I was overwhelmed by a sense of anxiety and strangeness as soon as I walked into the Mirth, Marvel and Maud cinema in Walthamstow for my final night of touring Pastoral. The staff member setting up looked at me a little taken aback when I asked if the place was haunted.
It wasn’t until after that gig that I realized how all of these feelings and anxieties were culminating, leading me to my next album. While chatting with my friend Alexander Tucker, a.k.a. Microcorps, he told me a ghost story completely randomly. It was then that I realized the connection between my emotions and ghosts.
I began researching the technology of ghost-hunting and discovered many connections between the development of audio technology and the spiritualist movement. From there, I learned about the genetic pathway of music going through people like Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, and the Radiophonic Workshop – those sounds and machines with a heritage in something supernatural. The women’s rights movement was also influenced by early spiritualism because of the role women played in spiritualism, giving them a platform and power that resonated with me.
The resulting album on Black Dog was an emotional response, an excavation of my own fears and lifelong psychological state. However, making the initial connection between technology, women’s rights, and ghosts blew my mind completely.