Background Musics, my latest ambient release is now available in most digital music stores. But even better than that, I’m running a Christmas special in 3 stores. From now until Christmas, you can pick up Background Musics for only $4.99 in the Android Market, Bandcamp and my own music store. Individual songs are priced at $0.49 each and I’m offering two songs for free at the Android Market and Bandcamp.
I’m also putting the finishing touches on my next release, Light 1, and have a preview, 8.extended, an hour long, extended version of one of the songs available at Bandcamp for whatever price you want to pay. You set your own price. It’s entirely up to you.
Light 1 has been an interesting experiment on musical modes to work on. It is a concept album on the properties of light and the various ways it impacts life on Earth and the human experience. The album features 8 new ambient songs that can be played by themselves or combined in any way to create even more music. More on that when I’m closer to releasing it.
Background Musics features a collection of 12 new musics for a variety of shared common themes, situations, and thoughts within the human experience. The album is on sale now for only $9 and all individual songs are available for $1 each.
I started writing songs for this album in 2007 as a short concept album called Moments. It was intended to be a short work of background theme music for common, human situations. The project slowly grew over time and eventually became the full-length album Background Musics.
Background Musics includes 12 new ambient songs of various tones and moods, some are generative, some are original compositions and some are experiments in repetition and timing structures.
Joss (Firefly/Serenity) Wheadon’s newest internet brainchild Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is just what I’ve been needing. Not that I’ve particularly been experiencing a hankering for Super-Hero-Musical-Mini-Web-Series but Wheadon’s tiny fantasy has taken me by surprise.
Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) runs a video blog in which he describes his earnest attempts to become a member of the Evil League of Evil (A … wait for it … “evil” organization run by someone called Bad Horse.), get up enough nerve to talk to the cute girl at the laundromat, Penny (Felicia Day) and defeat his arch-nemisis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion).
In true comedic musical genius, songs are formed out of the most unlikely of candidates. From Dr. Horrible’s Freeze Ray (that will ‘stop… the world’) to Penny’s Petition Song, they’re all well written and very well performed. There’s a great method of mixing spoken word and singing, like when Penny walks up behind Dr. Horrible during the heist in Act. 1, that pokes a bit of fun at the normal “Musical” style.
All in all I love it. Highly recommended. Go watch Acts 1 and 2 now. Act 3 will be available Sat.
While putting the finishing touches on Moments, I’ve been working on some themed generative music that will become my next album. The album is all about astronomy. One of the things I love about astronomy is the humbling notion of being a fragile, non-important object floating around amidst many other inconspicuous objects. I kind of puts you in your place. It shows you that there is nothing incredibly special about your place in the universe and that it’s up to you to make your life special. I’m reminded by something Carl Sagan said in The Pale Blue Dot:
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
I’ve been very influenced by Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings and taking that approach into my music writing. I’m trying to write a lot of music that isn’t necessarily constrained by time. There’s no defined opening bit or middle bit or ending bit. I want to approach the songs as if they’ve always been playing and I’m just now tuning in. The songs never end. You just sort of tune in from time to time and listen to what they’re doing at that particular moment. I’m very interested in that.
This particular piece is a 4 minute edit of the 12 minute album version of a song for my next album Background Music 2 (Music for Stargazing).
The first three are obvious. Pleasant ambient atmospheres, melodic movements and layered grooves. If you question their place in this list you should probably be smacked hard on the cranium.
I had to include Neroli because I would have to have some form of background sonics to keep from going insane. You can leave Neroli on repeat for a week and it’s fine. Elegant, simple melodic tones passing through the air.
The final album was a tough decision. I wanted a classical album and it was between Holst’s The Planets and something by Claude Debussy. I love The Planets but, in the end, Debussy’s themes won. I chose a compilation, Debussy for Daydreaming, because it’s a good mix of Debussy’s thematic work with a good combination of piano and full orchestral arrangements throughout. The arrangement and performance of Clair de lune alone is worth the price of this album.
I’ve picked music without lyrics because I think the same words would get old after a while. I’d much rather have the option to simply listen to the music or create my own lyrics and let them evolve over time into a meaningful statement of my situation.
All crushing aside… that’s really impressive control over a very difficult instrument. I’ve attempted to play a theremin a couple of times and can tell you she makes it look easier than it is by many orders of magnitude. I couldn’t imagine playing music that emotional and keeping that still at the same time. There’s no way I could do it. I move too much just playing single hand melodies.
He asked what they were and they said, “They’re lights in the sky, kid.” But that wasn’t what he wanted to know. Carl Sagan saw the stars. He found out what they were and then he showed them to me. And my life was never the same again.
Muxtape is a new site/service that is aiming to replace our old mixtapes with digital muxtapes. The idea is simple… create an account, upload songs and give someone the URL. I’m not sure about the legality of this though there doesn’t seem to be a way to download any songs and they do seem to have a few regulations put in place (such as only one song per artist and only one muxtape per user).