Roger Goula – Overview Effect

Stu at Seismic Records recommended an album to me at the weekend by an artist I’d never heard of. I do like to take a chance with albums now and again and, as Stu knows the sort of thing I’d previously bought from him, I took a chance on this knowing only the genre, which was Post-Classical Electronic. He was right, I love this album:


As I said, I’d never heard of Roger Goula so I looked him up and this is what I found:

Roger Goula is a London based composer and multi-instrumentalist. Coming from a contemporary classical background, Goula’s work has developed into an experimental blend of classical chamber and orchestral music with electronics.

Inspired by renaissance and baroque music, as well as by minimalism, and looking at the language of electronic music, his compositions perform complexity through repetition of minimal elements and emotional transporting textures. Most recently his been commissioned by the acclaimed string quartet Experimental Funktion a 30min piece to be performed along side Steve Reich ‘Different Trains’ and premiered at the CCCB of Barcelona in December 2013 as a closure concert of the BCNmp7 Music Festival.

Composing also across platforms including film and tv, dance, theatre and art installation, Roger has worked for a number of award winning films such as Next Goal Wins, Shock Head Soul, Brand New-U and the ITV series The Frankenstein Chronicles. At the moment he is scoring the latest film by Charlie Bellville featuring Tom Hardy as lead actor. This year his solo debut album Overview Effect will released by the new label Cognitive Shift in collaboration with One Little Indian, and includes collaborations with notable performers such as Peter Gregson, Thomas Gould, Lucy Railton, Stephen Upshaw and Claudio Girard.

Roger Goula studied classical guitar in Barcelona and graduated in music composition from the Goldsmiths College and in film music from National Film and Television School. He also studied composition with Michael Finnissy.

This album, ‘Overview Effect’ is, I believe, his first proper solo outing whereby there is no film or TV series attached to it.

The ‘overview effect\ of the album title is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface, referring to the experience of seeing the reality of the Earth in space. There before them is this tiny planet, filled with life that is only protected by a fragile and thin atmosphere. When viewed from space there are no national boundaries, no politics, no conflicts, there is just this “pale blue dot” that gives us life and we must do everything we can to protect it.

Goula has a lot of tracks available on soundcloud but here are some from this particular album that can be streamed for free, particularly ‘Pale Blue Dot’ as referred to above:

I’ve listened to the album several times now and I really do like it as it has so many of the things in music that I appreciate, one of which is a cello, I find it hard to resist a cello

Track List:

1. Son Will Wake Up
2. Awe

1. Looking Back To Self Awareness
2. Cognitive Shift

1. Overview Effect
2. Pale Blue Dot

1. Something About Silence
2.If Nothingness Disappears

This is not an album of hits and hooks, it’s contemplative and beautiful and well worth investigating,