1. The Red Apple
2. Dimmesdale’s Angel
3. Population Inversion
4. 36Ar + 4He = Love
5. Dimmesdale’s Angel (Acapella Edit)
Passion. Intensity. Love. Hate. Power. Fire. Sin. Courage. War. Heroism. Health. Death. Depending on where you live on this broad planet of ours, the color red is used to symbolize all of the above emotions and concepts. Red is among the most visible colors and therefore inspires strong reactions, both positive and negative. Contained here are four songs inspired by the search for information surrounding the color red. This collection is among the most intensive groups of songs I’ve produced to date. Even the title of the EP, Rauthaz, has a heavy, intense feel. Rauthaz is a Proto-Germanic word that eventually evolved into our modern word red. I hope you enjoy this collection of music.
Rauthaz is the second in a series of EPs exploring the nature, science, and history of color.
The Red Apple
The Red Apple is a reference to a concept of early Islam and the Ottoman Empire relating to their desire of world conquest. The first Red Apple they wished to acquire was the city of Constantinople, now Istanbul, the heart of the Byzantine Empire. Ottoman forces accomplished the goal of conquering Constantinople in 1453. The location of The Red Apple and Ottoman desires then moved to both Vienna, Austria, and Rome, Italy. Ottoman forces never achieved those lofty goals, getting as close as occupying Austrian neighbor Hungary in the mid-1500’s, but their empire lived on in a slowly dying state until World War I. After WWI the remains of the Ottoman Empire were split with the majority becoming the modern country of Turkey in 1922.
With influences from Peter Gabriel, Gary Numan, and OMD, the song emotionally represents the slow but steady expansion of the Ottoman Empire, climaxing with rapid expansion starting after the conquest of Constantinople, and closing with the empire’s eventual and inevitable demise.
Instruments used include: Logic EFM, ES M, EXS24, Sculpture, EVOC, and Ultrabeat. G-Force impOSCar, Minimonsta, and M-Tron Pro. And a little NI Massive. One bit of fun was the opening drum loop. To give a distant musical feel to the loop I ran it through the Sculpture instrument like it a was a vocoder. I then slowly brought in another version of the same loop run through a proper vocoder to provide a cold mechanical feel.
The cover art depicts two sides of a coin from the second reign of Justinian II, a Byzantine emperor from 685-695 and again from 705-711. These are laid over an 18th century map of Constantinople.
Dimmesdale’s Angel is probably the single most somber and philosophically intense song I have ever recorded, and may keep that recognition for some time. Those of you familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’ will likely understand the reference, and probably recognize the spoken word passage used through the song. The Robot Junkyard robot choir, The Singing Sines, make an appearance here reciting a chapter 12 passage that explores the perceived meanings behind a meteor sighting by Arthur Dimmesdale. Arthur Dimmesdale is a primary protagonist in the story as a Priest that is responsible for the out-of-wedlock pregnancy of Hester Prynne in 17th century Puritanical Boston. Today’s reality TV and soaps have nothing on the heretical story lines Hawthorne packed into ‘The Scarlet Letter’ back in 1850.
Much like Arthur Dimmesdale’s character, the song runs the gamut of emotions throughout, making sudden shifts that both reward and disappoint the listener, leading to the guilted loneliness that eventually envelopes Arthur.
Instruments used include: Logic EXS24, EVOC, and Ultrabeat. G-Force impOSCar, M-Tron Pro, and Virtual String Machine. And a little Plogue Chipsounds. As noted above, The Singing Sines provide the spoken word recitation, which meant heavy use of Logic’s vocoder. It is quite the challenge to get a vocoded lyric line to sit nicely in a mix, but I do find myself improving with each use.
The cover art uses a stylized letter A to represent the meteor, or shooting star, that is central to the referenced passage. In Puritan society, a scarlet A worn on the outer clothing was used to publicly humiliate those guilty of adultery. Whereas Arthur was a Priest, he could not be publicly found ‘guilty’ of an act he could not commit, so the interpretation of the meteor as a scarlet A by Arthur was a sign from the heavens and God above that he was truly guilty of his secret sin.
