On my 24th birthday I moved to California from England. We found a house in a small town beside a river just west of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and I bought a Tascam 4-track recorder, a tube preamp, and a Soviet-era small diaphragm condenser microphone.
Shortly afterwards I had a dream about Yuri Gagarin, and I started thinking about his peculiar Hero's Journey in the Jungian sense. With my limited equipment I started tracking a concept album about him, mostly using my acoustic and electric guitars, but also an ancient accordion I bought from a ocean-liner estate sale. I went at it enthusiastically, but the concept fell apart pretty quickly. Nevertheless, I identified strongly with Comrade Gagarin and his exploration of a new frontier, exploring as I was my own.
The album is deeply flawed but I still feel a burst of energy when I listen to some of the performances. I remember the feeling of sitting in that room in my old home, in my new country; the death of something old and the beginning of something new.
If you've heard it before, here it is again, gently remastered. If you've never heard it, I hope you get a kick out of it. It feels like a long time ago, but it was part of the journey that brought me to this place. Love and blessings.
released February 12, 2004
All songs written and performed by Sam Pickering Pick. Produced by Pickering Pick in California, fall of 2003.