Theatre of Falling Leaves
album - 19 September 2009
01) Thoughts Travel (For Miles)
02) You Here Now In William's World
03) The Darcey Bussell Rubberwear Fantasia
04) Tiny Mice Are Dancing In The Cottage Of Her Dreams
05) Planet Of Sleeping Buddhas
06) Pagoda Dreamhouse
08) Dance, Mighty Robot, Dance!
10) Theatre Of Falling Leaves
11) Sparkle And Spin
12) Space Ace Gets His Girl
13) Django Dreams Of Twinkleland
14) From Here To Far Orion
Theatre of Falling Leaves is an instrumental album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a single print run of 1000 copies.
Recording of the album commenced in January 2009, and was assembled alongside material that would form two other contrasting albums, Fancy Planets and Here Comes Mr Mercury.
Initially the project was given the working title of Haiku Sound Box, and was conceived as a minimalist, ambient keyboard-based album, while the projects competing alongside it for material were contrastingly stylised. However, the direction the keyboard based material took resulted in the Haiku Sound Box title being set aside for another potential future work.
Nelson re-thought his plans for the keyboard-based material, initially re-naming it Sparkle and Spin in the process. A couple of months into the project Nelson very nearly changed his mind and considered mixing the Sparkle and Spin material with other material then allocated to an album with working title Sway and Swoon (eventually released as Fancy Planets). Ultimately though, he reverted back to his original intentions, naming the album of keyboard-based material Theatre of Falling Leaves.
The album title and track listing were confirmed on 15 May 2009, and the album was made available to purchase on pre-release at Nelsonica '09 before going on general sale through SOS three days later.
Theatre Of Falling Leaves sold out in July 2020.
Currently out of print and a potential future Bandcamp digital download reissue.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Mazda Kaleidoscope, Non-Stop Mystery Action, Signals From Realms of Light, And We Fell Into A Dream,
Gleaming Without Lights, Dream Transmission Pavilion, Illuminated at Dusk, Albion Dream Vortex
"A keyboard-based instrumental album with just a hint of lap-steel guitar on a couple of tracks. The predominant tonality centres on synths and treated piano. The pieces recorded so far shift through various changes within their individual length but there's plenty of melodic content and beats that drift in and out of the frame. There's even a cute and ironic disco track with a retro feel to it."
"Style/sound-wise, it's in a similar ball-park to the recent guitar or vocal albums but without the vocals or guitar (although there is a little ambient lap-steel guitar on some pieces). I have used some of the Motif's retro-sounding mono-synth patches though. Not used these much on previous recordings as they sound so 80's and sometimes cheesy, but I thought the more lush, rich textures of this album might stand a touch of Cheddar here and there to add a little nostalgic contrast.
"This isn't meant to be a 'radical departure' album or even my next 'major' statement, it's simply a pleasant diversion designed as an easy listening collection of keyboard instrumentals. A nice 'utility' album to enjoy with tea and biscuits."
"Autumn, and its falling leaves, have long been a symbol of the impermanence of life for me. But also, paradoxically, a symbol of the possibility of renewal and regeneration, the cycle of life that eventually comes around in Spring.
Autumn holds a poetic resonance for me, its colours, golden and brown, echo in some ways rust and the beautiful patina that comes with age and wisdom."
Thoughts Travel (for Miles): "It's a deliberate double meaning: Thoughts travel for miles, in the literal sense, and Thoughts Travel (For Miles), ie: dedicated to Miles Davis. After I'd recorded the track, I realised there was a touch of 'Bitches Brew' influence in the piece, particularly with regard to the electric piano parts."
"I love this album! I play it all the time, on country drives late at night in my car...in fact, I had to remove it because I was not wanting to come home late at night till I heard it from start to finish. It's getting out of hand for sure...I play it at all hours now, often just entranced by those beautiful melodies and the feel of the whole concept that Bill has so successfully achieved. I even left a boring BBQ to get back to it the other day...geez it's gotta be love!"
"Many times I just grin to myself and am dazzled by Mr Nelson's playful soundscapes that always seem to continually morph back and forth. I use this disk as an example to remind jaded friends that this is what made music such a vital form in our lives. Please Bill, if you do read this, please take us on another walk in autumn with you again. It really does take you to a time and a place - and how many CDs can do that these days?"
"Thank you very much for this work of art Mr Nelson."
"I have always appreciated Bill's abilities and sensibilities when it comes to instrumentation other than the guitar. This is one reason that I have really enjoyed Theatre of Falling Leaves, as it is not so dependent on the guitar, and features sophisticated, interesting and beautiful compositions, and Bill's skill at arranging music. Stunning, though not surprising -- hell, Bill manages to add whirls and buzzes and chimes (yes, chimes!) in such a way that you just think "Ah, that is exactly the right little nuance at that moment"...well, the guy can just make music!"
"Such a wonderful ability to create rich textures and melodies that evolve and surprise...I love this album. As Bill continues to grow as a musician and songwriter, each stage gets more interesting and satisfying."
"Let me add to the praise for Theatre. I like the way in which Bill experiments with more recent electronica sounds and rhythms, but still manages to make the result sound distinctly his own."
"I find Theatre of Falling Leaves quite brilliant...a different tangent...at times quite Aphex Twin meets Kraftwerk-ish with those Jazzy Oriental overtones interspersed that are bloody lovely. More please..."
"Much as I enjoy Bill's versatile guitar work, it's his ability to generate well-thought out and intelligent soundscapes that puts him out there in a class of his own. And this CD really does confirm that. Full of really interesting sound textures and patterns of sound that weave subtle melodies together in a most delightful way. I love the mood and overall ambience of this long-player. A nice contrast to The Dream Transmission Pavilion.
Bill once again demonstrates his "Leonardo Da Vinci" abilities - a true musical Renaissance man!"
"For some, Bill Nelson's guitar playing is everything, but this album proves there is so much more to his talents.
A collection of keyboard instrumentals which ranges from classical piano to dance electronica and many delightfully quirky places in between."
"It's Magnifique! It is utterly unified and intertwined. The integrating of the piano and its associated/generated sounds and vice versa is AGAIN Magnifique.
Bill, really, keep on keeping on!!!"
"It is a very refreshing vibrant album full of gentle and clever touches that really hit the spot. Any track that includes Miles as a reference point always gets my attention and "Thoughts Travel (For Miles)" delivers. Love the bass groove on this.
The whole album is a delight and touches many areas and styles that I have not (as yet) associated with Bill. This one has moved straight into my Top Ten Nelsonic album charts with a rocket. A mini masterpiece."
"From Here to Far Orion": "is a beautiful ending to a really magical album, chock full with tunes & textures, twists & turns..."
"All I can say is that this is a must have. One of Mr. Nelson's absolute best...
Very satisfying and also very cohesive and picturesque in the mental landscape it conjures up."
"It is quite brilliant and I am, frankly, knocked out by it.
As for style, it is a keyboard based, though the percussion tracks and 'sounds' are equally important to the feel and structure. The tracks are fascinating throughout with many twists and turns with changes, sometimes subtle, sometimes radical throughout the track. The album sounds very new, very fresh, very different with many new electric sounds throughout, and a few (knowing?) nods to the past. I can hear keyboard sounds that hark back to Intimacy and Chance Encounters and some nice marimba that harks back to Love That Whirls. I really can't do justice in a few words, but there are so many gorgeous melodies and interesting things going on throughout, it is one helluva listening experience. (So listen on headphones!!).
Not sure about buying this? (you fool!), then listen to the samples. They give a hint of how good this is."