Medwyn Goodall being interviewed by Morgana, about his 2013 album – Emerald (Medwyn appears courtesy of Midori….ahem)
(Morgana) I see you’ve made a few changes to your studio?
(Medwyn) (looks around….) I hoovered, is that what you mean? (a crisp packet hangs from a nearby table lamp) Yes working in here all the time every now and then I get the urge (Morgana braces herself) to change the studio in some way (Morgana noticeably relaxes). I put in lots of blue LED lighting, tidied up and made more space, had the carpet cleaned….(laughter), no really! It was quite stained after 10 years of mud, cats paw prints, and toblerone trodden into it. I put all the guitars on stands and generally made it look cleaner, moodier, with more space.
(Morgana) (glances at interview notes and decides not to remind Medwyn that he still has his bright yellow Marigolds on). Congratulations on the release of Emerald, your first album of 2013. Emerald is a departure from your usual range of musical styles, a blend of traditional Irish melodies and own arrangements, all with a pleasant folky feel. How did this change of style come about and what inspired you to write the album?
(Medwyn) You mean Midori (wink wink)?
(Morgana) I suppose you do look a bit like him?
(Medwyn) I’ve always love traditional Irish folk music and it could be said to be the source of my own Celtic style, I mean Medwyn’s Celtic style….(pauses to go crosseyed as the mind deals with 2 persona’s and ultimately fails) The Sorcerer’s Daughter, the Clan trilogy are all ultimately inspired by Irish folk music. It’s been one of those projects I’ve always wanted to do. Get to the roots of the influence. So I discovered all these 16th century tunes and re-wrote them, re-arranaged in my own way. The result is a very peaceful back to the old country sort of emotion to it. Rolling green hills and streams, rather than the battle cry that is Clan. That is why Emerald is a Midori project rather than a Medwyn project as I didn’t want to confuse fans this was another drum fest dramatic celtic album, but a gentle lyrical album.
(Morgana) What do you think it is about traditional Irish music that continues to have such an emotional pull on people today?
(Medwyn) Something about it produces a yearning quality that I feel is for a simpler time, a more rural experience, an intimate existence with nature, and a smaller community. When we hear this music we don’t think about cars, cities, work, we think rivers, cottages, green fields and peace. It’s timeless, romantic, and reminds us.
(Morgana) Emerald incorporates a few instruments that you haven’t used before. What challenges did this bring to the recording process?
(Medwyn) Long hours (laughter) Emerald has no synthesizers in it and no modern drums, basses, nothing! It is all acoustic and very simple. All of which means first you have to find and perform on authentic instruments and sounds, and you can also hear a pin drop in the mix, all of which simply makes for a lot production work and very careful recording. Even something like reverb has to sound correct to give the impression of a more intimate space.
(Morgana) What message or feelings would you like to leave your listeners with after hearing Emerald?
(Medwyn). To feel peace and having been on a pleasant journey through ancient green lands. It’s a very enjoyable album, very playable, one you can leave running in the background filling the home with a gentleness.
(Morgana) As always, here is a question for the benefit of any technical types out there. Without giving away any big secrets, what studio kit or software packages did you find to be the most useful in making this album?
(Medwyn) Ozone 5 for mastering, it really made the album shine. Omnisphere for the orchestral strings. The rest of the instruments were from all over. Some of the recorders were from ERA. Most of the guitars were Ovation and Luna.
(Morgana) Also being released at the same time as Emerald are the first two albums in the major series you have planned to unfold during the next couple of years – the Wild series. Can you say a few words about the series and what kind of thing the listeners can expect?
(Medwyn) The WILD series is our new big project which we’ve fallen in love with. Like many of us I’ve been a huge fan of David Attenborough. He has taken us all over the world highlighting endangered species, environments and habitats. The WILD series is a musical version of doing the same thing. Each album will lovingly portray a single special environment, habitat and the culture, and wildlife found there. Most of the MG Music artists are joining in to produce the series, so each CD will be quite unique and yet part of the whole. We will be covering such subjects as; Native Americans, Wolves, Ocean life,
Reefs, Islands, Africa, India, Tibet, Forests, Mountains, and many more. The artwork for the series is gorgeous with the CD’s covers linked by a series trademark logo, and covered in wildlife photo’s.
(Morgana) Finally, and as always, is there a question you’ve been burning to answer that I have failed to ask?
(Medwyn) Yes, what is “Medwyn’s next release?” (intake of breath) (Morgana starts packing away)…. I am presently working on WILD series 3. TURTLE ISLAND, which is already sounding wonderful, I am very happy with the writing and (Door shuts)