Group: Super Admins
Joined: Nov. 1999
||Posted: April 01 2014, 00:50
We've had an exclusive announcement from Virgin EMI about Mike's next album, which includes plans for a premiere concert:
Following Sir Richard Branson's announcement yesterday of Virgin Buildings, where Branson revealed that he had his sights set on the moon, Virgin EMI is proud to announce that Mike Oldfield will be supporting Branson's ambitions with a new album and a spectacular live performance.
Called TB-0, the album will reflect on Mike's contribution to Virgin's space ventures, referring back to his classic debut album, Tubular Bells, which kick-started the Virgin empire. The name also refers to TMA-0, the monolith in Arthur C Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which begins primitive man's journey towards being a space-faring species.
"I've always loved space, and I'm a particular fan of Arthur C Clarke," says Mike, "So the concept of combining Tubular Bells with a moon concept and 2001 was very exciting to me. There are three monoliths in 2001, representing three stages of humanity, and I want the album to be in three parts to represent three eras in my own career, as well as in Richard's. I want the first part to be like a prequel to Tubular Bells, using all the old instruments, then the second part will be more modern. I'd like to go back to the sound of my album Crises, because that was also in the era that Richard was starting Virgin Atlantic. The third part will be the space part - my music's just been used by the European Space agency for their Sentinel program, and of course Richard's got Virgin Galactic and his new building plans, so it'll have to represent that. I'm still working on ideas for that. I want it to be a long instrumental work where all three parts fit together and reference each other, so it's like there's a genuine evolution from beginning to end, not just three different things stuck together."
Mike also announced plans to accompany the album's launch with a special concert. "We want to represent the album by having a transition in the concert as well. We're going to set up a big stage and seating area at Spaceport America, and the audience will stay there, but during the concert, I'll get into one of Richard's spaceships and be launched into space, so the final part will be me playing the bells from space. I used Skype heavily for making my last album, so I had a chat with the people from Skype, and they've agreed to help us do it, so I can be in space and all the audience on the ground will be able to see me on big screens. We've got the European Space Agency cooperating as well, so hopefully we'll be able to have musicians joining us from the International Space Station too. After Chris Hadfield, they've really seen the benefit of having astronauts involved in musical events."
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said "When we released Tubular Bells, over 40 years ago, we never dreamed that it would end up taking us into space, but Virgin Galactic is now making commercial spaceflight a reality. Now, we're looking towards the next step of reaching the moon, and we're thrilled to have Mike Oldfield on board to help us with a new album, just like he did with the first Tubular Bells."