Works in Progress Vol. 2

by Al Swainger's Pointless Beauty

subscriber exclusive


Welcome to the Subscriber Only Works in Progress Vol. 2

Each month I'll be releasing three new mixes of ideas in progress. You'll be able to stream from bandcamp, and download to keep, these mixes until the first Weds of each month when they'll be replaced with fresh mixes / ideas.

Track notes :

1) The Wheel

This started as a mess around on the new Ableton Note program. A cut down portable version of Live that works on iPads. Originally I started with a sample of me whistling then filled in some other random elements just to get a feel for how to use it. It has since moved through the main Live program and then onto Cubase as I got more interested in how to produce the ideas. The whistling has disappeared (for the time being) and all of the sounds replaced with more sculpted alternatives.

Conceptually the title 'The Wheel' comes from being caught up in processes and traditions that aren't necessarily working to the benefit of our wider society but seem to present no alternatives. Things change but remain fundamentally, grindingly, the same. (At the moment I feel this section pushes on too long by somewhere between 15 to 45 secs). The second half of the piece is about liberating ourselves from that and moving toward something else.

2) Pacing the Web

This is a track I've had sat on the shelf since 2020. It's a lockdown collaboration with Jon Clark (who contributes percussion and the cello bass line here). It's so close to being finished but needs another element which I've never been able to decide on. Consequently there's a hole where that element needs to be in the arrangement / production. I really like everything else that's there but still waiting for inspiration on that last thing before it can go out into the real world as a finished track.

3) Forgotten Prayers 1

This is a free improvised bass / vocal track laid down in a single evening a few weeks ago. I made the production mistake of recording everything with fx baked in so it doesn't sound as rich as it might if I'd recorded dry and added fx post - the reverbs cancel each other out rather than blend. I think this one is ultimately destined for the cutting room floor but I think it has enough merit to share here. It was a fun experiment and one I'll try again with a slighly different approach.
Conceptually I was considering approaches for a 3rd Outer Planets album. My brief is that it has to be ambient but I wanted to include vocals this time round. The title Forgotten Prayers felt like a nice loose framework to express that texturally.

released May 3rd, 2023


released May 3, 2023

Al Swainger - Vocals, Keys, Programming, Editing, Production, Mixing, Artwork

Jon Clark (on Pacing the Web) - Percussion, Cello


all rights reserved



Al Swainger Bristol, UK

Cinematic Fusion for the Emotionally Curious

Rich and eclectic atmospheres to help you daydream and stimulate your emotions.

Pointless Beauty is the contemporary project of bassist, digital artist, composer, producer Al Swainger.

Blending a wide range of influences improvised music, this is a very personal take on what jazz or progressive music could be.
... more

contact / help

Contact Al Swainger

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account