As I stood in the dimly lit Mirth, Marvel and Maud cinema for my final performance of Pastoral, I couldn’t shake off an overwhelming sense of unease. It was a feeling that had become all too familiar to me over the years. Ever since the birth of my first child in 2016, I had been struggling with postnatal depression and recurring dreams about a vengeful ghost that would possess me and levitate my body violently.
It wasn’t until after that gig in Walthamstow that it all clicked into place. I was chatting with my friend Alexander Tucker, better known as Microcorps, when he started telling me a ghost story completely out of the blue. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks – my next album would be about ghosts.
And so began my journey into the world of hauntings and supernatural music technology. From there, I discovered connections between audio technology development and spiritualism movements throughout history. The Radiophonic Workshop and Delia Derbyshire were just two examples of musicians who used their work to tap into the supernatural realm. Even women’s rights movements were influenced by early spiritualism because it gave women a platform to express themselves freely and find power in their own unique way.
Black Dog became an emotional response to this journey, an excavation of my own fears and psychological state. To make the initial connection between technology, women’s rights, and ghosts? It was mind-blowing!