London composer and multi-instrumentalist, Roger Goula, releases his debut album Overview Effect via brand new contemporary classical record label Cognitive Shift Recordings. The post-classical electronica album's narrative charts the psychological shift in awareness reported by astronauts and cosmonauts while viewing the Earth from orbit, in transit between the Earth and the Moon, or from the lunar surface – something that fascinated Goula.
The artist was inspired by interpreting the experience of looking at the Earth as it is in space – a tiny, fragile ball of life, ‘hanging in the void', surrounded by a paper-thin atmosphere – something that transforms an astronaut's perspective of the world, society, and humanity's existence. Many astronauts report a newly discovered and profound understanding of the interconnection of all life and a renewed sense of responsibility as a conscious being to protect it. Goula set out to reimagine this cognitive shift musically.
Opening track "Soon Will Wake Up" employs dissonance within long, overlapping musical phrases, perfectly conjuring up a visualization of the void of space. First single taken from the album "Pale Blue Dot" is at first sullen; soaked in deep tonal swells of strings, and then all of a sudden incredibly vibrant, with layers of frenzied violin, emulating the perplexing emotional pull one might feel gazing upon the earth – home – from such an astonishing distance.
Carefully striking a perfect balance between electronic and acoustic instrumentation, Goula composed and recorded the atmospheric album for a string trio, bass clarinet, countertenor, tenor ukulele, electric guitar, prepared piano, analogue synths, field recordings and various other electronics. The record's stunning classical string instrumentation is performed by the illustrious quartet of Thomas Gould, Peter Gregson, Lucy Railton and Stephen Upshaw.