Pete Townshend Updates Latest Project
Pete Townshend gave an update on his long-awaited new project, Floss, in the new Afterword to the paperback version of his memoir, Who I Am. Townshend, who has spoken at length about the work, has at times mentioned that some of the material might be suitable for the Who’s next album — and at other times gone on record as saying that it will not.
Townshend hipped fans to Floss’ current status, writing, “I’m, working 12-to-16 hour days. I am back in the rockface in my home studio in London, wading through the 95 items of music I have accumulated since I started work on my current music project in June 2008. Yes, there are really 95 items on the list. I’ve found a few duplicates, but not many. I’ve found some junk, but not much. Since the tour ended I have managed to listen to, and in some case — by adding some guitars or keyboards or sharpening up a lyric — either advance or eliminate 58 of team in the list. At worst I make some comment, and add the item to the work-in-progress group.”
No release date has been announced for Floss.
‘FLOSS’ FAST FACTS
In 2009, Pete Townshend announced the Floss on TheWho.com project by posting: “I am writing a new musical. Floss is an ambitious new project for me, in the style of Tommy and Quadrophenia. In this case the songs are interspersed with surround-sound ‘soundscapes’ featuring complex sound effects and musical montages. Floss will be a (sound and light) musical piece, intended for outdoor performance, or arenas. Several of the more conventional songs from Floss will be featured on a forthcoming Who recording for release in 2010. Floss will be heard in concert for the first time in 2011, at a venue and date yet to be established. I am already having talks with producers in New York.”
As with all of his major musical pieces, Floss has an intricate back-story which touches very slightly on Townshend’s own life without actually chronicling it: “The collected music and sound for Floss convey the story of a married couple whose relationship gets into difficulty. Walter, a straight-cut pub rock musician, is able to retire when one of his songs becomes the TV anthem of a big car company. He becomes a house-husband while his wife Floss devotes herself to a riding stables and stud.”
Townshend went on to describe to conflict in the story, explaining, “When (Walter) tries to return to music after a 15-year hiatus, he finds that what he hears and what he composes evoke the ecologically rooted, apocalyptic mindset of his generation. Shaken by this and torn by personal difficulties, he and Floss become estranged. A series of dramatic events in a hospital emergency ward bring them both to their senses.”