You Are Here: Track 6: Roll Up The World, Pt. 1
The second instrumental track on the album was the first track to be completed. What started as something of a throwaway idea grew into quite a powerful piece. It was a classic case of the sum being greater than the parts, which we didn't realise when we were recording it...
When we were kicking around the original ideas for You Are Here, it was going to be a suite of 3 songs. The last one was going to be Roll Up The World. Mark had written a rough lyric for it but it was one of those songs that was difficult to get down as a recording. Martin and Jeff kept asking when they were going to hear the ideas for the final song. Mark kept assuring them that it would be a fitting resolution to the rest of the work, which included River and Five Songs. But it was an elusive song, refusing to be tied down to a particular form.
So, when Mark spent a late night recording the piano track which would come to be Roll Up The World Pt 1, we had no idea that there was going to be a part 1 or 2. It was intended to be a demo for the final song. The moog and drum tracks were added, but no vocals as the lyrics needed to be re-structured.
Jeff put a bass line down and we invited Martin to just mess around with it. We recorded various takes as he played through the track. It was Martin who had the idea of basing the melody on the guitar line from River. This wasn't in our thinking when we recorded the piano or bass parts at all, but it ended up being a crucial step in the rest of the album and would feature heavily on the final track.
Martin recorded three tracks of improvising around that melodic theme and we left it at that. Those tracks were all played without listening to what had gone before. It was only afterwards that we had the idea of mixing all three of those takes together.
Suddenly, we had something completely different on our hands, where the guitar lines were providing moments of discord and dissonance which transformed the song. All we did after that was to add more keyboard tracks to underpin the guitar mix. Mellotron strings and choirs reinforced the melody around the swirling guitars.
We were surprised at how powerful the piece had become, based as it was on just a doodle of a song. We quickly decided that we shouldn't touch it at all during the final mixing stage, for fear of losing something.
So it was the first track to be ticked as complete. And we didn't even have to persuade Jeff to provide a lead vocal.
You Are Here is released on 1st July 2019 on digital platforms worldwide and on CD, available from www.finesoftday.bandcamp.com