This debut, largely instrumental album recorded mostly with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, came as a complete surprise to those that knew Ryder-Jones as the lead guitarist in The Coral. He left the band in 2008 after 12 years and his first release A Leave Taking, a four track soundtrack to a short film was composed in 2009 – and released as an EP in 2011. He composed two more short film soundtracks, It’s Natural To Be Afraid and Bed. Ryder-Jones then set about composing If… as an imaginary film soundtrack based chapter by chapter on Italo Calvino’s book , Se Una Notte D’inverno Un Viaggiatore (If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller). Incidentally, Sting also named his 20o9 album, If On A Winter’s Night, after the same book.
It’s a mature piece of work and how Ryder- Jones went from lead guitarist in The Coral to the composer of this evocative, atmospheric and rich album is quite the mystery. His hidden talent as a serious film composer has opened up a whole different world with this this simultaneously reflective and stirring piece of work.