Exploring existence

The cover image for Patrick Samuel's new album Distant Star
The cover image for Patrick Samuel’s new album Distant Star (credit Uwe Nietzold)

Patrick Samuel from Palmers Green, also known as the ‘Asperger Artist’, is releasing an insightful new album

As an exhibiting artist with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism, I also have synesthesia, a condition in which one sense is simultaneously perceived as if another.

For me, it’s colour and sound; when I hear music, I experience colour bursts and see patterns, and vice versa. That’s why, apart from painting, music has always been my other outlet, and while on a train home from Folkestone in late December last year I had an idea for both an exhibition and an album that would combine two of my other interests; magic and the cosmos.

My autistic brain travelled the Milky Way and beyond as I tried to connect with my late father who’d been gone for more than six years. In a short space of time, I wrote and produced 19 demo tracks that would form the backbone of my album Distant Star. I was a little beyond my comfort zone, because this is the first time I have committed my voice to record. The album was recorded with me playing eight instruments in total and singing on all 13 tracks.

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I’ve also never been more honest with myself about the things I’ve struggled with; love, loneliness, trauma and existentialism are all explored here. The songs are stories about my experiences; it’s another way of offering insight into an autistic mind.

Initially, my idea was to self-release Distant Star, like I did with my previous album Beyond The Spectrum, an instrumental electronic album released in 2017. Luckily, I was signed by Tiergarten Records, a label set up by fellow autistic musician and friend Robin Jax to support neuro-divergent creatives in the music industry such as myself.

So what kind of music is it? For lack of a better word, I say: “Neurodiverse. Expect the unexpected!”

The album will be available from Friday 16th August and one week later I’ll be launching a new exhibition to coincide with the release. It will take place at Starfish & Coffee in Alderman’s Hill, Palmers Green, and is titled Distant Star – Waveforms. The exhibition will be a visual companion to the album, with lyrics from the songs used to create waveform landscapes that probably tell more about my music than I could with words.

Find out more about Patrick’s new album and art exhibition:

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