album - 7 April 2010
01) Sunny Day For A Happy Postman
02) Postcard To A Penfriend
03) Music Spins My Globe
04) I Send These Dreams To You
05) A Christmas Cowboy Outfit
06) Skimming Stones
07) In Anticipation
08) Shibuya Screen
09) September Promenade
10) Airmail Guitar
11) A Day At West Acre
12) Greetings From Surf Guitar Island
13) Beach Hut Beauties
14) Dream Of An American Streetcar
15) Mobile Homes On The Range
16) Surf King Sails In
17) Big Ship
18) Filigree Balcony
19) Clouds Drift North
20) The Toy Trumpet
22) Emphatically Yours
Picture Post is instrumental album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a single print run of 1000 copies. The album was created from the soundtrack that Nelson was commissioned to write for a documentary called American Stamps, broadcast by the PBS channel. Attendees of Nelsonica '08 were treated to the premier showing of American Stamps on 1 November 2008.
The album was recorded in 2007, and was originally to be released in tandem with another album, but the past practice of releasing albums simultaneously had proved uneconomic. So from Picture Post onwards Nelson's albums would appear on a 'one at a time' basis.
Picture Post sold out in January 2022.
Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Pedalscope, Theatre of Falling Leaves, The Years, Model Village, All That I Remember, Sailor Bill,
Albion Dream Vortex, Simplex, Chameleon, Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium, Map of Dreams
"Those of you who managed to catch the documentary television film the music was created for will have had a taster already, but the album presents the soundtrack in full focus without the documentary voice-over/narrative necessary to the film version.
It's an album of 'miniatures', 22 short pieces of very detailed, lush sounding instrumental music. The closest I can get to describing it is to say that it combines the keyboard approach of Theatre of Falling Leaves with some of the orchestral textures of The Alchemical Adventures of Sailor Bill. This mixture is sprinkled here and there with electric guitar, sometimes in a slick, jazzy mood, sometimes in a chromium-plated, surf mood. There's also a touch of banjo and slide guitar. Oh, and a hint of electronica.
It's a very fine sounding album that conjures interesting pictures in the listener's mind and, as always, it offers a different approach to the previous album."
"Each piece of music was created to reflect the thematic content of the relevant part of the documentary film. For instance, the music that I created for the chapter on musical stamps covers a variety of musical genres within its short time span, from Rock n' Roll thru jazz, modern composition, etc. The pacing of the piece and points where the stylistic changes occur are dictated by the real-time physical edits of the images in the film. In fact, these diverse images, their style and their pacing became the actual 'score' for each piece. None of the tracks were conceived separately from this 'score'...they were built for purpose, even down to leaving space for the documentary voice overs...the whole thing was carefully constructed as a harmonious whole.
"However, I liked what this did to the music as it forces one to think in non-linear ways about composing and produces musical effects that might not 'normally' occur. Listening to the music without the visuals that it was designed to accompany was, for me, interesting and satisfying as it produced an eclectic and almost unpredictable listening experience. The result was something that I couldn't have achieved without the film's template."
"There's a nice twist in that all the stamps used as part of Picture Post's package design are NOT authentic postal stamps as were used in the documentary film, but are actually fake stamps of my own invention, featuring images I chose and altered to represent my personal, 'imaginary' America. So, you'll see idealised skyscrapers, graphically-adjusted portraits of Orson Welles, Fred Astaire, Roy Rogers, Les Paul, Duke Ellington and Duane Eddy...also a cowgirl, Superman, etc. It's an idealised, mythical America that existed in my imagination long before I ever was able to visit the USA...an America I could only access, as a boy, via the imported medium of comic books, Hollywood films, jazz and rock n' roll music. By creating these non-existent stamps for the album artwork I was able to bring the project into the conceptual framework of my own experience, an expression of my own history."
"It's a fabulous album...both epic and intimate. "Postcard to a Penfriend" was an instant hit for me, as was "Shibuya Screen" and "Big Ship". As always, amazed at Bill Nelson's ability to make such interesting and beautifully textured music."
"Just had to share my fondness for the latest CD release from Bill and how much this little beauty has been making my busy driving of late a pleasure not a chore. It's been living in my car since it arrived in April and full of all those beautiful moments I have been looking for in other artists but is seemingly abundant in Bill's art. I just want to thank you Mr Nelson for these compositions and hope others enjoy this disk as much as I have."
"Got my copy a few days ago, and I cant stop playing it. And I finally saw the documentary, very nice, and informative.
Loved hearing Bill in the background, it flows perfectly!!! Where's my "grass skirt", it's time to hula again???"
"This is a very charming, likeable and quite beautiful CD."
"This is smooth as silk. I was relaxing with a glass of wine, listening to this CD just last night. Bliss."
"I've always thought Picture Post was criminally under-appreciated!
It is predominantly a keyboard album but the two guitar driven tracks are a couple of Bill's absolute best - "Music Spins My Globe" and "Airmail Guitar" - totally essential Bill Nelson guitar instrumentals.
Overall, Picture Post has an undeniably feel-good vibe to it."
"Music Spins My Globe": "This tune brilliantly captures the vibe of America in the fifties/early sixties. An absolute classic in my opinion..."
"Air Mail Guitar": "the guitar playing on this track alone is worth buying the album for."
"A Day At West Acre": "really captures the wistful quality that runs through much of Picture Post.
(The two guitar pieces it's sandwiched between aren't bad either!)"
"Beautifully melodic and lofty. Upward and forward...these heavenly oral veins waft, warp and wane toward new lights and heights of humanity.
Earthly and grounded, majestic brush strokes direct and move the sound upwards, enlightening even the most disheartened vantage point to such a nether...
Lovely! Thank you, Bill..."
"Picture Post has been weaving wonders here too - At 1 mins, 30 secs of "Music Spins My Globe", I can just see this 'swing yer legs & kick yer shoes off'-type dance kicking-in to the brass swing section. And I've just been smitten by the lovely string arrangement on "A Day At West Acre" that comes in at around 3 mins, 12 secs...aaaaahhhhh..."
"I know this is not Bill's first soundtrack, but he is very good at it. As someone else in another thread mentioned, I had a hard time paying attention to the dialogue, trying to hear the music...Once again, Bill has outdone himself. He's simply an amazing artist, and I'm glad to be along for the ride."
"What a gem!!
I have to be honest - the idea of music to accompany a documentary on American Stamps didn't exactly excite my interest, but if you do not own this album don't be put off.
For your money you will get 1 hour of sublime instrumental music of the highest quality, it's not a solely guitar album and has keyboard very prominent throughout.
So if you don't have this yet put to the top of your SOS [Bandcamp] list for your next purchase."