International progressive rock project Nova Incepta has been around for a few years, and the group’s latest effort entitled ‘Visions of Arcadia‘ was released on December 5th. They were featured on the Progotronics 28 compilation back in October, and here is what they have to say about their work, the new album, and more.
Define the mission of Nova Incepta.
Anyone that has ever been to a concert has felt the magic that takes place between the human beings that are in attendance. It’s not about the band members, it’s not about any specific people in the space and it’s not about the space itself. It is about the collective spirit shared between all of those in attendance. It is about the breaking down of boundaries of separation and uniting. This is what people don’t realise they are really searching for. It is about opening up, sharing and feeling the love and energy radiate from person to person.
It’s like there is a mirror held up between the band and the audience as energy bounces from one to the other. It is not unusual for people, in this heightened state of emotional and spiritual bliss, to scream out, burst into tears and hold each other lovingly. It is as if people are in a place or worship, all experiencing a common highly emotional event. A concert is therefore a spiritual event, as the individuals of the room give way and merge into one united supernatural force.
It has long been the role of the musician to bring people together and open their hearts. Music breaks down the boundaries that have developed between people and allows them to focus on unity and shared love. Imagine if a group of musicians could consistently generate a sense of overwhelming unifying connectedness, then instead of basking in the glory for themselves, rather, they redirect that focus towards the most noble causes that will aid the Planet on a massive scale. That is the dream of Nova Incepta.
Ultimately we should be wielding our technology for the betterment of our host planet, rather than egoically destroying it and therefore destroying ourselves. The realisation of humanity as a super organism living on a host planet called earth will cause a shift from a cancerous mindset of infinite growth to a symbiotic mindset of sustainability.
Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Visions of Arcadia” and the themes it captures.
The creative process for this album began with (Composer) Greisy sitting in his cave. This is where he drafted out rough skeletons for songs and sometimes more developed pieces. The next step is for Greisy to bring in (Guitarist) Jesse, who usually provides melody as well as harmonic suggestions and layering of any kind. Once dummy guitars are laid down, we send everything over to Gareth (Drummer), for him to get cracking learning the programmed Midi parts and adapting them to the Drum Kit. This is usually where he will make multiple rhythmic changes and start to really bring the song to life. After Drums are recorded, Jesse re-records all of this Guitars and re-writes anything that isn’t up to scratch with (Bassist) Brad. At this point Jesse and Brad are usually re-adjusting to all the rhythmic detail that may have been altered. After everything has been done to the best of their abilities, Jesse, Brad and Gareth turn their evolution of Greisy’s skeleton back towards him to allow for any revisions. What we’re left with is space for small touch ups and if there are any disagreements, we go with a majority rules vote.
With regards to the thematic nature of Visions of Arcadia, both conceptually and musically, everything relates to one concept. That being the potential for vast collective growth and what it may bring. We do also bring back certain themes throughout the album to imply a direct connection between song themes. However, our next album will certainly be more conceptual than this one.
What is the message you are trying to give with “Visions of Arcadia”?
“VIsions of Arcadia” is trying to incite the listener to think deeper about certain universal concepts and their relationship towards them. For example, in our track titled, “The Universe”, Alan Watts tells the listener:
Don’t differentiate yourself and stand up against this and say “I am a living organism, in a world full of a lot of dead junk, with rocks and stuff”. It all goes together. Those rocks are just as much you, as your finger is. You need rocks. What are you going to stand on?
This phrase majorly inspired us and helped us evolve the way we perceive and interact with The Universe. Each track has it’s own unique message. In a nut shell, “Arise” means to elevate or ascend. “Polarity” is about understanding the necessity for opposites to exist and appreciating everyone and everything as they are, seeing it all as two sides of the same coin. Anonymous Oracle is about the mysterious connection to something other-worldy that is constantly feeding us creativity and guidance. Lastly, “A Glimpse of Clarity” is about those profound life changing moments where you can suddenly see your life situation so clearly. Sometimes these moments inspire positive change, or sometimes they leave you with profound appreciation. Either way, those “Glimpses of Clarity” are the little signposts in our lives that remind us that we are on the right path.
