Mike: The last album was something to celebrate the millennium, and somebody suggested, I can't remember who it was ... to make an album for relaxation.
When I was looking for a title, I remembered my time in Ibiza. There was actually a restaurant in Ibiza which was very popular that we used to go to a lot, called "Las Dos Lunas". Anybody who's been to Ibiza will know this. The owner of the restaurant also used to make these, kind of ... compilation tapes, just for customers. A bit like the Cafe del Mar series. I remember one of them that he gave to me personally, and I used to listen a lot in Ibiza. And I thought "hmm, 'dos lunas' .. there's three moons in here, why don't I call it 'Tres Lunas'?!"
['To Be Free', (minus main vocals) begins]
Mike: All "chill out album" means to me is ... when I first went to Ibiza, it was the thing that people did - we went to the CafÃƒÂ© del Mar at six o'clock and we had a couple of beers, you know, you listened to the music and you watched the sun go down. ['No Mans Land' begins] You occasionally heard a bit of my music there. The DJ there, he said "hello". I think he was called JosÃƒÂ© Padilla, and it was the thing that you went to do, at six o'clock, and it was very nice. That's what "chill out" means to me.
[Mike plays a guitar that sounds like a saxophone]
Mike: Amazing, innit? (laughs).
Nicky Horne: That's really good!.
Mike: I would hate to be starting off now because there's so much to learn. Luckily I've grown up with the software from the beginning and I know what it does. It's weird, what it does - the fact that I can play guitar and sound like a saxophone.
['Return to the Origin' begins]
[Mike on the phone, playing MusicVR online]
Mike: Okay Colin, are you there, in Valencia? Yes, you're there. And Nick, you're there in Chalfont St. Giles?
Mike: Also, I wanted to make a game, which is a "chill out" game if you like, because I'm so sick of all the computer games - I bought all of them, for research. In every one, you have to kill something, you have to shoot something, you have to compete, you have to be the quickest, the fastest. Everybody who buys the CD, will have the whole of "Tres Lunas" game, interactive music game, on the same CD, but they will have to go on the internet and pay some more money, not a lot, and get an unlock code.
[Mike on the phone again]
Mike: Nick, if you could be the dart, and I'll be the yellow butterfly and I'll meet you back at the cactus. Alright?
Nicky Horne voiceover: The real thing to remember is that you are in control. You fly it. And out in space, you'll find that different planets trigger different instruments, so you come up with the mix.
[Mike plays on MusicVR with his children, demonstrating one of the 'space' scenes]
Mike: I wanted this to have some kind of elegance, some respect for the beauty of life, instead of a mission to kill everything in sight. I wanted to create a virtual environment that is relaxing, life affirming. It's non-toxic, it won't damage your mind. It's somewhere calm where you can escape to. It's something that makes you feel good, because there are enough things in the world that make you feel terrible.
I've got an audio engineer, who, I'll start something off, I'll delegate something to him. I've got a graphics assistant and the software writer. We all sort of work together. I'll send one sound file to Spain, a bit of software back there and then we'll work on that. It's a creative heaven for me, I love it. Any one part of it I couldn't do without.
Nick Catcheside (graphic artist): I've been working on it for about four years. When we started, we had very powerful computers - just one very big computer about six years ago. But now we actually use home computers because the computers have caught up, so everyone is going to be able to have a go at playing MusicVR.
[Mike plays the 'rings game' with his children]
Mike: I know the game makes people feel great - people get this, as we call it, the "MusicVR chuckle". It takes people varying from half an hour to an hour, sometimes longer, 'til suddenly, they start giggling. I've seen so many people come in here, arms folded, look and say [Mike folds his arms and screws his face up] "what's that?". Once you do it, you know, it's fantastic!
The music for the album doesn't fit with the game. I don't know why that is. If the music is too dense, with too many things happening in it, there's not enough room for the graphics. So for the game, there's a different set of music.
[Mike demonstrates the 'rings game' and then 'The Good World' scene of MusicVR]
Mike: This is my favourite place. Not much happens, it's just very calm and beautiful. As you go closer to it, it plays the right sound. It's rather nice to fly.
Nicky Horne: We're not that far away now, from the release. First new album from Mike Oldfield since "Millennium Bell". You must be really excited, not just about the album, but this entire project...
Mike: I've been wanting to do this virtual world for years and years, even since I was very small. I feel that all my life has been building up until this moment.
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