So MuchReleased 3rd July, 2023
So Much is the seventh track to be released from i/o, and the first version to be heard is the Dark-Side Mix, by Tchad Blake.
Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, So Much is ‘a simple song’, that features a string arrangement from John Metcalfe and contributions from Tony Levin on bass, David Rhodes on guitar and backing vocals from Peter’s daughter Melanie Gabriel. The song was recorded at Real World Studios, Bath, The Beehive and British Grove, London.
‘I was trying purposefully not to be clever with this. I wanted to get a very simple chorus but one which still had some substance to the harmony and melody. Something that was easy to digest but still had a bit of character to it.
So Much is about mortality, getting old, all the bright, cheerful subjects, but I think when you get to my sort of age, you either run away from mortality or you jump into it and try and live life to the full and that always seems to make a lot more sense to me. The countries that seem most alive are those that have death as part of their culture.’
As Peter goes on to explain, there’s a duality to the meaning of So Much, which is just as much about revelling in all the experiences and joyous distractions still to be had right now as it is about contemplating the future; ‘The reason I chose So Much as a title is because I’m addicted to new ideas and all sorts of projects. I get excited by things and want to jump around and do different things. I love being in a mess of so much! And yet it also means there’s just so much time, or whatever it is, available. Balancing them both is what the song is about.’
This month’s full moon release comes with artwork from the artist Henry Hudson and his work ‘Somewhere Over Mercia’.
‘I started looking at Henry’s work and thought it was great. He’s done some dense and intricate work with plasticine, but then he also has this other more expressionist, horizon work with different colours and they’re very simple and pure. I connected quite strongly with him.
The works where Henry’s got horizons are minimalist in a way. They are quite layered and there’s a physicality or three-dimensional element to the way he puts the work together. The idea of cutting the horizon in a different colour, in this case he wanted it to be yellow, and then effectively letting it bleed onto the painting I thought was beautiful and powerful. In the one sense, the horizon is the infinite but it’s also the limit. It had some good symbolism. I think it’s a great piece of work.’
‘There’s a universalness about the song,’ says Hudson. ‘I think the relationship between that song and my horizon lines are quite poignant – dealing with our understanding of what time is, dealing with voids or horizons or places that can appear to be closer or further away.’
Just like the previous full moon releases, So Much will come with differing mix approaches from Tchad Blake (Dark-Side Mix), released on 3 July, and also from Mark ‘Spike’ Stent (Bright-Side Mix) and Hans-Martin Buff’s Atmos mix (In-Side Mix), released later in the month. ‘One of the privileges of working with these extraordinary mixers is that they bring personality, sound textures, pictures, environments out of the elements that you throw at them that have strong individual characters. You can really hear what these very smart people are doing.’
Words and Music by Peter Gabriel
Engineering by Oli Jacobs, Katie May
Assistant engineering by Faye Dolle, Dom Shaw
Orchestral engineering by Lewis Jones
Orchestral assistant engineering by Tom Coath, Luie Stylianou
Pre-production enginneering by Richard Chappell
Produced by Peter Gabriel
Dark-Side Mix by Tchad Blake
Bright-Side Mix by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent
Mastered by Matt Colton at Metropolis
In-Side Mix by Hans-Martin Buff
3D Audio sound treatments and Dolby Atmos mix by Hans-Martin Buff in the Red Room at Real World Studios, Aural Majority Pad, Boofland & Blue Box.
Dolby Atmos Additional Recording Assistant by Bob Mackenzie
Recorded at Real World Studios, Bath, The Beehive, London , British Grove, London
Cover: Somewhere Over Mercia’ by Henry Hudson
Bass: Tony Levin
Electric Guitar, 12 String Guitar: David Rhodes
Piano & Synths: Peter Gabriel
BVs: Peter Gabriel, Melanie Gabriel
LVs: Peter Gabriel
Orchestral Arrangement: John Metcalfe with Peter Gabriel
Violin: Everton Nelson, Ian Humphries, Louisa Fuller, Charles Mutter, Cathy Thompson, Natalia Bonner, Richard George, Marianne Haynes, Martin Burgess, Clare Hayes, Debbie Widdup, Odile Ollagnon
Viola: Bruce White, Fiona Bonds, Peter Lale, Rachel Roberts
Cello: Ian Burdge, Chris Worsey, Caroline Dale, William Schofield, Tony Woollard, Chris Allan
Double bass: Chris Laurence, Stacy Watton, Lucy Shaw
French Horn: David Pyatt, Richard Bissil
Trumpet: Andrew Crowley
Euphonium: Andy Wood
Tenor Trombone: Tracey Holloway
Bass: Trombone Richard Henry
Tuba: David Powell
Orchestra Conductor: John Metcalfe
Orchestra Leader: Everton Nelson
Sheet Music Supervisor: Dave Foster
Orchestra Contractor: Lucy Whalley and Susie Gillis for Isobel Griffiths Ltd