Fireworks & Jewels is the 3rd solo album in as many years from Eyeless in Gaza’s Martyn Bates -being a collection of mostly voice/guitar pieces with a focus on the SONG – words and music stripped to core elements. Working with these elements, Elizabeth S. and Alan Trench introduce subtle colours to the body of these performances – with Trench adding particularly deft applications of electronics & tape treatments – creating a whole other supporting soundworld for the seeming fragility of Bates’ apparently often elusively private world of words & music. As Bates’ states, for him, the whole process of music-making is cathartic. On this occasion the resulting songs address some elusive and mercurial ideas and concepts. According to Bates: “ … in heightened moments in everyday life … within those moments where there are “fireworks & jewels” as you might say … there’s always a spark or a thought there that flashes the colour amber – an elusive, tantalising light that you know is eternal, and forever, and yet … it’s somehow, always, always held out of reach …. “ The watchwords here might well be, perhaps, Process & Effect, Illusion & Reality, or feasibly, in keeping with the album’s title, Shadow & Substance.
Fireworks & Jewels/ The Colour Of Amber was completed July 2015 and recorded at Bridge House Studios, on the Greek isle of Evia – the atmosphere of whose current social and political situation of uncertainty and uncertainty could well be said to have necessarily influenced something of the brooding, unsettled spirit in the resulting album of songs.