Monday, 11 November 2013

The Project

The First Conception is - in this case - the name of a music project co-founded by Thomas Conway (acoustic guitar, composition) and Rogerio Ferreira (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, composition) who play free style instrumental music mostly but also early music, folk, easy listening, world music, as well as making jazz, blues and traditional European folk arrangements.

Jaki Alden (flute, mandolin, clarinet, violin and woodwind) has recorded two albums with the project and joins in when possible for gigs. Other musicians are invited as necessary.

The Name

After considering the name First Concept, the name First Conception was chosen as more consistent with the project’s philosophy. As there was a website with that name about pregnancy, the project’s name was changed to The First Conception in this way changing the meaning with regard to the initial philosophy, which was conceiving music in harmony with the universe but not the first project to do so. Although the new name somewhat drifts off the essence of the project’s philosophy, its music is still inspired by the first conception of life, which made all this possible.

The History

The First Conception came to life in March 2008 as a duo live act playing an acoustic set at The Steam Packet, Norwich, Tom Conway’s home town, after a few months spent on rehearsals.
Tom and Rogerio met in April 2007 at a TEFL course for teachers in the UK. A year later, they recorded one of their rehearsals, later mastered and self-released as an album entitled We Are Born. Three months later, they recorded their first official session, which became their second album, Inscape.

Jaki Alden joined in for the recording of some tracks on two of the albums (Inscape and Riddle of Existence) and tagged along for some gigs. As a trio, TFC performed an acoustic set for the first time at the Cider Shed, Norwich, in May 2009.
Tom and Rogerio recorded a jazz jam session as a quartet with guest musicians Russell Young on piano and Julian Revell on saxophone. Its full version will be made available as an Extended Play Compact Disc entitled Off the Record. An edited version of it has been included in the new edition of The Jazz Matter.

The Music

Five sessions, excluding Off the Record, have been recorded: We Are Born (April 2008), Inscape (July 2008), Riddle of Existence (July 2009), Random Thoughts, (August 2009) and The Jazz Matter (September 2009).

A first compilation entitled Compulsive Matter (strong tracks, second takes and singles) was put together in July 2010 to celebrate TFC's two years of activity.
Inscape was re-packaged in 2012 with an added track and maintaining the CD cover by Zacron, to celebrate Zacron's life after his passing that year (The Zacron Edition). Zacron ( is best known for designing the iconic Led Zeppelin III album cover for his friend Jimmy Page in 1973. This is part of a vast and varied body of work by Zacron spanning five decades. He's done the same thing for his friend Rogerio Ferreira regarding TFC's Inscape album cover.

Another Zacron album cover is used on Compulsive Matter.

Some of the music is freely available for downloading on the main website. All music will be made available there either free of charge or through PayPal after the re-packaging of all the albums and extended play sessions. Some tracks are also being re-edited and re-mastered. Selected CDs are available at gigs.

The Members

The founding members are Thomas Conway and Rogerio Ferreira, other musicians are invited as necessary and Jaki Alden is an associated act.

The Influence


Guitarists – John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Leo Kottke, John Fahey, John James, Mark Knopfler

Songwriters - Al Stewart, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, Ralph McTell (for guitar as well), Richard Thompson, Joan Armatrading, Ben Folds, Van Morrison

Bands - Acetre, Steely Dan, Smiths, Strokes

General - Sacred Choral Music, Early Music, African Choral Music, Religious Music, Soul, Funk, Old Reggae... Anything that’s good.


Drummers: Billy Cobham, Ian Paice, Tony Williams, Bill Bruford, Carl Palmer, Jack DeJohnette, Chris Layton

Composers and multi-instrumentalists:

Ry Cooder, Joni Mitchell, Mike Oldfield, Dollar Brand, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, Jeff Beck, Steve Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Sting …

Brazil: Deodato, Tania Maria, Flora Purim, Eliane Elias, Joyce …

Bands: Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Brand X, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Focus, Little Feat, Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple, Doors, Double Trouble, The Nice …

Jazz: Pat Metheny, Modern Jazz Quartet, Milt Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Jimmy Smith, Tom Scott & The L.A. Express, Osibisa, African and Middle Eastern rhythms

Orchestras: Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones …

General - African and Middle Eastern rhythms, Classical, Ethnic and Early Music, and anything good


Traditional Irish Music, European Folk, a Cappella, Early Music, Ry Cooder.

The Sound

The First Conception have developed a unique style comprising a blend of their influences. "We try to create a certain atmosphere within each piece of music we play." - Rogerio. "We also believe in keeping it sparse." - Tom. "There's a mystical journey one goes on when listening to your music. It sounds very spiritual and mysterious." - Judy (a fan). "Have you contacted the BBC? Your music's good for television documentaries." - Mark (a friend).