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Starship Invasions OST (1977)

Listen to the whole sound track here.

Another rare find! The AMAZING soundtrack by Gil Mellé—a soundtrack that its film does not deserve! 😹 I feel like it belongs with some epic city crime drama…

This soundtrack from 1977 by jazz composer and artist Gil Mellé is an amazing, colorful work of art. What strikes me is how this music got involved with the 1977 Canadian sci-fi film “Starship Invasions” (starring Christopher Lee!!!).

When watching the film, it was a typical B-movie experience, except for the fact that the music continually struck me as beautiful and clever and engaging–nonetheless, the music does NOT match up with any of the vibe or story of the film! It was a surreal experience!!

When listening to the music alone, I imagine some gritty, city, detective drama. And, musically, it is a joy to listen to! So, I’ve taken the available synthetically-made stereo tracks (it feels like these were taken from the original reel-to-reel, that perhaps wasn’t stored too carefully, and then manipulated on early equipment), and I ran them through my up-to-date basic mastering system, to at least try to breathe some fullness into these tracks. 

It’s still not the greatest quality. Someday, I may track down the original mono files and just build them up from scratch… I like the music enough, I may just do that someday. But for now, I hope you’ll enjoy this symphonically jazzy soundtrack masterpiece by Gil Mellé!

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Switched-On Bach (1968)

Up now on the Internet Archive are my efforts to digitize an LP of Wendy Carlos’ seminal work for the Moog synthesizer, “Switched-On Bach”!

Without this album, the Moog synthesizer likely would not have reached such popularity. By performing these well-known keyboard classics by J. S. Bach on one of the original Moogs, Carlos dramatically transformed the views of the general public toward the instrument and its musical potential.

Visit this page to listen and download these ageless tracks!

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“Legend Seekers” Awarded Silver in the GMAs

I was thrilled to discover this morning that my April 2019 album Legend Seekers won the Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the composer/composition category of the Global Music Awards!

I am so honored (and validated)!

If you haven’t already, go take a listen to Legend Seekers today! 

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Behind the Scenes: Rehearsing “The Old Beggar-Woman”

Soprano Lauren Jorgenson and I got to get some rehearsal time in this morning, working on The Old Beggar-Woman from my upcoming Bros. Grimm Song Cycle ! Not too shabby so far…

The lesson here… when you see an old woman catch on fire, for god’s sake, put out the flames! ??

Come to our Modern Musicale on April 7 to hear us perform it!

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Sneak Peek into Recording Prep for “Intrepid”

Coming up soon in these next couple of months, we’ll be recording the epic Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Orchestra, “Intrepid“! It will be an amazing compliment to the Leviathan E-Violin Concerto on the upcoming album! <3

To prep the upcoming strings-only session — to make the process as easy as possible on my dear friends helping to make this possible — I decided to record myself playing the 2 violin parts and viola part ahead of time. It’ll give me a lot more flexibility in mixing the tracks, and give my players a really solid footing when reading through this together.

One of the things I love about a process such as this, is getting to hear a larger piece broken up into its basic layers–getting to hear what components interact to create the overall effect–and it never ceases to amaze and thrill me! I love music that weaves in and out of itself like a sonic tapestry…

You can get a sense for the intricacy of this work by listening to the following two segments of this prep-recording. Enjoy! 🙂

Want to contribute to this recording? There are several ways you can help:

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Huntington Library Adventures

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of exploring the Huntington Library for the day. What a throughly refreshing and calming experiencing! I recommend anyone who’s in town go and see it! 😉

I’ll post a gallery of all the photos I took that day at the bottom of this post, but there was one specifically amazing exhibit I took video from and that I wanted to share…

NASA’s Orbit Pavillion

Satellites that study the Earth are passing through space continuously, collecting data on everything from hurricanes to the effects of drought. What if you could make contact with these orbiting spacecraft, and bring them “down to Earth?” Visitors can do exactly that [at] NASA’s Orbit Pavilion… [Orbit is] an innovative “soundscape” experience representing the movement of the International Space Station and 19 Earth Science satellites. Inside the large, shell-shaped sculpture, distinctive sounds are emitted as each satellite passes overhead…

I have always loved the sounds of space, ever since I first heard the “interstellar music” of the complete Voyager sound recordings in the ’90s. So, when I experienced the Orbit exhibit first-hand, I can’t tell you the total joy and enthrallment I felt encountering it… I tried to capture just a taste of what I was experiencing with this short video you can view below… I hope you enjoy it! ^_^

 

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#NewTuneThursday: Faces in Foam

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune is our next track from “Music for The Book of I” — Faces in Foam, which is actually the opening track for the whole “Book of I” experience.

The woman sits at the edge of the cliff looking out to the sea…a daughter of North Africa perhaps. Her cheeks reflect olive light. She looks at me, carving her face in my memory…the step towards the rocky edge…I listen to the lines forming her face…I return to the melody still dancing in the air…
Lucio…had a delicate face…sharp angles, oblong eyes, and a classic Greek nose. I saw his face before the rocks disfigured him…he has the face of the forgotten… I try to paint him… I take a Renaissance approach, depicting him in a diaphanous light, like an angel…
I know those faces are…around me… They joined the sea because they had no other choice. Their faces are washed of past concerns. …If I…attempt to render them as ex-living people in my canvas, the white foam is quick to reclaim them. That is why all my canvases turn white–the frothy sea swallows them.

I knew several things when I started writing this track: I wanted to feature “the Olive Woman” with a pseudo-African or -Egyptian feel; I wanted to also feature the little, angelic, Greek boy Lucio; and tying it all together with the rest of the album, I wanted to create a Herrmann-esque wave of crashing drama that called forward to the central track, “I Know What Death Sounds Like.”

I love the “African” drive of the first part of the work. But I very much love the latter part–Lucio’s part. I tried to create an open, early Greek aesthetic with the intertwining lines of muted and plucked strings. And then, “Lucio himself” sings (in this recording it’s the wonderful voice of countertenor Caleb Barnes); it’s a haunting setting of the Alma Redemptoris Mater:

Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,

The gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.

Mother of Him who cares for the people, have pity on us sinners.

This final cry by Lucio just sums up the whole work beautifully as the “Faces” Teaston encounters get swallowed by the “Foam”… and we move forward into the rest of the story

Listen on Amazon Music
Listen on YouTube Music

This haunting work can be performed by an intermediate-advanced string orchestra with soloists and some percussion. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…