Grammy and Ivor Novello award winning recording artist Imogen Heap will release her highly anticipated fourth solo album Sparks on March 4th through RCA Records. A strictly limited edition deluxe set will be available one week earlier than its standard counterparts on February 25th. The standard editions will be issued on March 4th.
Heap has asked her fans to accompany her in completing the final leg of the project. Those who pre-order the limited edition deluxe box set are asked to send in their footprints which will be used to create the album cover. Designed and developed over the past two years by Heap and her creative team with CSV (the company behind Radiohead’s special packaging), this will be the very first time that Heap has released a deluxe package. Pre-orders are being accepted through September 30th.
The submitted footprints will also be a part of a “special ticket” which will be included within the deluxe box set. This ticket is made from a one-of-a-kind blended paper containing various items that Heap has used in the physical recording of the songs for the album. In addition, the ticket will give fans access to one of the sound checks on her world tour where they will get to meet Heap in person and see her rehearsing and setting up before the show.
“The album began with someone sending in the sound of striking a match for what became ‘Lifeline’ in March 2011,” Heap states. “I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously. The album is then in some ways for me grounded with fans’ footprints bringing the finishing touch for the album art, as so many of them came along for the ride.”
Sparks will be available in two CD formats – a standard edition and a double disc casebound edition with instrumental versions of all tracks. The deluxe package will contain 14 discs total — 12 individual data DVDs that contain each track as a high quality audio file including HD making-ofs of each song with each packaged in a beautiful case bound book with a 16 page booklet; the album on CD and a DVD containing all video material from the boxed set and a special making of album documentary — a double 10″ vinyl album, a special deck of playing cards which unlock exclusive web content and a 120 page coffee-table-style book telling the story of Sparks along with the special ticket of blended items.
While working on Sparks, Heap turned songs into projects and projects into songs to bring her out of her studio and ‘let life in’ rather than postponing things until her album was done. This fresh approach found Heap collaborating with everyone from her fans to unsuspecting passers-by, gardeners to filmmakers, scientists to newspaper journalists and brings us her most diverse and daring body of work to date. From the River Thames (“You Know Where To Find Me”) to 5000 feet up in the Himalayas (“Climb to Sakteng0,” “Cycle Song”), from her local community garden (“Neglected Space”) to six weeks in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou (“Xizi She Knows”), Heap was soaking it up, writing, developing, recording and producing.
Inspired from the sounds of a dishwasher door, a Bhutanese dranyen, and the words of a crumbling wall to 700 fans’ voices, Heap and her brilliant team created and developed the groundbreaking musical gloves over this period (“Me The Machine”) and dabbled in generative and reactive music (“Run-Time”) connected to a jogging app. From the deeply personal love songs Propeller Seeds and Entanglement to the crowd sourced response to the Sendai earthquake (“Lifeline”), her trademark honesty runs through the album.
One of the songs will only be finished once she’s dead! “The Listening Chair” whizzes us through her first 35 years in five minutes and will be added to every seven years with another minute of a cappella!
In late August 2009, Heap released the critically acclaimed Ellipse (RCA Records) and won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non Classical. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Internet Album Chart and #2 on the Digital Album chart. The release is Heap’s first Top 5 record and marks her highest-ever chart position.
1. You Know Where to Find Me
3. The Listening Chair
4. Cycle Song
7. Neglected Space
8. Minds Without Fear
9. Me The Machine
11. Climb To Sakteng
12. The Beast
13. Xizi She Knows
14. Propeller Seeds
Author: Rob Perez
Rob Perez is a freelance writer who has been with The Music Universe early on. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, you will find him writing reviews and live tweeting awards shows.