Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap — Sparks (August 18th, 2014)

 Imogen Heap — Sparks 

MASTER CLASS ALBUM Imogen Heap — Sparks / NOMINÉE for 8th TAIS AWARDS 2015
ι≡ι   Klade si za cíl kondenzovat svůj život do pěti minut (The Listening Chair). Koncept. Obzvlášť náročný výkon/umělecký projekt, více než sbírka písní. Ale když vytrváte, budete dobře odměněni: vzrušující album.

Birth name: Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap
Born: 9 December 1977 in Havering, East London, England
Location: London, England
Album release: 18 August 2014
Recorded: 2011–2014
Genre: Electronica, worldbeat, dream pop, ambient, indie pop
Record Label: Megaphonic Records (UK), RCA (US)
Duration:     59:40
01 You Know Where to Find Me     4:58
02 Entanglement     4:19
03 The Listening Chair     5:24
04 Cycle Song     2:25
05 Telemiscommunications [with Deadmau5]     3:55
06 Lifeline     4:48
07 Neglected Space     5:15
08 Minds without fear [with Vishal–Shekhar]     3:43
09 Me The Machine     4:26
10 Run–Time     4:56
11 Climb to Sakteng     3:37
12 The Beast     3:26
13 Xizi She Knows     4:40
14 Propeller Seeds     3:50
ι≡ι  All songs written and composed by Imogen Heap.
ι≡ι  Three editions: standard, deluxe 2 CD and super deluxe box set.
ζ••  Pledge Music is thrilled to announce a collaboration with Imogen Heap on her upcoming album “Sparks” Deluxe Box Set, a truly unique and groundbreaking package. This box set, which is available for pre–order now, chronicles Sparks’ creation, spanning 2 and a half years and several continents. Imogen’s travels and unique approach to recording made this project far more than just an album. To tell such an epic story required a truly special collection, which is exactly what’s on offer.

Imogen says…
“Hello there!
ζ••   It’s so exciting to think that these beautiful beasts will be finding good homes to go to. It’ll be almost be 3 years to the day that that physically happens.
ζ••  It may seem a bit over the top to release a deluxe box set for just one album but I felt I couldn’t tell the whole story without it.
ζ••  I was, on the outset, aiming to make the album process a little simpler and more flexible but I should know myself better by now. I doubt I’ll do another album quite like it in terms of scale and projects!
ζ••  The album began with someone sending in the sound of striking a match for what became ‘Lifeline’ in March 2011. I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, saw me collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously!
ζ••  I really hope you enjoy yours should you decide to buy one. It should keep you occupied for a few weeks! xxx”

Here’s what it looks like
Here’s what’s in it:
12 data DVDs of:
ζ••  You Know Where to Find Me
ζ••  Entanglement
ζ••  The Listening Chair
ζ••  Cycle Song and Climb to Sakteng
ζ••  Telemiscommunications
ζ••  Lifeline
ζ••  Neglected Space
ζ••  Minds Without Fear
ζ••  Me the Machine
ζ••  Run–Time
ζ••  Xizi She Knows
ζ••  Propeller Seeds

