Neil Gaiman and FourPlay String Quartet Announce Debut Collaborative Album ‘Signs of Life’

After 12 years of working together and developing an extensive collaborative partnership, Neil Gaiman and FourPlay String Quartet are ready to share their debut album. Sign of Life, which is set for release on April 28, is led by the newly-released singles “Credo” and “Bloody Sunrise.”

The latter single recounts the first-person narrative of a lovelorn vampire, just in time for Halloween while also calling back to the drama rooted at the beginning of the Sandman creator’s partnership with the string quartet, which originated when FourPlay was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Graphic Festival to soundtrack his novella The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains in 2010.

“I’m not entirely certain when I fell in love with a string quartet,” Gaiman shared in a statement. “I remember our first date, though. It was a day spent in a tiny room somewhere in the backstage maze of Sydney Opera House. We played the next night on the stage of the Sydney Opera House. It was remarkable. It was so much fun we did it again.”

He continued: “We did a tour together, but when we reached Carnegie Hall, we decided we needed something better than me reading a poem as our encore, so we stole some time from soundcheck and rehearsed a song. And then we performed our song on the stage of the Carnegie Hall, and that felt a lot like something special. We started to build a repertoire, and when I was in Australia we would make music together. These are some of the things we’ve made together. It’s been a long fallow winter, the last two and a half years. Here are signs of life.”

FourPlay added: “Neil’s mastery of storytelling, and his crafting of words, is second to none. Among the members of FourPlay, we have been fans of Neil’s for many years, and it was a golden opportunity to work with him. Nevertheless, we could never have expected to find him to also be such a master of pacing, such a musical performer and wordsmith. We’re joyful to count him as a friend as well as a collaborator, someone we spend pleasurable time with and someone we never fail to create beautiful, glittering things with.”

Signs of Life features music created for the project Signs, which saw Gaiman and FourPlay tweaking the traditional concept of the zodiac to include updated conceptual approaches. It will also include poems and stories by Gaiman set to FourPlay’s music and two covers from his previous releases, with the addition of an instrumental inspired by his work.

Signs of Life Tracklist

  1. Clock
  2. Möbius Strip
  3. Bloody Sunrise
  4. The Wreckers
  5. Song of the Song
  6. Credo
  7. Neverwhere
  8. Poem first read on January 26th 2011 at the Sydney Opera House
  9. The Problem with Saints
  10. In Transit
  11. Signs of a Life
  12. Oceanic*