The Boy with Nails for Eyes

By Shaun Gardiner

A fantastical dystopian graphic novel...

Sunday, 12 January 2020


First off, a very happy new year everyone. (Is it too late to say that? Also, is it permissible to wish that, given the start the year's had. Ah well...)

I want to share what I've been up to for The Boy with Nails for Eyes. It's been a long time since I've written an update – my fault – and much has been happening in the background.

(Go here to listen on SoundCloud.)

I've been working on the music to accompany the comic, which has mainly involved polishing and refining the tracks already written early in 2019 and 2018. But also I've been writing new material, for the third chapter of the story – Dreams.

I knew that this was going to be one of the hardest parts to write music for. There are no words in the chapter, so rather than writing short pieces to go with single pages or short sequences, I wanted to through-compose the whole chapter in one go.

See, I have no actual musical training, except for the most basic theory. I find writing long pieces very difficult – I have no way of approaching longer structures. I kept putting off writing this music. Approaching a blank sheet is intimidating enough, without being certain of how to draw. Actually, that's not quite right – it'd be a better analogy to say that it's hard to produce a drawing that's unified, cohesive, when you don't have periferal vision, just a small circle of attention around the tip of the pencil.

Whatever the reason, maybe this hesitation was for the best – it gave what ideas I did have a longer time to percolate. Late last year I was travelling for work. On the sleeper train, bitterly bored and (ironically) sleepless, I finally started writing. To my surprise, by the time I got home the following evening, I had seven minutes of music drafted.

A few weeks of further writing and polishing later, and the Dreams music is just about finished – at least, to the point where I feel confident enough to share it with you.

You can listen to the album so far, above, on SoundCloud. If the embedded album doesn't work for you, you can go straight to the source here.

I'd love to know what you think of the music so far – do comment below or message me on Twitter if you have any thoughts you want to share.

Other than the music I've been sketching away, planning the next volume. I'll share some of those pages in the near future. Meantime, hope you enjoy the music! (The album comes bundled with the Sounds of Dystopia supporter level, so you'll be able to listen in high quality, wherever you go.)

That's all for now – once again, hope everyone has a great new year.

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