WILL SAMSON ANNOUNCES ACTIVE IMAGINATION
Will Samson is releasing his first new music of the year, with the dreamlike electro-ambience of ‘Arpy’ arriving alongside a video shot on 16mm film, and news of his forthcoming album ‘Active Imagination’ which is due on
6th May, with the vinyl following on 24th June.
Will explains that “Arpy was the very first song to be created for the album and began its conception way back in January 2020, just as I was about to start touring my previous album Paralanguage (and before the pandemic hit). I had bought myself a JX-03 synth to take on the tour, and the first sketches were me basically figuring out how to use it. The guitar was added before I really knew what I was going to play, but I felt a little spark of something in that first take, which remains on the finished track.
“From there, the recordings sat on a hard-drive for about 7 months, while I racked my brains on how on earth to finish it. It was after having 3 vivid and consecutive dreams that Summer (whilst trying to teach myself how to lucid dream), when I woke up and realised that the lyrics and vocals had just written themselves.”
And on the accompanying video: “The Arpy video was filmed on 16mm film in a secret location during Summer 2021. On the first day of filming, we found a dead shark and the camera ate up the entire roll of film. It took us almost 10 months of planning and there were many times that I thought we would never be able to do it - due to lockdowns, seemingly inaccessible locations and bad weather. But the result is something that we are all very proud of. In the end, it really feels as though it was worth all of the effort and time.”
‘Active Imagination’ is the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Paralanguage’, released via Wichita Recordings. Worked on across the span of one entire year - from January of 2020 through to December - it is comprised of nine beautiful new pieces, and sits as a richly layered meditation on the idea of belonging, identity and
the search for home in the most unstable of worlds.
Since the release of debut album ‘Balance’ in 2012, Will Samson has steadily amassed a catalogue of haunting and immersive sounds that explore the spaces between ambient, electronic and folk music. Will Samson’s new album, ‘Active Imagination’, illustrates a striking new depth and expansiveness within his signature sound. Named after Carl Jung's method of dream analysis, ‘Active Imagination’ is largely inspired by the concept of lucid dreaming as a means of healthy escapism: “In order to help learn the technique, I wrote down my dreams in a notebook each morning - and took them to the studio to translate into songs.”
With maternal grandparents who were born in Chile & West Bengal (subsequently meeting in Kenya), it’s certainly true that Samson has often displayed a somewhat restless nature in both his artistic and personal life. Born in Oxford, he emigrated soon afterwards with his parents to Western Australia, where he lived for ten years before returning to the UK. A little over a decade later, he began shifting between Oxford and Berlin, then Brighton, Lisbon, Brussels and Bristol. It's clear to see why much of Samson's captivating work has often explored
the nature of identity and belonging.
“My family tree spreads so far across the globe that I've often wondered if it is in my blood to be constantly moving, perhaps in a search to find a solid sense of belonging” says Samson. “With no real ancestral homeland (or rather, a multitude of them) it is easy to feel a conflicted sense of identity – even if just on a very subtle level. These feelings would sometimes appear as dreams, which then became songs.”
Dreamlike in the swirling, illusory nature of its unfolding, ‘Active Imagination’ is a testament to Samson’s continued exploration – both of the world around him and his own inner workings that continue to provide great mysteries to interpret. Patient but cryptic, Samson takes that voyage and creates a mesmerising landscape for listeners to explore, in the same way his work always has.