Michael Abdow (solo artist and touring guitar player for Fates Warning) is releasing his new album "Heart Signal" on April 24th and to celebrate we asked him to tell us about the epic opening track "Weight Of The World". Here is the story:
As a progressive instrumental artist, I have a forum for long form story telling. That being said, I really do not like for my music to tell people explicitly what to think or feel; nor can it because it is devoid of lyrics. Subsequently, I like to present a set of ideas or concepts that mean something deep to me and that the listener can independently discover and identify with. When I began writing Weight Of The World, it started with one groove. The song initially was difficult to write because I did not understand the direction that it wanted to take. In my experience, every song writes itself. It's just a matter of whether or not you as the artist are open to shepherd it home.
Weight Of The World is a concept that I think many people, who simultaneously sense and carry with them the breadth of emotion they experience, will find familiar. The song illustrates in its four parts the path that the listener might traverse in their own journey through understanding their perceptions in life and adjusting its path.
Part I "Under The Weight" begins with my interpretation of ethnic music from northern Thailand. Though I can't wholly relate spiritually to that region, its music makes me feel a sense of macro/microcosmic synergy of existence in the present moment. The part essentially lands on the main theme that recurs throughout the piece. It's dramatic and weighs heavy each time I hear it. The entire piece is built on theme and development. The building blocks are laid in Part I.
Part II "From The Stars" pulls back and represents an intervention of understanding. I imagine the wonders of the universe converging on the listener's position to guide and give perspective. The section starts off with a post processing filter gate which gives almost the sound of cosmic water that yields to a howling wail toward the stars. So many synchronicities arise in the music as things happen by accident. The water effect was not premeditated but falls in perfectly, as water would, to the concept. The section develops into layers that climax into part III.
Part III "Of The World" is a relapse to Part I but with the understanding provided by the stars. The weight has returned but it now breathes with acceptance and calm. The listener has rectified the suffocating weight and has opened to embrace and move with its inertia, neutralizing the effect and thus becoming "of the world", as it truly is.
Part IV "For The Sake Of" is the reason for the journey. It is chronologically the effect, but actually the cause. Everything detailed in this piece, though following a timeline in our life's perception, is already in place simultaneously. It is the journey that we need to create for ourselves in order to realize what already is. For me, it was all for the sake of my daughter.
In the end, a music fan can listen through this 12+ minute song and just enjoy it's momentum. But if the listener is looking for a deeper experience, philosophical in its nature of reality, the river will guide. It's still guiding me.
Learn more about the album right here!