Steve Howe: Nexus album a “fitting tribute” to son Virgil

Virgil and Steve Howe
Virgil and Steve Howe

Steve Howe has issued a statement on the Nexus album he recorded with his late son Virgil.

The 41-year-old died unexpectedly in September, resulting in the cancellation of the remaining dates on Yes’ North American tour.

The duo had completed work on the instrumental album – and Howe reports that he hopes the record will be a “fitting tribute” to his son’s life and legacy when it launches next month.

Howe says: “Virgil and I had only recently completed recording Nexus, which contains 11 of his tunes to which I added a guitar to suit each one. We delivered it to InsideOut Music in August for release on November 17.

“We started to work together in 2016 by selecting about nine tunes from his stockpile of piano based music that he’d periodically sent Jan and I each time he’d written and recorded a new idea.

“I began adding guitars to them, then I’d play them to Virgil. He’d then surprise me by bringing up other channels of instrumentation which I’d never heard.

“The tunes went from straightforward duets to something bigger and better, more of a complete picture than a mere shape. Free Fall and Nick’s Star were added from earlier sessions, the latter being his tribute to the passing of his best friend Nick Hirsch.”

Howe says that Nexus explores a different side of Virgil’s ability as a writer and keyboard player and adds: “His talents were multi-diverse, so sitting at a keyboard and computer or in the middle of his drum kit, at all his regular DJ-ing gigs or on the radio, he always gave his best.

“We hope that the music just completed will stand as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy.”

Label manager Thomas Waber and product manager Stefan Franke say: “The sudden passing of Virgil Howe deeply shocked the entire InsideOutMusic team as it happened just a few hours after he had approved the first press release about Nexus.

“It was supposed to be a new beginning for an exciting musical collaboration, but now it has become one of the saddest albums we have ever worked on.

“We left the decision over the release of Nexus up to Steve and respect his wish to continue as originally discussed.”

They add: “Being fathers, too, we can only guess how hard it must be to deal with such a loss and we sincerely hope you will all enjoy Nexus despite the circumstances under which it is coming out.”

Find the Nexus cover art and tracklist below.

Virgil And Steve Howe Nexus tracklist

  1. Nexus
  2. Hidden Planet
  3. Leaving Aurura
  4. Nick’s Star
  5. Night Hawk
  6. Moon Rising
  7. Passing Titan
  8. Dawn Mission
  9. Astral Plane
  10. Infinite Space
  11. Freefall

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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.