late 2001, Unwed Sailor began to re-invent their sound and concept.
It was so drastic a change that it first existed as a side project,
but was so important to Ford and Tse that The Marionette and The
Music Box became a proper Unwed Sailor full-length release. The
resulting project was highly influenced by Ford's love for marionette
puppetry and fantasy fairy tales, as well as the shared influences
of French composer Yann Tiersen, the Pinnochio soundtrack, and the
classical piece Peter and the Wolf.
The Marionette and The Music Box is a subtle, but rich instrumental
soundtrack to support the illustrated relationship of a marionette
and a music box as they meet, become friends, separate, and reconcile.
Ford and Tse enlisted the help of regular drummer Matt Putman and
friends Matt Depper and James Mcalister (Ester Drang) to play the
rich tapestery of instruments that personify the characters in the
story. Unwed Sailor present the story in seventeen instrumental
music for the release blends the various influences in a unique
method that takes advantage of Tse's multiple guitar tracks that
are played live through a Boomerang pedal, as well as Ford's signature
bass lines that often carry the melody while supporting the songs.
The result exists as a modern classical piece.
Artist Jamie Hunt (Circle of Birds, Aspera) worked intimately with
Unwed Sailor to illustrate the story of The Marionette and The Music
Box. Hunt first built three-dimensional models of the characters,
photographed various poses and scenes to create the story, and developed
the painted panels from these photographs. Over a period of three
months, Hunt brought the characters and story to life. These illustrations
are as much a part of the release as the music itself. As such,
both the CD and LP versions are presented with booklets of the illustrated
story to accompany the music and a special limited edition hardbound
book was issued for sale by the band on tour.