album - 1 October 2011
01) Morning's Herald
02) Dance Of The Orchard Angels
03) The Curate's Cassock Is Troubled By The Breeze
04) Cross Country
05) Pamela And The Pony Club
06) Windmill Interlude
07) Thicket And Loam
08) The Fabulous Foals Of Faraway Farm
09) Thunder Blooms In The Heat Bruised Sky
10) The Wind In The Wood
11) Merry Are The Wind Blown Crows
12) The Tree That Dreamed Of Violas
13) Twilight And The River
14) The Village Dreams Beneath The Stars
Model Village is an instrumental album released on the Sonoluxe label issued in a single print run of 1000 copies. The album represents a significant departure from Nelson's past instrumental work in that it employs a vast array of synthesized orchestral instruments conceived as a film score for an imagined movie.
The album concept was first announced on the Dreamsville forum in August 2010 and initially was planned as an album mixing vocal and instrumental pieces. Among the songs written with this in mind were "The Blossom Tree Optimists" and "Gathered at the Gloaming" (later renamed "Gathered in at Gloaming"), both of which were transferred to the Songs of The Blossom Tree Optimists album. Model Village was the first release that Nelson designated as part of his 'Special Listener Series', which indicated it to be a more challenging prospect. The series has so far run to 4 albums with every prospect of this continuing.
Pre-release copies of the album were first made available at the The Art School Ascended on Vapours of Roses event held at Leeds University along with Signals From Realms of Light on the 1st of October, 2011, before going on general release through S.O.S. just 3 days later.
Model Village sold out in November 2019.
Currently out of print and a potential future Bandcamp digital download reissue.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Fables and Dreamsongs, Songs of The Blossom Tree Optimists, The Years, All That I Remember,
The Alchemical Adventures of Sailor Bill, Albion Dream Vortex, Picture Post, Pedalscope
"It's a pastoral 'sound painting' which attempts to materialise the romantic, poetic, English village of my dreams...a kind of 'Bill Nelson Brigadoon' I suppose. Every time you play the album, the village appears from the mists, unspoiled, sun drenched, and summer-sweet. It's an album which, (I hope), works on several levels at once."
"Imagine an idealised, dreamily romanticised, (but charmingly surreal), country village somewhere around the earlier part of the 20th Century...maybe it's not far from the coast, surrounded by rolling hills, sun-kissed meadows, orchards and windmills...but inhabited by a smilingly perverse vicar and an eccentric pub landlord, buxum farmers wives, rampant milk-maids, all with an appetite for quietly illicit but gentle sensuality, all this coupled with summer thunder, fruity orchards, golden harvests and gorgeous twilights that backdrop magic stars...Well, that's what I'm aiming at."
"I guess it's partly inspired by the books I read as a child, many of them beautifully illustrated with scenes of an idyllic, unspoiled, endless-summer England, books which my own mother owned when she was young.
Inspiration also comes from certain works by the English neo-romantic painters, artists such as John Minton and John Piper. (Peter Blake once told me that he'd studied under John Minton at art school). Plus some paintings by Stanley Spencer.
Other inspirations for Model Village come from various British between the wars films such as 'Painted Boats' and certain films by Powell and Pressburger, (especially 'A Canterbury Tale'). Even some of the old GPO Film Unit documentaries have helped inspire the mood.
But also, I guess, it's the memory of school holidays in the 1950's when the neighbourhood kids would go off to play in the nearby orchard and wheat fields, becoming our own version of 'The Famous Five' or 'Secret Seven'."
"This one has its own unique place in my 'canon'. It's an imagined soundtrack to an equally imaginary inter-war, rural life, English film documentary...Powell and Pressburger perhaps...'A Cantebury Tale' filtered through the prism of a childhood adventure annual, Enid Blyton on hallucinogenics, Humphrey Jennings with a cup of whimsical breakfast tea."
"Indeed a unique and interesting piece of work from Bill. We mastered it at the same time as Fantasmatron and for me Model Village just kind of jumped out of the speakers. I don't know why...sometimes things just grab you like that. The beauty of great music I guess. Enjoy it."
"THIS IS ONE VERY SPECIAL ALBUM! It is so evocative. I have never driven through the English countryside (unfortunately), however I can feel it."
"Model Village is not a guitar album. All music is performed by the renowned Sunday Best Symphony Orchestra at The Palace of Strange Voltages in Yorkshire.
The music is superb, and yes the album IS a masterpiece and a treat to your ears. HIGHLY recommended by at least 99% of those who have heard it. Bill released it on the Sonolux Super Listeners Series as it is rather special. I dare say it is worth your money."
"I'm amazed at how much Bill achieves with his keyboard. Let's not forget that most of this is played in real time...It's just so....open in its scope. It's very hard to imagine the amount of work Bill has put into this, I mean it sounds like an orchestra, in the true sense!!!
There's a certain sense of playfulness that is very much a part of Bill's music in general that I feel is represented on this album. I get the feeling that in Model Village, there is mischievousness to be found. It is not a place that takes itself too seriously.
The imagery it evokes is plentiful, almost too much to grasp in one sitting, that is until you are more familiar with the twisty paths and hedgerows within the Village and the adjoining fields.
Bill's musicianship and sense of melody are fully on display here, incredible when you consider his prime instrument (at least, as far as the casual listener is concerned) is not to be heard on this album at all!"
"This is such a "must have" offering...I am at a loss for words...
There is much that is satisfyingly familiar, comfortable etc, yet...
I believe the Artist has also created something amazingly New with this record. I am dazzled by the beauty, nostalgia and light that is elicited by this album. Not to mention the stunningly deep and beautiful tracks: "Thicket and Loam" and "The Fabulous Foals of Faraway Farm."
"I love this album...it's like a sleepy, dreamy Sunday afternoon on a warm summer day, totally relaxing and so easy to listen to."
"As a lover of English pastoral music, (Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Delius, Holst - yes, he was English!), must say I find Model Village rather fascinating.
As always, listen on headphones to enjoy the subtleties!"
"It reminds me of Eric Ravillious' wonderful countryside illustrations from half way through last century and that feeling of timeless flight in childhood that we all mourn and lament."
"Windmill Interlude" - "is a beautiful piece...
It creates images for me of couples on bicycles riding down country lanes with picnic baskets (in glorious monochromatic 1950's cinematic style)."
"I need help - I can't stop listening to Model Village. Biggest problem is there is only one way to listen to it - from start to finish every time. Having myself left the Leeds/Wakefield city life 3 years ago and now living in a midlands village in the National Forest, I find Bill's new CD a fantastic soundtrack to village life. So many of the sounds and feelings are felt on an daily basis when taking the dog out for a walk."
"The one I was sure wouldn't click with, but now have to have a daily dose of."
"I LOVE IT. Lush, beautiful, outstanding. I can really visualise the village and its inhabitants, and the artwork sets it off brilliantly."