1. Wolfgang’s Devil
3. The Third Ray
5. Wyrms of Beinn Nibheis
Viridis is the fourth EP in my series that looks to explore the science, nature, and history behind the seven primary additive and subtractive colors. These seven colors represent the CMYK and RGB color spaces.
Viridis is my exploration of the color green. The word viridis is from the Latin verb vireo, meaning to be verdant, or to sprout, and was strongly associated with the color green. Sources for subject matter for this EP were quite varied, with religious art, natural science, metaphysics, and geography all providing inspiration.
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.
As always, thank you for your interest in my music. I greatly appreciate all of you who invest a little time and/or money to listen to and download my songs.
And now for some track info for those who are interested:
This track was inspired by an altarpiece painted in 1483 by Austrian artist Michael Pacher titled “St. Wolfgang and the Devil”. This painting depicts the legend about St. Wolfgang who forced the Devil to help him build a church. In this painting the Devil is shown as being green in color, a common interpretation during the Middle Ages. While the painting depicts legend, St. Wolfgang was actually a 10th century Bishop from Regensburg, Austria. His feast day also happens to be October 31st, more commonly known as Halloween.
The spoken word piece during the middle section of the song is a Latin reading of the “Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel”.
Instrumentation includes: impOSCar2, M-Tron Pro Mellotron Choir, and VSM Oberheim OB-8 strings from G-Force Software. NES and C-64 emulations from Plogue Chipsounds, The Logic Retrosynth analog (Moog) modeled synth. Alicia’s Keys Kontakt kit from NI. Percussive elements from NI’s new Kinetic Metal kit for Kontakt. And finally a healthy dose of NI’s Maschine for drums and various pads, basses, and noise. Maschine kits used include, Electric Vice, Transistor Punch, Platinum Bounce, and True School.
The cover art is “St. Wolfgang and the Devil” (1483) by Austrian painter Michael Pacher.
Spoken word prayer from the free Catholic prayer recordings available at:
“Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel”
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
After the heavy opening act provided by ‘Wolfgang’s Devil’, Viridis pulls back a notch with the quieter space of ‘Photosynthesis’. Of course, as science tells us, photosynthesis is a process where plants take CO2 and transform it into the fuel and energy they need to survive. In much the same way ‘Photosynthesis’ takes it’s raw building blocks and evolves them into an energy rich plasma of synthpop fun.
Photosynthesis was originally sketched out as a study in Native Instruments Absynth software back in 2007 and was inspired by BT and his use of the complete stereo and frequency space in his productions.
All instrumentation was created in NI Absynth 5. All drums are sequenced using NI Maschine with sounds taken from the Dark Pressure and Transistor Punch kits.
The Third Ray
The title is based on one of the many philosophies surrounding the theory of the Seven Rays. Depending on which Seven Rays philosophy you happen to subscribe to, the Third Ray might be represented by the color yellow, or pink, or rose, or emerald, or for my purposes, green. It seems that there are many interpretations of the Seven Rays, and the Third Ray being green connection was the first one I came across. Conversely, green is also attributed to the fourth and fifth rays of different philosophies.
Regardless of color, the Third Ray can be characterized by intelligence, communication, higher mind, sympathy, adaptation, evolution, creative ideation, comprehension, and others. The Third Ray can also represent astrology, magnetic forces, the Earth or Saturn, the constellations Gemini or Libra.
If the Third Ray is your personal spiritual guide then pay attention to the teachings of Paul the Venetian or Mahachohan, Tuesday is your most powerful day, and make sure to take a retreat to either the Temple of the Sun in New York or Chateau de Liberte in the south of France.
Enough of the metaphysics, back to the music. ‘The Third Ray’ uses primarily the impOSCar2 from G-Force software. Other instrumentation is provided by the Logic ES1 synth, a Logic EXS24 piano patch, NI Absynth 5, and drums from the Dark Pressure NI Maschine set.
‘Chlorophyll’, the fourth track from Viridis, is a bit of a departure for me. I’ve done tracks with no drums or with a more ambient bent to them, but this is the first time I’ve really strayed into the realm of drone style music. This isn’t drone in the minimalist or wall of sound style. This is a more traditional, or classical, drone style where I have a repeating melody placed over a drawn out root tone, in this case a 2nd and 3rd octave C. The root note itself does stray during two bridge sections, but even then the repeating melody stays the same allowing the impression of the root to continue.
The music itself came from playing with a new sample set made available by G-Force Software for their Virtual String Machine instrument. This new sample set is taken from a very kitsch portable organ called the Philicorda, released by Philips in the mid 60’s. The majority of what you hear in this piece is five different instances of the Philicorda, fading in and out. You will also hear my trusty impOSCar2 for a lightly audible sub-bass part. And I’ve dusted off the MiniMonsta MiniMoog emulator to create the filtered bubbly noise heard throughout along with a simple moving bass line that makes an occasional appearance.
Wyrms of Beinn Nibheis
‘Wyrms of Beinn Nibheis’, the final track on Viridis, is an exploration of my love of worldbeat music. With Viridis being inspired by the color green, visiting the beauty of the Scottish Highlands was a natural destination for my musical wanderings. To that end you will hear bagpipes, tin whistles, dulcimers, and bouzoukis throughout the piece. Ok, not all of those are necessarily authentic Scottish instruments, but they are geographically related.
The drums are a combination of field drums and fully electronic noises. The bass line is courtesy my ever present impOSCar2. Also found are various analog and digital synth samples (from unknown machines), and a Mellotron choir patch.
The title of the piece is based on the highest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis, who’s original Gaelic name is Beinn Nibheis. A common translation of Beinn Nibheis is “the mountain with it’s head in the clouds”, though for my purposes I’m using a darker translation. Beinn is still mountain, but I’m taking a more literal translation of nibheis, that being venomous. From the name Venomous Mountain, I imagined the great wyrms of Scottish legend (aka dragons) using the mountain top as point to survey the local villages below before unleashing their terror.
While the song itself is not dark, it does have an underlying sense of heavy foreboding throughout the first 2/3rds before finishing in a more positive tenor. One could think of this as a story being told where by the end, the nightmare has been vanquished.
The cover art contains a section of “Carn Dearg and Ben Nevis from Achintee” (1874) by English landscape artist Sidney Richard Percy.