How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Digital Audio Workstations! Thankfully, we all are proficient with DAW’s. Composer Greisy being adept with both Logic and Cubase, Drummer/Composer Gareth being most comfortable on Cubase and Brad & Jesse highly favouring Pro Tools. We would each record into our own recording set ups and then we would share audio stems with the band after any significant piece of progress was made. This would allow for feedback from the other members as well as give each of us the feel of being able to play along with each other in every practice/recording session.
Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?
Absolutely. All dynamic flow and song structure is predetermined and composed by Greisy. Gareth outlines this dynamic flow and at times, exaggerates or alters it when adding his Drums into the music. Then once the Drums have been recorded, Jesse, Brad and Greisy adapt and highlight various elements of what has been altered. These carefully architected changes that occur in the Pre-Production and Production stages of our creation are some of the most enjoyable and exciting parts for each of us instrumentalists in the band.
Describe the approach to recording the album.
As we mentioned above, the Pre-Production for this album began with (Composer) Greisy sitting in his cave, drafting out musical ideas and sometimes fully developed pieces. The next step is for (Guitarist) Jesse, to get involved. He usually provides melody as well as harmonic suggestions and layering of any kind. Jesse then takes the music over to his own studio and lays down dummy Guitars. Once dummy Guitars are recorded, we send everything over to Gareth (Drummer), where he then begins learning the programmed Midi parts and adapting them to the Drum Kit. This is usually where he will make multiple rhythmic changes and start to really bring the song to life. After Drums are recorded, Jesse re-records all of his Guitars and re-writes anything that isn’t up to scratch with (Bassist) Brad. After everything has been done to the best of their abilities, Jesse, Brad and Gareth turn their evolution of Greisy’s skeleton back towards him to allow for any revisions. What we’re left with is space for small touch ups and if there are any disagreements, we go with a majority rules vote. Afterwards, we sent the album in for Mixing (to Paul Frost and Mohalk Pigeon Productions) and then back to composer Greisy for Mastering.
How long “Visions of Arcadia” was in the making?
Believe it or not, it was actually about 4 years in the making. During which time certain members moved states and countries. The closer we got to finishing the album, the more we were physically distant from each other. So as you can imagine, on many occasions the progress was slow or even non-existent. Though when we did come together, ideas would fly left right and centre. Believe it or not, to this day, our Bassist Brad and Drummer Gareth have never been in the same room.
Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?
Dream Theater. They are the one band that we all grew up on. This band had a huge impact on our musical natures and are even the sole reason why some of us decided to pursue music in the realm of Progressive Rock. There are many many notable bands that certainly influence us to differing degrees, some honourable mentions are: Haken, Pain of Salvation, Symphony X, Genesis, Yanni, Intervals, Periphery, Monuments,
What is your view on technology in music?
We absolutely LOVE it! The improvement of technology over the last 20-30 years has been astonishing from every angle. To us it’s the natural evolution of everything on Earth, including music. However, we believe it is easy to get carried away with it and for us personally, we prefer an organic sound backed by the beauty of technology. We use technology to embellish who we already are as musicians, rather than having the technology create the music for us. Ultimately, we truly see technology as an incredible tool that can make our art better if utilised correctly.
Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?
We genuinely do. Our greater purpose is to unite people. We want people from all over the world to feel the vast potential for emotional, physical, mental and spiritual growth. We want to inspire people to think and live more harmoniously for themselves and everyone around them. Ultimately, we want to be the soundtrack for positive shifts on Earth and we want people to discover their own potential through whatever inspires them (the way music does for us).
What are your plans for the future?
For the future, we would genuinely love to be touring after each album release, as well as writing, recording and releasing new music as often as possible. That’s all we ever want to do.
Visions of Arcadia is out now; check it out on Bandcamp.