I wanted to record a Wiccan album, a goth album, an underwater-themed album...
But the very first thing I did was, in fact, record a little track titled "Life Impulse".
I'd had some fun recording more experimental tracks like "Personal Hell", "Spirits of the Forest" and "Claustrophobia", so I wanted to go in that direction again.
"Life Impulse" in itself was an ode to life, with a rather distinct vocal line and my trusty breathing (something I've used a lot throughout the years, if you think about it!).
Then it struck me: why not do an experimental autobiography... of sorts?
Incidentally enough, it was the first project to be completely recorded while traveling between Andorra and Toulouse during the weekends.
One of those weekends, after years of not having sung in my falsetto register as I used to do when I was a child, I managed to reach back into it and recorded immediately: that was "Childhood: Chalice of Purity". In that same recording session, I went as far as "Empathy, Emotional Explosion", then hit a block.
It wasn't until well into December of 2009 that I gave it another try and managed to complete the whole thing.
I was taking Japanese lessons at the time, so what had once rather lousily been called "2 Decades, 1 Life, 0 Regrets" became more elegantly known as "Seibutsu" (which is Japanese for "Living Being").
"Seibutsu" holds a special place in my heart. It was my own personal way of making amends with my own past, with what I had gone through during my adolescence, as though I were saying "I'm finally ready to face adult life".
The idea of singing the exact same vocal line throughout the album was that I wanted it to be kind of like a leitmotiv representing me or my will to live - or maybe even a reference to life itself. Anyway, it was an element that was to prevail throughout the whole thing despite the adversities: the menacing tick-tock of time in "Chronos, Father of Time", the distorted vocal lines in "Distorted Reality: Adolescence" or the utter chaos in "Empathy, Emotional Explosion".
The vocal line is sung hesitantly and brokenheartedly in "Death and Afterlife: The Black Rose from Hades" (until a second voice reassures the first one), more confidently in "Magic Inside: Resurrection" (I always pictured the first vocal notes in that track to the sound of a horn announcing the arrival of something good), teasingly in "Intimacy" and triumphantly in "Adulthood: Holy Grail".
The way the vocal line is sung at the very end of "Hopes for the Future: The Red Rose of the Earth" is sort of like a reminder that things are OK now, that I had been through all of that but had come out on top.
You can get "Seibutsu" right here: