Inspiration and thoughts behind the making of 'Keep The Orange Sun'
The idea of collaborating started in Summer 2020. I have been a fan of awakened souls music and both James & Cynthia's individual projects (James Bernard, marine eyes) for quite some time. I still remember the first time I heard their song ‘paint the sky’ on their album ‘how we heal’ released on Stereoscenic. It blew my mind and filled my heart. That song was on repeat for weeks at home. We started talking on social media and we noticed that we were both fans of each other's music with many shared influences. At that time awakened souls was planning a beautiful release with 36 (The Other Side Of Darkness) on PITP so we ended up talking more and more. It became obvious to us that we needed to make music together.
KTOS - A new band:
We slowly started to share tracks in Fall 2020. The first track we worked on is the track ‘Rise’ and we felt something was happening. A magical moment was when we shared the first draft of the tracks ‘Any of Those Lies’ and ‘Keep The Orange Sun’. We instantly knew this collaboration would go somewhere beyond a collaboration. The music was traveling to many territories with diverse influences that worked great together. It was one of the first times I could hear Cynthia’s amazing vocals more upfront in the mix and each of us bringing our unique colors and instruments to the songs. Everything was natural and it felt like we were working as a band dreaming of playing these songs live. James' experience and talent allowed us to free ourselves from our insecurities, to let go. We all really became close friends working on that album and I am really thankful for that.
When the album was finished, we thought it would be interesting to hear a few tracks reworked by friends and artists that we love. When we heard the reworks we received from r beny, zakè & City of Dawn, 36, Innesti, Taylor Deupree, and Patricia Wolf we were blown away. They each managed to bring the tracks to some other dimensions, other solar systems! Everything fits so well together. The Reworks album is the perfect companion to extend the ‘Keep The Orange Sun’ journey. More than that, it feels like an album by itself. I am so grateful to everyone involved. Hope you will enjoy the albums as much as we do. We are excited to see what comes next for us as Keep The Orange Sun!
Each collaboration brings out a new musical side to me and turns into a way to grow. Kévin’s dedication and attention to detail (and lists) helped give us the blueprint as we were exploring how all of the songs would turn into an album. The way we started was very unique as the beginning tracks were free-form guitar ideas from Kévin and it was fun to unlock the puzzle of where to begin with them.
IDM has been a genre that is close to my heart since my first IDM-style release as Influx on Isophlux records back in 1997. I was tapping into my love for IDM when working on percussion for ‘Any Of Those Lies’, revisiting my love of UK future bass music. I used the Elektron Model Cycles for the whole percussion portion of the song, then chopped it up and processed it in Ableton.
The song that I had the most fun programming and arranging was, Keep The Orange Sun. I have always had a love for shoegaze and it was nice to do something different that was a mutual passion for all three of us as well.
I love how each song has its own unique starting point. I can usually think back to what inspired the beginning, what kind of day I was having, what lesson I may have been learning, and usually what the sky looked like too. We all have a few songs that started with one of us on KTOS. Release-Adapt is one of the two songs on the album that began with me. I started it soon after the 'The Other Side of Darkness' sessions and was having a hard day seeing some of our kids go through self-doubt (also, the theme of Any of Those Lies). I struggled with accepting myself for a long time in my youth and young adulthood and feel like many of the words on this album and song titles were equally a letter to my kids and a letter to nurture those past parts of me. Another amazing origin story on the album is Passing Dreams, as it began when James and I had a few rare days alone in a snowy cabin in Idyllwild, California. We had just gone on one of the most magical snowy hikes of our life and then came back to the cabin and wanted to capture what that hike felt like. The guitar parts Kévin added took the song to another level and we love how it turned out focusing on guitar, 303, and voice.
Science of Gratitude:
Keep The Orange Sun started as a lo-fi indie song idea of mine from many years ago. I have always had the words floating around but never felt the right time to complete the song. Earlier this year when the kids were still schooling from home, we would take drives to pretty places a few times a week to get out of the house and switch things up. We drove to a beach near Ventura and watched the sunset and it was especially orange and beautiful that night. I am in love with sunrises, sunsets, the moon, and the sky and was excitedly taking photos of the moment when I realized I needed to pause and soak it in too. I wanted to hold onto that sunset in my memory and imprint it as something I could go back to. I have read a lot of Dr. Rick Hanson, who specializes in gratitude and he mentions that if we hold onto moments we love with presence for 10 seconds longer than we are inclined, it can help train our brains to hold onto the beauty that matters to us. I ended up writing the main guitar part and recording vocals that same night and James dove in right away as well.
I can’t talk about KTOS without mentioning that as the album was being made, so was our friendship with Kévin. We talk to him pretty much every single day of our lives and had an amazing chance to meet in person in June when he and his equally creative wife, Claire visited California. We had already finished writing the album by that point and it was so special to get to share a few meals together and be together in nature. While writing the album, we all helped each other grow and of course, James encouraged both Kévin and me to fully embrace being ourselves. Creating music with people you love is incredibly heart-opening, vulnerable and something I cherish. Also, receiving reworks from many artists/friends I look up to was such a special feeling. I'm excited to make more music as Keep The Orange Sun in the future and appreciate everyone who has supported the album already!