In January 2019, Philip released a new double-play album, Futurism: Utopia and Futurism: Dystopia, with Audio Network. The one musical work, ‘Futurism’, is split into two to reflect the discovery of both contrasting worlds.
Futurism: Utopia features anxious, tense orchestral strings feeding into frantic percussion and electric cello in this suspenseful, unsettling world, while calming harp and heavenly arrangements add wonderment.
Philip’s speaks with Audio Network about his inspiration behind the album and what his perfect planet would look like:
The inspiration behind the new album is fascinating – what sparked off this process of creation and why?
Imagined futures fascinate me.
The technological optimism as projected by The Victorian Grand Exhibition, the Chicago World’s fair, and the 1950’s Festival of Britain are really rich sources of ideas for my pieces.
I was brought up in the post-valve tech era. My first radio was an entire sideboard which crackled and gave off radioactive (or so I imagined) heat as it burnt dust and picked up Voice of America, Russian state radio and various fishing fleet channels. It felt like a window into another time.
The striving for a utopian ideal, both in technology and humanity is at the core of much of my music and I suppose partially a response to the easiness of writing positively melancholy music. Coming from the documentary background, this can become something of a default setting, so I happily fight it with retrofuturism!
Can you describe the new album in one sentence?
Retrofuturism both light and dark.
What would your perfect planet look, sound and feel like, and who would live there?
My perfect planet would have the landscape of Montana, the architecture of Dubrovnik, the sounds of dawn in Yosemite, blended with the music of 18th Century Venice and Modern-day electronica – All recorded in Abbey Road.
It would be full of friends and family who I never have enough time to hang out with, and would be catered by Heston Blumenthal, and there would be a lot of very, very fine coffee.
Read the full interview HERE.