More often than not I talk about journeys that music takes you on, and soundtracks that keep you deeply involved and invested into that atmosphere. No matter what genre of music you listen to, you can always count on artists and bands to tie tales and tunes together to create experiences that can stimulate not just aural sensations, but mindmap an evolving story in line with moods and emotions expressed by the soundscape. Some artists record concept albums. Others record an entire novel. Such is the case of Brisbane’s Mark Healey, who not only is a published science fiction author, but scores some of his written works also under the name Hibernal. His plotlines mainly focus on near future, dystopian cities and worlds, and likewise, the music reflects a rich, vivid environment in which the story unfolds in. Armed with a keyboard, guitar and drums, he hires additional voice actors to communicate with one another, as well as an omnipresent narrator, whilst the music underneath sets the scene. As far as the realms of post rock go, there’s not often something that encapsulates drama so well, before it strays into bombast. From the opening acoustic bars of The Restless Man, there’s an immediate tinge of tragedy attached to the protagonist, before the feisty electric guitar kicks in and you get a sense of action emerging from movement, imagining fast travel into the city’s limits, or the mind and thoughts racing through the lead character’s head. The fact Mark Healey devoted time to both an instrumental and narrated version of the story, and how coherent they both sound without knowing the other translation is a testament to sheer talent and musical ability. The expansive, deeply emotive score of Replacements, his second story in his Silent Earth saga, sits somewhere in the vein of Blade Runner and recaptures that creativity and spark that film directors have tried to replicate for decades. A true original in every sense, this is listening at its most focused and incredibly worthy of your investment.
This is taken from the instrumental adaptation of Replacements, as not to spoil the story of the narrated version. All versions of Replacements, this year’s After The Winter and 2013’s The Machine can be found on Mark’s Bandcamp page. His published works I believe are available on most leading online retailers.