Bill Laurance looks to the futureInterview
"It's a personal exploration. I'm discovering my own voice, my own sound all the time", explains Bill Laurance of his latest solo album, Cables.
Released via his own label, Flint, the instrumental collection (out now) finds the Snarky Puppy collective member and composer surrounding his trademark piano with electronic textures, beats and sequencers that takes him beyond jazz, and into new realms.
"I think it's definitely more electronic than anything I've made before, and it's also the first concept album I've made," he says.
Inspired by the rapid growth of technology and the ideas of futurist Ray Kurzweil, Bill imagines a world, in the not too distant future, where there's no line between man and machine, and sentient computers are a reality.
In keeping with this idea, Bill's current tour - which visits Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, on 27 April 2019 - sees the man the Guardian dubbed a 'jazz maestro' temporarily ditch his trio format for a solo set.
"It is total freedom, you can go wherever you want at any point," he enthuses. "A profound thing, really, which I'm enjoying more and more every night."
After the tour concludes in May, there's more Snarky Puppy (their latest LP is out now and there's UK dates set for the autumn), plus several commissions and releases that explore the big band format. There'll also be a new solo record further down the line, but at present Bill is too in the thick of it to envisage how the experience of Cables may influence his approach.
"If you're dealing in any creative world I think technology, and using technology, is an important part, and has to be an important part, of what we do," he says.
"But that said I'm equally interested in doing another album that will be just acoustic. Seeing where that goes.
"That was what this album was s'posed to be! I said I wanted to do a solo piano album, and Cables was the result!" he laughs.
- Bill Laurance plays Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, on Saturday 27 April 2019. Supported by James Heather. Details: www.warwickartscentre.co.uk