Timeas usual, Steve Howe is brimming with eclectic
guitar ideas, incorporating all the groundbreaking attributes hes
brought to YES (and in fact the entire progressive rock world) over
the past 40 years. Of course, Time is a Warners Classic CD,
so yes, there is a definite urbane, classical guitar-esque edge here
but its done so with the same cutting edge taste and sonic vision
Howe has built the indestructible YES empire upon. Steves cohort
on Time is keyboardist / soundtrack composer Paul K.
Joyce. Throughout the 12 track CD, the synthesized keyboards
of Paul Joyce adds Wakeman-esque depth and color to Howes flights
of guitar fancy. Also on hand, here with co-compositional credits,
is long time Howe collaborator Paul Sutin as well as welcome
contributions on a track from Howes musically gifted son Virgil
Howe (keyboards) who plays on and composed a track hereKindred
Spirits, which is dedicated to Howes daughters and Virgils
sisters Georgia and Stephanie. Added real strings and things on several
tracks are supplied by The Classical Ensemble, conducted
by Joyce. Theres plenty here for YES fans to enjoywith
some tracks here harkening back to the neoclassical rock vibe of Howes
first solo album from 1975. Howes wide palate of fretboard sounds
is sonically supported by the array of guitars, both acoustic, classical
and electric, in his arsenal. Theres also a track here, a Bach
cover, dedicated to the late Andrew Pryce-Jackman. Sometimes the air
is mournful and then Howe shifts into neoclassical prog-rock mode,
going full flight. With Time, Howe reinvigorates the progressive
music world once again and Paul K. Joyce makes a perfect musical accomplice
on what some are already saying is Howes best solo album in
36 years. www.SteveHowe-time.com
mwe3.com presents an interview
STEVE HOWE collaborator
PAUL K. JOYCE
Can you say something about your background in the music world and
about your earlier recordings? I didnt know you played with
Kim Wilde. Also who were some of your key musical influences?
PKJ: I began playing piano at the age of about 10 and by 18 was recording
extended self-penned solo works in the same vein as Mike Oldfield.
My earliest influences were Bowie, T.Rex, Yes, Alice Cooper and a
multitude of pop and rock acts whose sounds and ideas I absorbed.
I formed several bands but it was my synth-based trio, Sense who secured
international releases and toured Europe with Kim Wilde and Depeche
Mode in the winter of 1983. After 6 years I became frustrated with
the record business and decided to pursue writing for film and TV.
mwe3: How did you meet Steve Howe and can you tell us something about
the circumstances that lead up to the release of the new Steve Howe
Time album and when did you become involved with Steve on this
project? Also where and when the tracks were written and recorded?
PKJ: Steve contacted me in the winter of 2006 as hed read an
interview Id done in which Id discussed my orchestral
writing and arranging as well as the fact that I held Yes music in
such high regard. We met up and began to discuss the possibility of
developing a project featuring guitars and a classical ensemble. Some
guitar parts already existed, some were recorded in Switzerland but
the bulk were created at Steves Devon studios with piano and
synths recorded at my studio in Cornwall, UK. The ensemble itself
was recorded in London at British Grove Studios.
mwe3: Youre credited with the arrangements and the production
on the Time CD. How do you feel your keyboards worked with
Steves sound and can you describe some of your work involved
in the production. Also how did the Classical Ensemble play a role
in shaping the music and did you write all the classical scores? It
sounds great on the Bach piece!
PKJ: My main role as co-producer and arranger was to continue Steves
tradition of creating high-quality music while hopefully bringing
a fresh approach to content and overall sound. I didnt want
the arrangements to be too bombastic preferring instead the classical
ensemble to be an integral part of the sound. I also wanted the synth
sounds to be restrained and colorful juxtaposed with the occasional
mwe3: What was Steves mind set with these recordings and who
else was involved with the making of the Time CD? I know Steves
son Virgil contributed a track too. Can you say something about how
Virgils track was recorded? Its a pretty cool track I
must say. Steves 345 sounds amazing. Thats why I love
is a wonderful person to collaborate with and the project developed
organically over several years with new tracks being added as its
scope and range became apparent. It was really just the two of us
developing it during this period. We listened to and discussed other
musical forms and allowed ourselves the time to experiment with different
ideas. Virgils track is a really lovely piece with an expressive
electric piano solo played by Virgil himself. I had the task of taking
the original audio and rebuilding the track from its elements to the
piece you hear on the album. Its always a responsibility working
on someone elses music and hoping that you can please both yourself
and the original writer.
mwe3: Time almost sounds neoclassical in places especially
as theres covers of Bach, Vivaldi and Villa-Lobos. I was amazed
by the Bach piece here, a tribute to Andrew Pryce-Jackman. How did
that track come about?
PKJ: Steve has always loved this composition by Bach. It is a timeless
melody and Steves effortless interpretation is complemented
by a rich orchestral accompaniment. This track originally featured
Steves guitar with a backing track created by Paul Sutin.
mwe3: How did you and Steve record the tracks with Paul Sutin? The
Explorer is another interesting track. How about that track?
PKJ: Several of the tracks on Time resulted from Steves
prior collaboration with Paul Sutin. These include the Bach and Vivaldi
tracks plus Apollo and The Explorer. My role
was to edit and rearrange them where necessary and create a new accompaniment
weaving orchestral sounds and synths. Ive worked hard to try
to ensure that the new arrangement does justice to the original work
whilst satisfying the concept of Time.
mwe3: Interesting to see Time came out on Warner Classics &
Jazz. How did Warner become involved and is the album coming out in
the US and elsewhere too?
PKJ: I introduced the project to an experienced industry consultant,
John Cronin here in the UK and he brokered the deal.
mwe3: Whats the plan in further promoting the Time album
and will there be any live shows to feature the album and how about
your other plans, musical and otherwise going into 2012?
PKJ: Depending on Steves Yes and Asia commitments were
hoping to squeeze in some live dates in 2012. Next year
Im continuing to develop the sci-fi film, NON-STOP and
will re-stage my version of THE
to Paul K. Joyce @ www.pkjmusic.com