My latest album features a lot of hard work and experimentation with new instruments. Audiotool, Ableton Live, and various cell phone based apps make appearances throughout. Probably the highlight is inlife2, which takes importance as the first nature of sound song I have ever performed live.
This album didn’t get the normal treatment of having a strong visual to go along with, or interactive web elements, as the focus was more on the music this time around. There’s a lot of stuff to hear here, from the ambient synthesizer orchestrals that mutate into drum n bass on ‘awakening’ to the cell phone drumming on ‘entropy cycle’. The next track is ‘inlife2’, which takes a couple of guitar samples and works them through a complex series of breakbeats. Next up is ‘becoming the ghost’, which uses some of the awesome components of audiotools along with live performed electronic drums. The pounding percussion of ‘lifenight’ comes next, which, as the name suggests, take nearly all the same components of inlife2 and rearranges them into a completely different song. This is something that always fascinates me about music, particularly electronic, being able to take these same elements and combine them in new ways with different effects. And the songs are similar, but where inlife2 is light, lifenight is much darker. From here, its a sharp left turn to the quiet sounds of ‘unfolding’, which is acoustic guitar accompanied by a phone app that’s similar to a theremin. I included this partly because I always feel like people think electronic musicians can’t play guitar, or “make real music”. Well this is an improvised lead over a varied rhythm with a completely fretless instrument played along, no tricks here. From here the next is ‘clarity’, where I’ve played electronic drums, gamelan bells, and a chinese string instrument together. These elements are, again, via cell phone and played by touch pad. ‘The legend of glass mountain’ is a bit in the soundtrack genre, and features drumpads with elements from audiotool. This song is the most representative of my overall style in terms of melody, percussion, and movement. ‘Into the void’ is an open, spacey, ambient work with drum loops and delays. ‘homepath’ has to be one my proudest achievements. Technically its not much different from some other songs I’ve done as far as instrumentation, but I think the overall sound is well orchestrated and the transition from the open, free-form beginning to the drum n bass second half came through very well. Its meant to be retro, nostalgic, a returning home to origins. The album ends with ‘breaking down’, a song where I tried to completely break apart a series of samples and recombine them in ways that barely add up to music, becoming more and then less cohesive as the song progresses. This is sort of an analog to the life transitions we experience, as the world tends to take turns making sense and being confusing.