ζ••  Those don’t just have all the songs from Sparks on them in 24 bit lossless studio quality, but also include the making–of videos of each song in HD. Each is packaged with a beautiful case bound 16 page colour booklet designed by Imogen and her Sparks artwork Creative Director Andy Carne.
ζ••  Then an amazing 120 page coffee–table–style book telling the story of the making of Sparks in print, giving you an exclusive insight into Imogen’s 2 and a half year long journey, full of stunning photographs gathered specifically for this, from Imogen’s personal collection.
ζ••  At the back of the 120 page book, you will find the other two discs, one is the album, Sparks, in audio–cd format, and the other is a video DVD packed with all the music videos (including ‘The Beast’), making–ofs and a special 10 minute making–of about the entire Sparks Deluxe Box Set, playable in your DVD player.
ζ••  Inside the book, you will find a special “golden ticket”. This ticket is printed on Imogen’s unique paper created only this once for ‘Sparks’.
Those items you saw Imogen blend in her video?
ζ••  That’s what the paper is made of, making each and every ticket something that can never be recreated again!
The ticket will identify you as one of Imogen’s fans and give you access to any one sound check of your choosing for Imogen’s upcoming 2014 tour.
ζ••  There is a deck of 52 playing cards each beautifully designed on one side, and on the flipside an interactive QR–code element, acting as a key to secret content on her website, starting with the release of the box set. All you need is a smartphone or webcam able to read QR codes. Of course you can also just play cards with them!
ζ••  A first for Immi, the box set includes a double 10” vinyl version of Sparks in a gatefold sleeve.
ζ••  All of the Sparks tracks are delivered to you digitally on the day of the album’s release, so you do not have to wait for the music, no matter what!
ζ••  Also, as a very special extra, anyone who pre–orders the box set or buys any of the other items will be able to download her legendary performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London which we’ve been itching to find the right reason and way to release for a while. This previously unreleased video, described by Imogen as “a dream come true” concert, contains 9 musical highlights from ‘Speak For Yourself’, ‘Ellipse’ and Frou Frou’s ‘Details’.
This film, along with some other great items is also available separately.
ζ••  Delivery of the Deluxe Box Set is planned for early 2014. The exact date will be announced shortly. We promise to make it happen as soon as is humanly possible! All items have postage and packaging included in their prices.
ζ••  For further information please visit
ζ••  For your own front row seat to the creation process of this marvel, visit our regularly updated progress blog
ζ••  Sparks is a concept album. Each song that is related to a certain project has been released every three months. On 14 March 2011, Heap started work on a new record as fans sent in nearly 900 'sound seeds' (short mundane field recordings, e.g. a dishwasher door, a bicycle, a burning match). Heap stated that the procedure for the forthcoming album would be to produce tracks three–monthly, with each recorded over a fortnight and released with a video, successively, upon completion.
ζ••  On 23 March 2011, Heap began referring to "Lifeline", which previously had the working title "#heapsong1". Five days later, on the 28th, the track was mastered during the morning and premièred worldwide that evening, with a live Tim Exile-remix, via Ustream. Two days later, on the 30th, a "Lifeline" digital download was released, via Heap's website and on–line retailers. Alongside the download a twelve–page "3DiCD — Streemliner" package was released, a 3D animated interactive CD incorporating images (predominantly crowdsourced), an instrumental version of "Lifeline", the "seeds and solos only" version and "heap speaks seeds and solos" (an 18–minute Heap commentary on how sounds and solos were used). The song is a tribute to victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
ζ••  "Propeller Seeds" was recorded using 3D audio effects (headphone listening recommended) and was released 8 July 2011, on Megaphonic Records. "Neglected Space" incorporates concepts, characterisations and sounds, from a Clear Village outdoor laboratory, for the restoration of a walled garden in Bedfords Park, North East London, UK "Minds Without Fear" is a collaboration with musical direction duo Vishal–Shekhar[citation needed] and was the first song featured on the eponymous début episode of 2011 television series The Dewarists (Star World India, Fox). "Xizi She Knows" was recorded during Heap's six–week Autumn 2011 trip to Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, ending at West Lake.
ζ••  "Me, the Machine" was recorded using gestural–music wired gloves and premièred as part of Earth Day 2012, together with a re–release of 'the first ever crowdsourced nature film', Love the Earth (November 2010 — Heap and Thomas Ermacora). On 29 August 2012, "The Listening Chair" was performed at the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, conducted by USA composer Eric Whitacre. "Telemiscommunications" is a collaboration with Canada's electro/progressive house producer deadmau5 and it is included on his sixth album Album Title Goes Here (September 2012). Recording for "You Know Where to Find Me" began in the Artangel–curated A Room for London (an elevated boat, atop the Southbank Centre, London), with the Thames Tideway as its main theme and premièred 18 October 2012, on Google+ Hangouts.
ζ••  "Run–Time" is a collaboration with Intel (UK) and Reality Jockey Ltd to create a jogging app that will be released the following year. "Climb To Sakteng" and "Cycle Song" are two instrumental heapsongs used for the soundtrack of the documentary film The Happiest Place, A Journey Across Bhutan. The music video for "Cycle Song" and "Climb to Sakteng" premieres on 17 July 2014. According to Imogen, the movie, directed by Ben Henretig, will be premiered next year.
ζ••  On June 30, Imogen put a Sparks vBlog on YouTube, confirming that the album will be released on 18 August 2014. However, in UK, it won't be released under RCA Records but under her own label, Megaphonic Records, while in US, the record will be still released by RCA Records, with pre–orders now available for physical editions at while pre–orders for iTunes release became available on 22 July 2014. At the same date, 'Run–Time' was released via Imogen's Soundcloud account while 'The Listening Chair' music video premiered at TIME on July 2, 2014. "Entanglement" premiered on 22 July 2014 at KCSN Radio. "The Beast" premiered on 2 August 2014 on BBC 6 Music.
ζ••  As for August 2014, with exception videos of Lifeline, Propeler Seeds, Neglected Space, Xizi She Knows and You Know Where To Find Me; videos of Me The Machine, The Listening Chair, Cycle Song, Climb To Sakteng, and Run–Time are yet to available at Imogen's VEVO channel despite already published at her own YouTube channel while Entanglement and The Beast videos are yet to be published on both platforms. According to Imogen, all 14 videos are also available on the boxset, which will be delivered from 11 August. This will make Imogen Heap the second artist to do so, after Beyonce published her surprise self–titled album with 17 videos of all her 14 tracks.
Singles from Sparks:
ζ••  "Lifeline", Released: 25 March 2011
ζ••  "Propeller Seeds", Released: 8 July 2011
ζ••  "Neglected Space", Released: 21 October 2011
ζ••  "Minds Without Fear", Released: 21 October 2011
ζ••  "Xizi She Knows", Released: 5 February 2012
ζ••  "You Know Where to Find Me", Released: 2 November 2012
ζ••  "Telemiscommunications", Released: 12 March 2013

