Though this most tumultuous 365 days isn’t quite over, I am taking this opportunity to offer my summation of my music over the last 12 months and to revisit some key albums that I feel were important, whether from a sociopolitical or creative perspective.
Starting in February, which began the season of Lent leading up to Easter, I decided to embark on an ambitious project, to write a track for every one of the 40 days of this season. Most of the performances were done live on the internet when I was a dj on http://stillstream.fm/ and so don’t have any overdubs or edits, except to adjust volume levels where necessary. I felt my creativity running dry during the last week of the project and, as I sometimes do when in times of self-doubt, I turn to other artists who I admire for their thoughts on the music. Having a new set of ears listen to a project can help in finding problems that the artist may not be aware of or even give that artist new ideas in approaching the current creative endeavor.
desert nocturnes (ambient excursions for the season of lent)
As the year progressed, terrorism became an issue on a number of occasions, the most relevant to me being the Orlando terror attack. Though no one I knew was killed in this vicious act of barbarism, Orlando isn’t too far from where family reside so proximity can give a travesty like this a more personal feel to the artist so to that end, my music began to intersect the political with an album called “The Pain of Being Fractured” a live improvisation that was performed on stillstream.fm, and though the music was written at the beginning of 2016, it spoke to the events that were unfolding before me, a sense of devastating loss, helplessness, and, yes, even rage, which would be explored in a much darker bolder statement on the matter a month later.
Political Correctness and ISIS are malignant cancers undermining all social cultures
The title is bold, brash and controversial and you can hear the emotional reaction to brutal episodes of terrorism as well as a visceral response to the ways in which people at the highest levels of government address or, because of capitulation to the notion of political correctness, fail to address such situations.
And as if that were not enough chaos, with the events of police shootings, especially the cold blooded calculated murder of five police officers in Dallas, I was once again called to compose a set of tracks, 90 minutes of improvised music called “Elegy for a Fragmented World”
All three of these albums have significant liner notes on the appropriate pages so I encourage you to visit and learn more.
I was also involved with a grand expansive project, 24 hours of music written in collaboration with many artists in the ambient community, a project called The Vega Chronicles which explored the possibility of the demise of an existing civilization on a planet orbiting the star of Vega and their need to preserve their history through sound.
I also had a number of collaborations with talented artists and people I consider to be good friends as well, people like Wings of an angel, D.N.P, MetaDronos and sevenism, to name a few.
When I first took an interest in composing music in the early 1990’s my style was more new-age, inspired by people like Liz Story, Suzanne Ciani, etc. I made a cassette release called “Little Moments” of which there is now an ambient version which I have reworked in early 2014 which has not been released as of this writing.
My wife presented me with the challenge to compose an acoustic album in 2015 and I was able to write 4 tracks before deciding that it was just too happy of a project for me to continue with.
around a year later, I revisited that project, composed a few more songs and a few months ago, released my first official new-age album called “Show me the Glint of Light” which has had a little airplay.
Finally, just to add to all of these musical endeavors, I tried my hand at noise music and have a number of releases in this genre. A couple of my noise albums intersect politics “Undeniable Corruption” released on April 15, the day of involuntary contributions to our overgrown ineffective government, and “Foundation Wall, a response to the clown show which has been our Presidential debates, leading up to one of the most contentious and surprising elections in our short history.
I have a lot planned for 2017 and since this entry is getting longer than I expected, I will leave looking ahead for another blog post.
I’d like to thank all of you for your listenership, support and friendship over the last year and it is my hope that 2017 will be a year which brings many more fond memories and experiences than 2016.