The fifth track on this EP, Dimmesdale’s Angel (Acapella Edit), is a condensed version of the original focusing primarily on the spoken word recitation of the novel’s passage.
Population Inversion gives the listener a sudden and drastic mood change after the methodical Red Apple and somber Angel, offering up an energy-laden spoonful of synthpop and danceability. I’m not going to go all physics textbook on you, so I will just state that the term Population Inversion refers to a necessary step in the transfer of energy during the firing/igniting of a laser. What does this have to do with the color red? Well it just so happens that the first working laser, fired in May 1960 by Theodore H Maiman of the Hughes Research Laboratory was a solid-state flash-pumped device using a synthetic ruby crystal. The light it emitted was at the visible wavelength of 694.3nm, or in layman’s terms, deep red.
Instruments used: Logic ES P and Ultrabeat. G-Force impOSCar, M-Tron Pro, and Oddity. As this song was influenced by the first operational laser, the opening section (along with a bit in the middle and part of the closing) are intended to replicate the firing of a pulse laser. This was done using the most unique and quirky synth emulator I own, the G-Force Oddity, which is an emulation of the ARP Oddysey. This synth was a contemporary of the Mini Moog, but traded warmth, user friendliness, and logical layout for something entirely more nerd friendly, hard to decipher, and cold sounding. Synths and sound don’t function in the realm of nanometer measurements, so instead I set the primary LFO of the Oddity to 6.943 Hz. I have no idea how the maths might work out, but to me the symmetry of 6.943hz being a visual decimal variation of 694.3nm works nicely, and the end result is a very steady pulse feel that mutates and evolves as the song sets up.
The cover art is one more opportunity for me to geek out with a physics/laser/pop culture reference. The graph depicted is from a white board used in the 1985 comedy movie ‘Real Genius‘. It is from the scene where Val Kilmer’s character Chris Knight is describing how he has solved the power source problem for the laser unknowingly needed by his professor to fulfill a Military contract. This white board was recreated in the background of the ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ Season 4 episode The Hot Troll Deviation, as an homage to Prof. Martin Gundersen of USC, the science consultant who worked on ‘Real Genius’.
36Ar + 4He = Love
I’m not sure if I’ve had a cheesier song title than 36Ar + 4He = Love. How did it come to be? Well, any chemistry majors reading this may be able to figure it out, but those of you who are not chemistry majors and have a life, here is the quicky answer: When Argon and Helium go through a state of fusion (or a super intense session of lovin’) inside of a star, they create Calcium. When you combust calcium it burns with a brick red flame, and as mentioned far earlier, red is commonly used to represent love. 36Ar and 4He happen to be the most stable forms of Argon and Helium, and they create 40Ca. Geeky enough for you?
This 80’s synth pop inspired song slowly builds around a passionate synth, an intense bass, and a driving percussion groove to keep the mood and rhythm just right, if you know what I mean. There is a nice full climax followed by just the right amount of cool down and recovery time.
Instruments used: Only two instruments were used for 36Ar, Logic Ultrabeat for drums and the G-Force impOSCar 2 for everything else. Up until this song, my favorite and most versatile soft-synth was the original impOSCar, as one could tell from how often I’ve used it in my productions. That has now been replaced by the impOSCar 2. This version basically takes the original and puts it on a diet of protein and steroids. It’s leaner, more powerful, fatter sounding, more organic, and even more versatile than before. It has a presence and grit-filled nastiness that the original only hinted at.
To add to the intensity and sense of urgency present in 36Ar, this song was written in 7/8 time. This causes everything to seemingly happen just a little bit faster than expected, but still with the control to lead the listener to the pleasurable grand finale.
The cover art is a very stylized representation of the 40Calcium atom. If you could see around the nucleus you would see 20 protons and 20 neutrons. This nucleus is surrounded by the 20 orbiting electrons in their 2-8-8-2 valence configuration.
If you like what you hear, the download button in the player will take you to my store where you can purchase one or all of the tracks on this EP. The EP is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, including free.
Thank you for your interest in my music. I appreciate all of my fans who take the time to listen and/or download my songs.