Am I influenced by modern mainstream music? At the moment in contemporary music I would have to say no. There is nothing out there in the last few years that I feel inspiration for, that I feel I could learn from, that I feel motivated to collaborate with, no. I am inspired by popular musical styles, predominately from the last 15-20 years, but not currently, no. I find it very threadbare out there for inspirational, talented people at the moment. I think it’s a desert.
How was Bellatrix made?
Bellatrix I actually produced the recording myself. I wrote all the music, of course. I went to the Czech Republic to record all the music with the Prague Chamber Orchestra. It was quiet a daunting prospect because it was in a foreign language which I hadn’t spoken and don’t speak a word of. I went there because my father is Czech and there was a natural symmetry at the time.
I conducted the orchestra after never conducting an orchestra before and I heard the music for the first time, in reality, off the paper when I went to the first rehearsal. Then I had four days or five days to turn that first hearing into a recording, in a foreign language. Then I edited it and I produced the recordings all myself and brought them back and released it as an independent.
That is unheard of in the classic world isn’t it?
That is very, very unheard of because it’s quite expensive to do and in order to afford to pay to produce that recording I had to sell my house. I made the decision that music is what I wanted to do. I wanted an authentic recording with real musicians. It was recorded in what is called the Rudolfinum which is the major concert all of Prague, which is one of the most beautiful and one of the most acoustic. So it wasn’t recorded in a studio, it was recorded in a magnificent building with real musicians, in an incredibly inspiring setting. I wanted that authenticity and that cost me a house to put that together. I’m a proper nut! (laughs)