For Steve Hackett, his 26th studio album (a remarkable statistic of itself) is far more than merely a collection of quality tracks. It goes a lot deeper than this. “I love experimenting with sounds and ethnic instruments, and thereby taking my ideas into other musical territories, to go where I have not artistically been before. This is essentially British music but it's being developed in foreign soil, as it were.” 'At The Edge Of Light' represents the master guitarist's commitment and passion for a global perspective on the music he writes and performs.
“It feels here like I have finally connected properly to world music,” he explains. “In the past there have been a few tracks where I have skirted around that type of genre. But now, it's the entire album that fits into this style.” But it goes far beyond a dedication to musical aspirations that drives Hackett this time. He is acutely aware of the way in which the world is seeping towards a dangerous viewpoint that may have already gone too far.
“We are in an era where the far right is making worrying inroads in so many countries. And we have to be aware that while many thankfully believe this is a bankrupt philosophy, we have to take steps to prevent this from taking hold, as it appears to be doing at the moment. There is a frightening sense in which we could retreat to our own countries, forget about the welfare of others and hide once more in caves. If that is allowed to happen, then we become isolated from one another in a way that means the whole future of humanity is put at risk. “I have always wanted to reach out as an artist to anyone from anywhere. I love the whole global perspective that means it never matters where you are from.
If you are good enough, then that's all people should be concerned about. Not what country you're from. “I tackle this issue here on the song called 'Beasts In Our Time', which is a play on the phrase 'Peace In Our Time' that harks back to what Neville Chamberlain misguidedly said just before the outbreak of the Second World War. There are malevolent forces at work right now, dragging the world again to the brink of disaster.” Yet, for all the darkness into which the planet could descend, Hackett maintains a cautious optimism on the album.