Behind The Tracks: The Jonny Halifax Invocation - Cosmic Fanfare (Single) (2024)

Cosmic Fanfare was the first track to be written, or more accurately evolve, for the new collection for vol.2. I had the idea to make this album a bit more of a harmonica-led album, in a shift from Volume 1 which came about from a series of lap steel improvisations which were then layered and overdubbed into the sonic collages they became. So this one started with the bass harmonica which has been a mainstay of a lot of my recordings over the years since I found the amazing object in an Argentinian flea market and had to buy it. The starting point for Cosmic Fanfare was to put this instrument at the front. It was very much inspired by the Moondog track where the band name was taken from, and from Terry Riley's In C - I was interested in exploring how far you could go with 1 note played in various octaves. There are some diatonic harmonicas in there too. I then added some simple drum machine beats from a beautiful old Roland R-77 which I love the sound of the articulated white noise percussion on. The original version of the track with just Harmonicas and drones very much like one of those archive clips of ships being cast off on their maiden voyage, or a casket being cast into the depths in a funeral at sea, but with more space is the place feel, so the 'cosmic' in the title comes from Sun Ra and maybe a bit of Hawkwind with their early post-apocalyptic space traveler narratives. The track sat for a bit and then I came back to it and just tried a bit of lap steel on it to see if it worked, and it really brought the whole thing together. The final touches came from Captain Future at Space Eko studio where I mixed the album. I loved the way he played around with live dub mix effects through the desk, so I asked Alex to try some remixes. Cosmic Fanfare was the first one he tried and he came back with this amazing cosmic dub deconstruction - that is coming out later in the year as a separate EP release, but we kept a lot of those elements and that feel for the album mix.

For me, this track had a mysterious exploratory mood which really set up the ambition for the rest of the album, which has a whole host of other instruments on it and which I hope bring something new to the project.

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