In this seriously experimental album there are a range of sounds which could easily be considered as the collection of a complete eccentric, trying over and over again to find the perfect metre for expression, or the work of a genius wandering through the sound spectrum, tweaking here and refining there.
But regardless of how you consider this collective of sound, you will by the end of the album have developed a definite opinion in regard to the work. Franklin is working with the concept that all sound is music in one form or another; the sound of the telephone demanding attention, the ceaseless drone of the vacuum cleaner as it moves slowly across the soundboard of life, the discordant note of an instrument played in reverse, are all music to his ears and to his composer’s soul.
Introverted and extroverted the imagination is drawn to a man sitting in his studio, grabbing this and trying out that for a fit; a perfect match, a blend of the unique and everyday noises that go to make up our daily existence, all of which have been tuned out to form the accompanying drone of the world turning again and again.
Underneath this experimental soundscape is that of a serious musician who has already created and released eight previous albums ranging from the avant-garde to the melodic new age.
In the beginning we are introduced to this style with The Failed Experiment of Earth Consciousness where Franklin uses an altered acoustic baritone guitar with alternative tuning as a metaphor, a cry, to wake-up in regard to real environmental issues such as earth warming and climate change.
Trending towards the more popular style of music in So far Below Franklin works with an altered baritone guitar with the addition of piano gently balancing the work, which was written in a cemetery, capturing the unique quietness, the gentle whispering of the soul and sense of great peace to be found as part of the final resting place of so many.
RH Factor (re-mix) creates the birth of new life, the noise which must assault a newborns senses as they enter this world, followed by the very confrontational Quotes (re-mix) full of discordant guitar and synth overlayed with the vocal grief of discovering a loved one dead of their own hand.
Changing the pace entirely is The Wildness, with Franklin reciting poetry accompanied by Tibetan singing bowls both struck and strummed, to remind us that we need to take care of our life and also of the earth we live upon.
Confrontational, intriguing, distinctive and strangely enjoyable this music reaches into the psyche to encourage a connection with a segment, a primal component of who we all are, humans temporarily placed on this place called Earth!