In parallel with the making of and now release of “Sparks” Imogen is honoured to have been busy curating this year’s Reverb Festival which returns to London’s Iconic Roundhouse in August as part of Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse, an annual partnership dedicated to introducing new audiences to innovative culture. Imogen will take to the stage at the festival for her first exclusive performance of “Sparks” in its entirety along with old favourites. The weekend brings us incredible collaborations, interactive installations, inspiring talks and workshops along with visionary music with live performances from Tim Exile, Leafcutter John, London Contemporary Orchestra, Nick Ryan, Peter Gregson, Arve Henriksen, Pekka Kuusisto, Simon Steen Anderson,The London Soundpainting Orchestra, Joby Burgess and Maja Ratkje with The Norwegian Girls’ Choir.
For the whole month of August leading up to Reverb, Imogen Heap’s Giant Interactive Sonic Playground will be there for people to explore and interact with for free. Some of the cutting-edge music tech on display at the festival will enable you to watch the speed of sound travel before your very eyes with the beautiful Helmholtz, attach yourself to the building and become a Human Harp created by Di Maidstone or during the Reverb Festival try your hands at Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu gloves and create music out of thin air!
Imogen has been on a remarkable journey across the globe to make and produce her new album “Sparks”; saying “The album began with someone sending in the sound of a striking match for what became Lifeline in March 2011. I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously. The album is then in some ways for me grounded with fans’ footprints bringing the finishing touch for the album art, as so many of them came along for the ride.”
While working on “Sparks,” Imogen turned songs into projects and projects into songs to bring her out of her studio and ‘let life in’ rather than postponing things until her album was done. This fresh approach found Imogen collaborating with everyone from her fans to unsuspecting passers-by, gardeners to filmmakers, scientists to newspaper journalists and brings us her most diverse and daring body of work to date. From the River Thames (You Know Where To Find Me) to 5000 feet up in the Himalayas (Climb to Sakteng, Cycle Song), from her local community garden (Neglected Space) to 6 weeks in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou (Xizi She Knows), Heap was soaking it up, writing, developing, recording and producing. Inspired from the sounds of a dishwasher door, a Bhutanese dranyen, and the words of a crumbling wall to 700 fans’ voices, Heap and her brilliant team created and developed the ground-breaking musical gloves over this period (Me The Machine) and dabbled in generative and reactive music (Run-Time) connected to a jogging app. From the deeply personal love songs Propeller Seeds and Entanglement to the crowd sourced response to the Sendai earthquake (Lifeline), her trademark honesty runs through the album.
One of the songs will only be finished once she’s dead! The Listening Chair whizzes us through her first 35 years in 5 minutes and will be added to every 7 years with another minute of a cappella song.
Imogen recently asked her fans to accompany her in completing the final leg of her new album. Those who pre-order the limited edition deluxe box set are asked to send in their footprints which will be used to create the album cover. Designed and developed over the past two years by Imogen and her creative team with CSV (the company behind Radiohead’s special packaging) it will be the very first time that Imogen has released a deluxe package. The submitted footprints will also be a part of a “special ticket” which will be included within the deluxe box set. This ticket is made from a one-of-a-kind blended paper containing various items that Imogen has used in the physical recording of the songs for the album. In addition, the ticket will give fans access to one of the sound checks on her world tour where they will get to meet Imogen in person and see her rehearsing and setting up before the show. To find out more about the deluxe box set and to make a pre-order please visit: http://www.imogenheap.com/deluxeboxset
“Sparks” will be available in two CD formats – a standard edition and a double disc edition with instrumental versions of all tracks. The Deluxe Box set will contain 12 individual CDs, the album on CD, 14 HD music videos, plus videos documenting the making of each song and the entire album, a double 10” vinyl album, a special deck of playing cards which unlock exclusive web content and a 120 page coffee-table-style book telling the story of “Sparks” along with the special ticket of blended items.
The eagerly awaited Sparks world tour will begin at with an extra special one off show at Reverb, however the rest of the tour will be delayed until May 2015 as Imogen will become a mum in November!
In late August 2009, Heap released the critically acclaimed Ellipse (RCA Records) and won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non Classical. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Internet Album Chart and #2 on the Digital Album chart.
To follow more news from Heap herself, her much loved vBlogs are back. You can watch them here (YouTube.com/imogenheap) or sign up to her mailing list (http://imogenheap.fanbridge.com) to never miss a beat from the Heap.
Full track listing for “Sparks” standard edition:
01. You Know Where to Find Me
03. The Listening Chair
04. Cycle Song
07. Neglected Space
08. Minds Without Fear
09. Me The Machine
11. Climb To Sakteng
12. The Beast
13. Xizi She Knows
14. Propeller Seeds
- Street Eaters title track from new album, "Blood::Muscles::Bones", out 6/17 on Nervous Intent
- King The Kid to release 'Breakaway' EP Jun.24
- Emo punks Nathan Detroit release EP details and new single
- Omnihility to release new album 'Deathscapes of Subconscious' in July on Unique Leader; stream track
- Ventenner announce new album on Sonic Fire Records; stream new track track
- Soul rock artist Joe Marson releases new single 'Here With Me'