The Machine that Howled, Growled and Wailed

A lot has happened over the past four years; four years from when that little green light turned yellow on my network attached storage (NAS), four years since that strange whining sound sang out from my hard drive, indicating that the majority of my digital creativity had been wiped away. ( Music, photos, graphic designs and illustrations that were all in progress toward bigger expressions of art; gone.

Sifting through the ash of 1s and 0s that once represented so many ideas, including new music building toward two new albums, The Unsound Symphony and The Machines that Howl, Growl and Wail, and only two songs had survived; one sitting on a 16 Gb flash drive, the other on an iPod.

There was never a question of whether or not to produce a follow-up to 2011’s Three Sides of the Same Coin. It was just a matter of when. But the sudden loss of all those songs sucked the energy and excitement out of creating music. A stall that has lasted four years.

After the data crash, I focused my creativity toward other expressions of media; writing, sculpture and illustration. I started teaching more after school programs for children. And, focused a lot on building and creating with LEGO which has been a fantastic healing process.

But the biggest life event was becoming a father. My days have been filled with discovery and love and insomnia and patience and frustration and joy and purpose. Art, in all the expressive ways that I had once wielded, took a back seat.

Our son recently started preschool. This has opened up time for me to center on creative projects that have been smoldering on low heat over the past three years. This brings me to music, and the point of this blog entry.

I decided to dust off the music box last week, and see what I could conjure up. I ran through a few keyboard exercises, familiarized myself with my audio software, and then gave a hard listen to one of the surviving songs from 2013. It’s now a week later, and I am excited to say I have four new tracks!

This fall, Suboken – The Machines that Howl, Growl and Wail (2017) will be available on iTunes Store, iTunes Music, and Bandcamp.

In the meantime, here’s a demo cut from the album.

Letting Go

For the past month, I’ve been hoping I wouldn’t find myself writing this post. However, after four weeks of technical consultation, today I received a text message that made my heart sink.

All of my digital media has been lost.

A major component to my digital studio is my external storage device. I use a product called Drobo.

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Welcome to The Unsound Symphony

I’ve been writing short orchestral pieces over the past two decades. In fact, this style of music is where my music creativity started. Growing up, I loved listening to film scores. Music by composers such as John Barry, Wendy Carlos, Joe Hisaishi and John Williams had a huge impact on my imagination. Whenever I focused on developing a new screenplay or short story, music from movie soundtracks helped shape the pacing of my story telling.

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Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock. January 1st is set on the clock.

Serving both as a rhythm and an announcement, tick-tock sets the beat and begins the countdown to the start date of my next music project.

It’s been almost a full year with the lights and sound off in the music studio. But, a year’s worth of focusing on other art projects has given me plenty of time to recharge and channel new sources of music inspiration. I’m excited to get back into composing again, but even more excited to discover what my recent interests push me into creating musically.

I won’t spoil too much right now. But I will say that my sketches and notes suggest two separate albums. The first one will be comprised of the orchestral material that was originally intended to be released on 2011’s Three Sides of the Same Coin (TSOTSC). However, I have big ideas aimed at deconstructing that material and developing it into something far more unique than any previous music I’ve composed. Lot’s of “soundscaping” to steal many nights of sleep during the next year. The second album, working title Suboken 6, will be all new material and I suspect will be a blending and evolution of the three styles of music present in my previous two releases, Turn and TSOTSC. I have a bunch of new music tools in the toy box, and I can’t wait to hear what they lead to.

I haven’t set a budget for when these two projects will be finished. But I look forward to tapping into the same motivation and energy that guided me through the timely production of TSOTSC. You can look forward to hearing samples of the new music here on my blog.