Album: The World is a Game
Artist: Mystery
2012 Unicorn Digital Inc.
CD: UNCR-5090

Michel St-Père: electric and acoustic guitars, keys
Benoît David: vocals
Antoine Fafard: fretted and fretless bass, acoustic guitars
Nick D'Virgilio: drums

Marilène Provencher-Leduc: flute
Damellia & Dahlie-Yann St-Père: children sounds

Produced by St-Père
Recorded by St-Père at Studio Illusion3, Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
D'Virgilio recorded by Jad Sadlowski/Dean Marino at Chemical Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fafard recorded at Inhus Studio, London, UK
Executive producer: Unicorn Digital Inc.
Mixed by St-Père
Mastered by Richard Addison

Cover art by Leszek Bujnowski
Artwork design by Bujnowski/St-Père/Robert Danserau

1. "A Morning Rise" [St-Père] (1:18)
2. "Pride" [St-Père] (11:28)
3. "Superstar" [St-Père] (6:59)
4. "The Unwinding of Time" [St-Père] (0:49)
5. "The World is a Game" [mus: St-Père; lyr: St-Père/David] (7:57)
6. "Dear Someone" [mus: St-Père; lyr: St-Père/David] (6:21)
7. "Time Goes By" [St-Père] (6:04)
8. "Another Day" [St-Père] (19:02)

Notes: Mystery's first album since David's departure from Yes, although his vocals were mainly recorded in 2011 while he was still in the band, before vocal health problems hit him on Yes's winter tour of Europe. The liner notes declare that David "would like to thank Chirs, Steve, Alan, Oliver, Geoff, Paul [Silveira] and all the others for a great experience and a wonderful journey."

St-Père was mixing and adding final parts to the album in Jan-Mar 2012 and said on Facebook on 23 Jan 2012, that they had finished 5 out of 6 pieces. On 2 Feb, he said the album mix was "almost done". However, some additional recording followed in Mar/Apr 2012. In Mar 2012, St-Père described creating the intro for the album and final recording, and on 11 Apr, he said on Facebook:

Today, I had to re-record some guitar tracks for the song "Pride" It is done now, I will also need to do a few leads in that same song and Benoit needs to redo 2 verses in the the song: The World is a Game and we will be done, the mixes are done as well, we just need to replace the old parts by the new ones and we have 60 minutes of new MYSTERY ready to be released.

Mastering was finished 27 Jun 2012.

The band played live in support of the album. The live band consisted of St-Père, David, Sylvain Moineau (guitars), Jean-Sébastien Goyette (drums; replaced Steve Gagné from rehearsals in Jan 2013 onwards), François Fournier (bass) and Benoît Dupuis (keys). Band rehearsals began 22 Jul 2012 (with Gagné on drums). Mystery supported Saga on 10 Aug 2012 in Montreal with a set including just "Pride" from the album plus earlier material. They then supported Arena on 10 Nov. They played a double bill with The Box on 19 Jan 2013; both these latter dates were in Quebec. Further rehearsals with the current line-up followed in Jan/Feb 2013. Mystery were the Friday evening opener for the Montreal Marillion Weekend on 22 Mar 2013. They played the Netherlands on 10 May, the show was expected to be filmed for a DVD release; the set this time included just "Another Day" from the album plus earlier material. They played the prog festival Celebr8 on 13 May 2013, their only UK date; the set included "Pride", "Dear Someone", "Time Goes By" plus earlier material. They supported Saga on 25 May in Toronto, Canada.

A Jan 2012 Facebook update by St-Père had details on the The World is a Game tracks:

St-Père has also said that most of the music was written for this project, apart from two earlier unused compositions.

Work took place on the album in Apr/May 2011 with several Facebook updates from St-Père, e.g. 20 Apr: "In the studio working on the next Mystery". 9 May: "Just finished another song with Mr. David for the new mystery, sounds really good." And 29 Apr:

Took a break from studio this week and been listening to the first 4 songs for the next Mystery

David was working with St-Père in Sep 2011, when St-Père also tweeted:

There is a 19 minute song for the new MYSTERY album, I do not know if it will be 19minute when it is all mixed but it will be a long one

The main recording for the album took place in Oct: Fafard recording in London, while D'Virgilio's sessions were all at the beginning of the month. David finished his vocals for the album on 25 Oct. St-Père said on Facebook on 3 Oct:

DAY 1 Mystery recording

Today 3 songs will be recorded on drums [...] about 30 minutes of music , one of the 3 pieces is a 20 minute long piece that might end up being split into a few songs like we did with Through Different Eye, not sure yet

A Facebook update on 17 Oct from St-Père had more:

Yesterday I went to Benoit’s house to give him the latest rough mixes from the album [...]

We are super excited about the album, right now we have 57 minutes of Music, I still need to include a small acoustic guitar piece (from which the long 18 minute song is based on)  So no matter how we will edit everything, the album will be around this length

So far we have 6 songs, but probably the long 18 minute song will be cut into several parts like we did we Through Different Eyes  on One Among the Living.

Drums are all done [...] [Fafard] is already at work in his London UK studio.

A few other musicians will bring their own sound to the project as well,  Most of the acoustic guitars have been recorded last week and I think I can keep most of the clean electric guitar parts I recorded for the demo, and will redo all Distorted guitars and a few clean parts once I will receive the bass parts from Antoine.

It is hard to describe the overall sound and mood of the album right now,  but it is definitely Mystery sounding.  Kind of a sad feeling throughout the album,  I would think it is more prog than One Among the Living  but I am not the best to judge this I guess.

[...] the album has to be delivered to the label in December and we are right on target right now

In a 16 Nov Facebook update, St-Père said:

have spent the whole morning listening to the new Mystery music, Although it is [not] finished yet, it is very close to what it will be in the end. When I first started to work on this new one, I thought it would be a very soft and spacey album, I was wrong ;-)

(HP, 22 Jun 13)

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