AD 191 | Chris Illingworth (GoGo Penguin)
“The Overview Effect”

When a musical ensemble chooses to self-title an album mid-career, it usually signifies their conviction that they’ve struck upon the motherlode, hit the jackpot, stepped up, and generally arrived at a point they’ve always strived for but never quite attained. Coming from GoGo Penguin at this stage in the game, it’s quite a bold statement: the instrumental trio from Manchester, England have fielded plaudits and rave reviews for inspiration and originality at every turn since 2013, when they settled on their dream line-up of Chris Illingworth (piano), Rob Turner (drums), and Nick Blacka (bass). Fusing jazz, classical and electronic influences (amongst others) with a thirst for innovation, they’ve been garlanded as makers of one of the Mercury Prize album of the year (in ’14), and have enjoyed success on record and in the live arena matched by precious few vocal-free groups post-millennium.

After that prestigious Mercury nomination for 2014’s v2.0 album, Chris, Nick, and Rob worked hard, consolidating their musical bond across a further two albums, which were written and recorded while juggling hectic touring commitments. For GoGo Penguin – their fourth album together (and the third to be released by the legendary Blue Note label) – they decided to jump off the rollercoaster and devote the majority of their working time in 2019 to pushing at the limits of their music.

“In the past, we'd have to get in the studio and finish the album in what felt like three days. This time we had six months of writing, and two weeks of recording, so everyone had a lot more time to contribute to each track. There was more experimentation, trying things out and often throwing them away. As a result, the album is more sophisticated. We had quite simple lives in the past. We were younger, so there wasn't so much drama, and there hadn’t been so many important events in our lives that fed into the music. This time, there's a lot more facing the realities of becoming older, and mortality, and watching people that you care about being very close to death. At the same time, Chris became a dad. The longer you live, the more complicated your reality becomes, so we felt our music had to reflect that.”
- Rob Turner (GoGo Penguin)

Show Notes:
  • Emotions while writing the newest GoGo Penguin album
  • Personality conveyed through music and art 
  • The positive and negative dualities of life 
  • Conflicting emotions 
  • Spirituality Personal Philosophies 
  • “The Overview Effect”
  • Empathy GoGo Penguin’s desire to be “genreless” 
  • Self-imposed limitations and creative limitations imposed by ourselves 
  • The state of music 
  • Breaking away from boundaries within your art 
  • Conformity and intentionality behind the composition 
  • Chris’s background as a classical musician
  • Finding inspiration 
  • Reverting back to one’s child-like state 
  • Driving force 
  • Examining one’s self, so that others are positively affected 
  • Being present-minded
  • Being the master of your own work

GoGo Penguin’s Instagram
GoGo Penguin’s Latest Self-Titled Release

Posted 1.28.2021


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino