Creating The Triptych
"Clear your mind, let it run free..."
The core idea which would eventually evolve into a gargantuan 9 track, 68 minute concept album that would take us over 18 months to create, totally consuming our lives in the process, arrived (as most ideas Across The Sea related tend to) while Pete was running along the seafront in Worthing.
But this story begins a little earlier (as most stories Across The Sea related tend to) with Wanderlust, the opening track from our debut EP I, Wanderer ; that first song which formed the basis for everything we do.
Wanderlust, in its original form, was a much shorter song than the one you hear on I, Wanderer. Between October 2017 (when the song was first written) and January 2018 (when it was recorded) the arrangement was in a constant state of development; it seemed every time we played it another new section, riff or lyric appeared. By the time we’d settled on the ‘final’ version we were going to record, the ever-changing nature of the song had become quite a point of discussion between us (the song, in fact, got longer still in concert, in an extended arrangement we dubbed Longerlust). Having already decided the final recording was more or less two songs in one, Hannah said “It’s just as well we stopped when we did or it would have become the Wanderlust trilogy!” An innocent remark perhaps, but remember, this was very early on in the days of Across The Sea, and Hannah had yet to learn an important lesson: never put an idea in Pete’s head…
Now, before we return to the seafront we must first take a brief detour to Worthing Library to pick up a copy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a book that Pete had borrowed and was reading at the time (and understanding very little of) which plays an important part in what happens next. Now, back to the seafront…
Having left Zarathustra sat in a cave lecturing an eagle and a serpent on how all existence and, therefore, all worlds are infinite (Infinite Worlds? Now there’s an idea…), Pete began his daily run along the prom with three trains of thought in his mind: some largely impenetrable philosophical ramblings about a person, torn between reality and illusion, travelling a long distance in search of meaning, enlightenment, truth and who knows what else; a painting (on the front cover of said ramblings) of a solitary figure stood atop a mountain and staring out to new horizons; Hannah’s passing comment about Wanderlust almost being a trilogy. And then suddenly all three collided and an idea formed.
It’s worth noting that Pete has lots of ideas while on his daily runs, many of which are long forgotten before he gets home again. Of the few that do survive the return trip, even less get Hannah’s approval. But she liked this one. She liked this one a lot.
It was Wednesday 17th January 2018, ancient history in Across The Sea terms; a week later we’d write A Journey Through Fantasia ; a fortnight after that we’d release the I, Wanderer EP. It was months before Speechless or Shadow of the Moon, Infinite Worlds or Immortal Skies. We’d written just 3 songs, played just 2 gigs, and nobody bar a handful of frequenters of View Cafe in Worthing had any idea who we were. It would be almost 21 months until we began to refine and expand Pete’s initial idea into what would become the most ambitious and challenging creative venture of either of our lives. But, for now at least, we had a basic concept that excited us and that we knew we’d revisit when the time was right.
Oh, and we had a title: The Wayfarer Triptych.