Andrew Kinsella in conversation with Morgana, talks about his new album with MG Music – Aura – The Light that Heals.
Andrew Kinsella made his debut with MG Music with the release of “Evolution” in 2008. This has been his only solo album until now although Andrew is well known to the New Age and chillout music scene through his work with David Stanton as the acclaimed recording duo “Age of Echoes”.
(Morgana) Welcome back Andy Aura is your first solo album for 6 years. Can I start off by asking you what inspired you to write it?
(Andy) Hi Morgana, Nice to speak to you again
The inspiration for Aura popped into my head while looking through some images of leaves, taken by Kirlian photography. The surrounding energy fields revealed by this technique can be very beautiful and can get you thinking about the whole idea of Auras or unseen componants of life that we are completely unaware of. A leaf surrounded by a glowing radiant lifeforce is a perfect example. I have always been fascinated by this kind of New-Age thinking and subscribe to the growing belief that there is more to life than the ideas currently fashionable in mainstream Science.
(Morgana) How would you describe the style of this album and how it compares with Age of Echoes?
(Andy) ‘Aura’ is quite different from an Age Of Echoes album. The key differences are the lack of drums, no busy rhythms and no silent breaks between tracks. ‘Aura’ gives the listener a continuous piece of music 56 minutes long.
Age Of Echoes music usually incorporates a lot of rhythmic layers of instruments and percussion. By contrast, ‘Aura’ is built around much simpler musical arrangements, which portray a very laid-back mood. It felt very different writing music without a rhythmical backbone shaping the writing process. At first I found myself almost subconsciously introducing arpeggios and other rhythmic elements so I could still feel the security of a familiar foundation to a track, but after a while I was able to just go with the flow. The result is some organic and very relaxing music.
(Morgana) As you say, nicely laid-back – an invitation to the listener to relax and take a step back from the chaotic pace of modern life. It is bound to appeal to anybody seeking a slower pace.
What message or feelings would you like to leave your listeners with after hearing this album?
(Andy) Music is a very powerful tool for visualisation. I hope listeners to this album can close their eyes and let the music help them to actually feel and visualise the Aura of energy surrounding them, to see its changing colours and intensity and relate this to what they are feeling emotionally and physically. I hope this will help people achieve the relaxation and positive thinking that are so important in the healing process.
(Morgana) What’s your favorite track on the album and why?
(Andy) My favourite track is the title track of the album called ‘The Light That Heals’. It has a different style to the music I normally write. I like the Languid melody of the ‘Light That Heals’ and how it has a kind of meandering quality, it reminds me of dappled sunlight through leaves, a slow moving stream or an ‘Aura’ of calm flowing light.
(Morgana) Unlike any of your other work, this album is free from the kind of lively rhythmic effects you are well known for. How did the switch of writing style change the way you went about producing this album? What part of the whole process did you enjoy the most?
(Andy) I really enjoyed creating the atmospheric transitions between ‘Tracks’ on this album that help the music flow continuously over 56 minutes without pauses. Each transition was blended from about four sound layers and created free form in an organic process that was more about feeling for the right sounds rather than making logical choices about the best sounds to use.
The atmospherics add a lot to the album as they help the listener envision an environment of peace and security where healing can take place, in this case a temple or ashram.
(Morgana) . . . and what was the most challenging part?
(Andy) Mixing….. as always. When is someone going to invent a machine to do this bit ???!
(Morgana) You’re not the first MG artist to mention mixing. A great quote from Jon Richards was that nobody ever really finishes mixing – they just decide the best time to abandon it! Talking technical for a moment, this question is especially for anybody out there with an interest in the technical side of musical production – what software packages did you find most useful in making this album?
(Andy) Strangely, the most useful piece of software used whilst creating this album isn’t anything to do with music production at all, but is a little program called ‘Electric Sheep’. This is an absolutely gorgeous ‘fractal’ pattern generator that proved invaluable in getting me in the right mind set for thinking about auras, flowing energy etc. Although it can be a bit hypnotic, I did eventually wake up after 3 days last time I used it.
In terms of music software I used Cubase 7 to mix the album down and found its mixing facilities to be very powerful and easy to use.
(Morgana) Finally, is there a question you’ve been burning to answer that I have failed to ask? Anything you would like to say to anybody who has helped you, a dedication or a message to your listeners perhaps?
(Andy) Special thanks to Chris Green (Wychazel) for all the advice, support and encouragement without which this album would probably never have been finished. Thanks also to my old friend David Stanton.
Oh and before you ask…… the current colour of my Aura according to the Dulux colour chart is ‘Dusted Fondant’.