Roger Goula – Overview Effect


Mit Overview Effect hat Roger Goula ein faszinierendes, komplexes Konzept-Werk zwischen Electronica und moderner Klassik geschaffen. In unserem exklusiven Track-By-Track spricht er über die einzelnen Songs und schickt auch noch ein paar allgemeine Worte voraus…

In this album all the pieces are interconnected thematically between each other. The album is about a journey into space that will change you forever. It is about discovering the unknown. Writing music for me is a process of discovery and this process is as important as the finish result. I want the musical material I generate to take me to unknown places. The composing is a journey in itself. Of course I see this journey to the ‘universe’ as a metaphor of our inner psychological space. The Overview Effect is after all a psychological condition. It is a subjective reaction to the overwhelming power of the unknown that makes us understand that we are in fact unique and us and our that us and planet need to be protected.


It is about the start of a journey and the realisation that things will change forever. This is pice is about the excitement of the idea of the journey not knowing what’s behind, not knowing who you will become after. There are two timings on this piece, the very slow paced diatonic cluster in the electronics and the very fast noodling of the tenor ukulele.


This piece is an ode to the immensity and infiniteness of space.

It starts slowly and cautiously, but rapidly will take us to a confident and beautiful theme, that represents earth. From there it will flow to a slow build up ending with  a huge tutti and a wall of sound taking us to zero gravity outer space.


It is a solo cello piece with a very simple Moog drone. The instrumentation reflects our inner souls. It is a moment of reflection. We are flouting in zero gravity and we are looking back to where we came from, realising there is no way back and that this change of perspective will makes us different forever.


The sample we hear at the beginning of the piece is the first transmission from Gagarin seeing earth from space for the first time in human history. What is supposed to be a technical report on his wellbeing, overwhelmed by what he’s experiencing, his report becomes a poetic and philosophical speech about what it means to be human. He is probably experiencing cognitive shift.


It is like an unexpected punch in your face. It just happens, it’s there, and you don’t know where it came from. Suddenly what you thought you knew as reality has changed. You’re a new person and you can’t go back as your experiences are printed on you. ‘Overview Effect’ is a piece that plays with you. It transports you from one place to another without you noticing it.


We are now observing now earth from space. As Carl Sagan described, it is like a pale blue dot hanging into the nothingness. It is fragile, delicate, and unique and we must preserve it. The solo violin and fragile electronics describe this musically. Also the canonical diatonic descending cascade on the string arrangement creating a beautiful cluster allowing the solo violin to emerge as a singularity.


With its constant pulse and looped harmonies it is for me a ‘coming back to earth’ piece. The rope sample was recoded my myself in Venice, waiting for a ‘vaporetto’ to depart. The string arrangement is inspired by the great Venetian composers, give a timeless feel to the piece.


It is about the fear of not being able to understand the logic of it all. For me it makes sense that the last piece is the one with voices, the human instrument. A diatonic cluster  of voices opening up. We are back to earth trying to understand what we have lived.

Overview Effect
(Cognitive Shift / One Little Indian / Rough Trade)
VÖ: 04.11.2016