracted Percussion, Non-location Recordings, Electric Guitar Abstractions
Wei Ping Lin – Violin Solos
David Rothenberg – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contralto Clarinet Solos
Sid Richardson – Upright Bass Libraries
Tim Bjorklund – Electric Guitar Libraries
Volkmar Klein, Sound Engineer for initial violin recording
Produced by Bill Seaman
Mastered by James Plotkin
Cover design by Ian Hazeldine
Overall design by Daniel Crossley
Special Thanks to all of the musicians + John Supko, Craig Tattersall, Volkmar Klein, Maura Walsh-Seaman, Daniel Crossley, Ian Hazeldine and James Plotkin.