Nava Thomas (aka Confucius) began making music at age 11, when he got his first guitar. After many years of teaching himself music theory (blues, jazz, folk, funk, and classical) and playing in various bands around Christchurch, he invested in a small amount of studio gear which has been steadily building, morphing and developing along with his sound since 1998.
Nava’s approach in the studio comes from a musician’s viewpoint. Most tunes begin their lives as a bassline, a melody or sometimes just a vibe… Practically all the composition takes place prior to entering the studio by jamming out different ideas & developing them acoustically. The structure and solidity of material is planned ages before the 'record' button is hit, and even then there’s always room for improvement and experimentation. This method accounts for the large amount of realtime performance on the album… The idea is to provide all the character of live instrumentation without compromise in the beats, bass or any element. The emphasis is thus equally centred on performance and production. Parts are reworked, tweaked, chopped up, but most of that tweakage is of the notes themselves. As a die-hard muso, Confucius believes firmly in the power of an effective arrangement above all else.
“The notes are all important, and the solidity and quality of every part. Each element should stand alone, should be compelling in itself. Otherwise the composition as a whole will not be at its optimum. It’s the music that reels people in, the way notes are arranged. Music is its own message, and a language subtler than the spoken variety. It can evoke feelings that words never can, but like an essay or a poem, it must be perfectly structured to achieve the desired effect.”