First listen/Review:
By  ANN POWERS; August 10, 201411:03 PM ET
ζ••  "What does the story hold?" Imogen Heap sings tenderly and slightly quizzically in "Propeller Seeds," the closing track on her fourth solo album, Sparks. The English singer, songwriter and tech pioneer has taken three years to shape 14 songs that answer her question in utterly distinctive ways. The music on Sparks reflects a dazzling array of compositional approaches, from the most futuristic ("Me the Machine" was written using Heap's gesture–controlled, music–making Mi.Mu Gloves) to the most interpersonal ("Lifeline," the song that launched the Sparks project, was crowdsourced through contributions from Heap's huge global network of online fans). That's really the point, in fact: Evolving along with the interests of this most adventurous pop star, Sparks demonstrates that the futuristic is interpersonal, showing how innovation happens one human encounter at a time.
ζ••  The stories of Sparks are multilayered. On one level, there's the process through which each song took form. Several involved international collaborations. "Mind Without Fear" has the Indian flavor of the musicians Heap met as she recorded it in phases, moving across that subcontinent. "Xizi She Knows" reflects a six–week residency she spent in Hangzhou, China. Working on Sparks, Heap roamed as far as travelers go, recording two songs as part of a friend's documentary project in Bhutan, and then returned home, crafting the haunting spoken–word cut "Neglected Space" as part of a community–garden project just blocks from her London home. These journeys didn't merely serve as inspiration: The songs incorporate sounds made by other artists, other people, animals and soundscape elements wherever Heap went.
ζ••  Other compositions explore new processes instead of focusing on travel. The delightfully energetic "The Listening Chair" sums up the 35 years Heap has lived so far; she says she intends to continue adding to it until she dies. The reflective, flowing "You Know Where to Find Me" includes notes played on 13 pianos owned by Heap fans across Edinburgh. "Run–Time" was generated by (and also exists as) a running app Heap co–designed that adapts to each user's workout.
ζ••  All of this might sound like so much gimmickry, but Heap's voice, which always sounds like it's sharing a gentle revelation, keeps the music personal. Her lyrics reflect on her own ups and downs as an artist and a woman, sometimes directly relating to the songs — "Initialize moments of time / to wine and dine with neurons that know how to love," she sings of her cyborg self in "Me the Machine" — and at other times expanding to become philosophical. "Telemiscommunications," her collaboration with Deadmau5, enacts the broken conversations of the digital age and then mourns their consequences. "The Beast," with its ominous images of eyes going arctic, recounts a more brutal romantic dissolution.
ζ••  The pleasure and insight gained from Sparks comes from listening to all of its stories together. The material has been available before through her website, but it's worth discovering or reabsorbing as a coherent work. Sparks documents a fruitful time for one of popular music's most consistently curious explorers. But it also captures how, in the 21st century, art, technology and life don't simply collide; they meld to make whole new narratives. (

Ally Carnwath, The Observer, Sunday 17 August 2014, Score: ****
ζ••  Now that many album recording sessions involve little more than a bedroom and a laptop, it's hard not to admire the elaborate genesis of Imogen Heap's fourth solo record. Written and recorded variously in her local community garden, the Himalayas and the Chinese city of Hangzhou and featuring one deliberately unfinished track (Listening Chair) that aims to condense her life into five minutes, it often feels more like a particularly ambitious performance art project than a collection of songs. But persevere and you'll be well rewarded; its feverish, idea–glutted electropop frequently resolves into something thrilling, as when the propulsive Run–Time hits it stride. (
Press: (UK/Euro) and (US & Canada)
Agent: Jenna Adler@CAA (North America) and Dave Chumbley@Primary Talent UK (Rest Of The World)

Imogen Heap