Ben Chatwin initially set out to make a purely electronic record with ‘Staccato Signals’, using primarily analogue and modular synthesisers, harnessing the unpredictability of hardware sequencers to write melodic lines rather than by hand with a keyboard. This was about giving up control to the machines – ultimately making them more of a collaborator than a tool. However, towards the end of its writing, not satisfied with the results, Ben was overcome with the feeling that he needed to push what he had created further into new territory, in order to invent entirely new sounds and textures. He decided to work with a string quartet, exploring innovative ways to fold, bury and combine both strings and brass into his industrial, noisy and chaotic electronic template. Again, this was about giving up control – working with other musicians, allowing them to improvise and arrange parts in order to find those special moments where something unexpected happens. The writing process became a search for those moments, the short, sharp flashes of inspiration – the staccato signals.
“I’ve learned that my most rewarding music arises when I switch off my brain and just let things happen. It can feel like waiting for these signals that are out there somewhere in the ether to strike. The less I think about, it the more likely it is to happen.” - Ben Chatwin