There are numerous examples of innovative musicians over the years, who take inspiration from their surroundings when they create a piece of music, whether that be a single track, an entire album, or even a set at a live gig.
- Liam Howlett from The Prodigy was talking in an interview recently about how he composes ideas for his tunes on the new album. He described how he takes his inspiration from looking at the artwork for Invaders Must Die on the wall of his studio.
- Miles Davis famously described how he turned up to the studio when he recorded Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew, with nothing but the note he wanted to start on, and a bunch of paintings to provide inspiration to him and his musicians. The end result of those recording sessions were 2 of the most iconic Jazz albums of all time.
H2's approach to composition is no different:-
When H2 are in the rehearsal studio or playing a live gig, a set will start with Roger kicking off a beat. It could be one he improvises on the fly, or one he programmed previously that he wants to adapt or enhance. Roger layers in various loops, samples and other beats using a combination of midi controllers, mobile devices and laptop. This beat forms the foundation for the H2 sound and builds up, goes in different directions, gets slower, faster, more intense, more chilled, or whatever, throughout the set depending on audience reaction and the mood he and Phil might be in at any given moment.
Phil plays Trumpet via the behringer v-amp3 effects processor over Rogers beats. Phil plays without music and by ear, rather than in a pre-defined musical key, and normally the tempo and dynamic are quite varied. Musical experimentation and improvisation are at the core of what H2 are all about, and as well as the Trumpet Phil also creates music on mobile devices, which are also layered over Rogers beats. Similar to the Liam and MIles examples described above, Phil takes his inspiration for the music he improvises by listening to the beats Roger is dropping, and also from looking at the pictures on the wall, or at things going on outside the window, or even at the colours and shapes on the equipment in the studio or club.
H2 create a unique and original sound that on paper at least, shouldn't really work. But if you listen to an H2 tune or see them perform live, you will hear and see two musicians who are completely in the zone individually, whilst at the same time being fully aware of the events, sounds and images going on around them in order to influence and inspire what they are playing collectively. Combine the above music with visual images and videos to form a backdrop to a live H2 set, and you get a pretty impressive musical creation by two contemporary, experimental, improvising musicians who are intent on keeping H2's music as real, original and innovative as possible.