Soft Machine saxophonist and flautist and Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp collaborator Theo Travis has announced he will release his latest album, Songs From The Apricot Tree through his own Ethersounds label on June 1. The album is centred largely around the Armenian duduk an ancient instrument, made of a single piece of wood from the Apricot tree and played with a large double reed.
“I wanted to make an album focusing entirely on the duduk but in a variety of musical contexts which are personal to me and some not so usual for the instrument," explains Travis of his eleventh solo album.
Songs From The Apricot Tree features original material combining meditative improvisations, songs, electronic textures and hypnotic drones all with the beautiful and mysterious sound of the duduk centre stage. The album features imaginative re-workings of the song Brilliant Trees by David Sylvian (who Travis recorded and toured with) the Peter Gabriel track A Feeling Begins and the Gong track Magdalene (Travis was also a member of psychedelic space rockers Gong for 10 years).
The new album features guest appearance from King Crimson lead vocalist and guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, and Big Big Trains’ David Longdon as well as Travis bandmate from Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge.
"I first heard the duduk on the Peter Gabriel album Passion, on the opening track A Feeling Begins. I later heard it in person when Didier Malherbe played it with Gong back in 1999. I revisit those early inspirations on two tracks on this album: my own versions of A Feeling Begins and Didier’s composition for Gong, Magdalene. I was actually involved in the original recording of Magdalene on the Zero To Infinity album, as I played tenor sax alongside Didier’s duduk and it was fun to revisit the track, which was an important part of Gong’s repertoire from that time."
Pre-orders open on April 20.