Rob Reed Unleashes His Kompendium Super Project
Kompendium are to release an album on September 24, and it’s the culmination of three years work.
The brainchild of Magenta keyboard player Rob Reed, the album is to be titled Beneath The Waves. And, for Reed, it’s been a lengthy labour of love.
“It’s ridiculous, but it has taken three years to get things finished. The project has been massive, the idea being to emulate what people like Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush used to do.
“This is classic prog with Celtic influences. It’s a concept album, and hopefully will appeal to those who enjoy War Of The Worlds, Dark Side Of The Moon and Tubular Bells.”
Reed has called on the services of two dozen other musicians to help create this work.
“I went back to some of my favourite albums and made a wish list of people I’d love to have involved,” he says.
Those who’ve contributed include Steve Balsamo – vocals, Steve Hackett – nylon guitar, Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) – drums, Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett Band) – stick bass, Troy Donockley (Nightwish) – Uilleann Pipes, whistles, Nick Barrett – guitar, Neil Taylor (Tears For Fears) – guitar, Jakko Jackzyk (20th Century Skitzoid Band) – guitar, Francis Dunnery – guitar, John Mitchell – guitar, Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel) – saxophone, BJ Cole (Elton John, David Gilmour) – pedal steel guitar, Chris Fry (Magenta) – guitar and Christina Booth (Magenta) – backing vocals.
Says Beggs of his role: “It was a great pleasure to contribute to this record. After having met Rob over the years when I was with Steve Hackett, it was really interesting to be able to work on an album together. Especially one as bold as this one turned out to be.”
Also contributing to the project are vocal ensemble Synergy, The English Chamber Choir conducted by Guy Protheroe, the London Session Orchestra conducted by Dave Stewart, plus opera singers Rhys Meirion and Shan Cothi.
“In the old days, when major labels were able to finance something like this, then there was never any problem in getting big names working on something like this. But that’s no longer the case, so you have to think outside of the box to try and get something so big off the ground. But now we’re so close to getting it released, I feel that we’ve done a special album.”
Reed is particularly keen for people to realise that this isn’t the sort of album to have on in the background. It demands much more of the listener.
“I know there’s the tendency for people these days to put on music and then pretty much ignore it, and keep it just as muzak. But you can’t do that here. I want everyone to listen to what we’ve done. In that respect, it is going back to the days when albums meant so much to fans. When you put on a record and took the time to check out everything that was going on. And I feel we’ve created something along those lines here.”
Given the scope and ideology of //Beneath The Waves//, it won’t come as a complete surprise to learn that there will be a vinyl version of the album in a gatefold sleeve. And there are also tentative plans for a one-off live performance.
“It will be a nightmare to organise, because I won’t cheat and use tapes. It has to be an honest performance, with as many people who are on the record involved as possible. That’ll take a lot of organising, and will probably only happen once. But I’d love to do it.”
Find out more at www.kompendium-web.com.